Workshops fronted by a USA expert will be held in Northland this week showing conservation organisations, dairy farmers and other landowners how to restore or create wetlands.
Tom Biebighauser has restored over 1600 wetlands in North America and Asia and has developed successful, inexpensive techniques for restoring wetlands on steep sites, formerly mined land, ridges, valleys, forests and small properties, including schools.
Northland Fish and Game is hosting the Northland Wetland Restoration Workshop in conjunction with Department of Conservation (DoC) and Fonterra Living Water programme today and tomorrow. As part of World Wetlands Day, Fish and Game is holding a second event on February 12-13.
Northland manager Rudi Hoetjes said that of four workshops Mr Biebighauser was to give in New Zealand, two were in Northland.
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As well as introductions by Mr Biebighauser and Fish and Game field officer Nathan Burkpile on suitable methods and the benefits of restoring wetlands, the workshops will cover resource consent processes, a field trip, design processes and construction techniques.
Mr Hoetjes said a wetland can be any size and the site could be as obvious as a former swamp that has been drained or as subtle and small as a low point in a paddock. However, to be considered a wetland it must be more than just a wet area; it must have a water level for some part of the year that can support and sustain an aquatic eco-system.
The first two-day workshop is designed for dairy farmers and partners in the Fonterra-DoC accord and will be held at Fonterra's development farm at Jordan Valley Rd. The second hands-on event is for land-care professionals, conservation groups, landowners, iwi groups, district council staff and others working in ecological industries to learn how to select a site, test for groundwater and soil texture, choose a construction technique and then develop it.
The practical work will be at the Fish and Game-leased, 25 hectare Greenheart Block at the confluence of the Mangakahia and Northern Wairoa Rivers but the workshop will start at the Tangiteroria Hall.
For more information on the second workshop call Rudi Hoetjes on 094-384-135 or email email@example.com.