We support a low-intervention management of the Western Springs Forest based on recognition of its inherent character as a transitioning mixed forest with an exotic pine canopy (acting as climax species) and a native subcanopy and understorey. The forest is duly designated a Significant Ecological Area and should be managed as such.
We support low-intervention and no-herbicide management of weed and pest species and any self-seeding pines and the strategic planting of natives and occasional specimen-scale natives to support the natural transition in-its-own-time to an all-native forest over coming years and decades.
We support recognition of the inherent values of the existing native flora and fauna which is primarily naturally selected and affords the best possible ecological transitional strategy.
We support recognition of the inherent values of the Monterey pines as essential to the definition of the forest as “Auckland’s tallest” and the natural services the pines provide as canopy species to the regenerating natives; and in air filtration and purification; as a wind-break; in water absorption and retention; as a habitat for numerous species and haven for transitory birds; as a store of carbon; and with extensive root bases offering hillside stability; and for their amenity value as large majestic tree specimens for the enjoyment of local residents and the wider city.
We recognise that the health and stability of the forest impacts on the neighbouring ecology of Motions Creek, the Wetlands and Western Springs Lake.
We support re-opening and maintenance of the existing track for public access and enjoyment of the forest.
We support a shared community, mana whenua and Council management plan that includes the Society for the Protection of Western Springs Forest and prioritises maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity and ecological health of the forest.