Some factors to consider in the management of semi-natural areas
- Botany Division, DSIR, Lincoln
What we perceive as semi-natural areas occur over a large percentage of the New Zealand landscape. These areas support a wide range of relics and remnants of the past in various stages of modification: the treasured "museum pieces" if you like of the country's natural history.
In general, semi-natural areas support the largest concentrations of people and introduced plants and animals, and a high level of land use. Consequently, the element of change is uppermost and the struggle between "ours" and "theirs" is intense. In addition, the land involved is invariably held in freehold title requiring flexible attitudes from all parties concerned. In my experience the acquisition and management of protected semi-natural areas are closely interwoven. Similar sets of questions need to be asked, and each case has to be treated on its own merits. In the process some well-worn beliefs and attitudes should be laid to rest.