Ray sent the following article in as a Comment on the story about the recent 1080 drop near Wanaka. (Scroll down to March 2.) We think it needs front page exposure.
Witnessing Conservation Department stupidity at Makaroa
By Ray Thompson
I personally witnessed the 1080 poisoning of Makarora. My first impressions on arrival at Cameron Flat were: why are they spreading on the tops well above the bush line?
Myself and several others had positioned ourselves at the Cameron Flat camp ground entrance overlooking the load-out zone.
Every time a helicopter was loaded and was lifting off, the rotor wash would send a huge cloud of green dust into the air which the slight breeze carried straight across the state highway, which had a continuous flow of traffic, including many touring cyclists.
Poisoning a pristine landscape
Towards the late afternoon I made my way to Davis Flat and walked into the bush for a few kilometres. The first baits in pellet form were within 100 metres of the state highway.
The river bed was strewn with baits on both sides of the waterway, this tributary flows into the Makarora River which in turn flows into Lake Wanaka.
It’s anyone’s guess as to how much poison was dropped directly into the water.
Why would DoC want to do this, to what is one of the most pristine examples of forest with outstanding examples of bird life, is beyond understanding.