Who Are We?
The Whakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group Inc (WCG) is a community, not-for-profit organisation created in April 2009. We are focused on protecting biodiversity and the remarkable landscape of the Whakatipu for the benefit of residents, users, tourists and particularly, future generations. The WCG aim is to control wilding trees. Queenstown is renowned worldwide for its stunning and iconic landscapes, but they are under threat from wilding trees. Wilding conifers threaten and replace native beech forests and tussock.
How we do it
Alert – The community to the exponential spread and cost of wilding control.
Communicate – The WCG programme of control and projected effects of no control.
Eradicate – ALL seeding trees where possible.
Contain – Non-removable wilding areas and planted forests.
Hand Back – Control maintenance to landowners, DOC and QLDC at the end of the WCG five year strategy periods.
Our Vision is the Protection
and Enhancement of:
Landscape & Aesthetic Values – Views of beautiful golden tussock & glacial landscapes are under threat. Shading & loss of sunlight negatively impacts facilities and communities
Conservation Values – The loss of flora and fauna that is unique to the biodiversity of the Otago region.
Land Use Values – Timber in most wildings has little economic use and a closed conifer shades out grazing species.
Hydrological Values – Closed canopy lowers water yield into rivers/catchments due to canopy interception and evaporation.
Recreational Values – Keeping tramping, walking, running, cycling and skiing tracks and trails from being smothered.
Historical Values – keeping our valued historical sites intact.
The Gallery of Change
The photos below capture the extensive growth and spread of wilding tree species in the Whakatipu. The main species causing a serious problems are Douglas fir, Contorta Pine, Corsican Pine, Larch and Scots Pine. The intention is to illustrate how quickly this problem is growing and how urgent it is to intervene and remove coning seed sources in order to protect our native flora before it is gone for good.
A short video to inform people the threat wilding conifers has on our beautiful mountain sides and to make the viewers become more aware of the problem at hand.
If you or a group of people are interested in doing conifer control work then get in touch by clicking here. We organise regular Volunteer Events but are happy to help get you involved and have the tools necessary to get chopping!
The WCG run a volunteer program called ‘Adopt a Plot’, this represents a new approach to the problem.
Rather than a few volunteers looking after a large area, the program seeks to engage with many people who can provide intensive control of smaller areas.
Under this program, businesses, community groups, schools, and family groups adopt a specific area of the basin. Each group will be responsible for hand clearing their plot of seedlings and then maintaining the area to prevent regrowth. The WCG will help interested parties select a suitable plot and then provide ongoing support including training, advice and loan of tools and equipment.
Sir Eion and Jan Lady Edgar have a passionate love of and commitment to restoring and maintaining Whakatipu’s iconic landscapes. Eion brings a wealth of experience in business, in community and nationwide organisations, along with his wisdom and encouragement to the WCG executive. While Jan has the practical experience and love of the outdoors.
Founding Chairman of the Whakatipu Wilding Control Group, Peter arrived from the UK as a 15 year and now resides in Kelvin Heights.
As Chair of WCG, Grant is passionate about educating people on the threat wilding conifers pose to the environment.
Dick joined the WCG in July, 2015 and now looks after communications and PR for the WCG.
Grant is a Queenstown business consultant with a passion for New Zealand’s wild and has 40 years of tramping, climbing and skiing experince.
Grant has been the General Manager of Closeburn Station for the past 11 years.
David is the Operations Manager for Whakatipu, Pou Matarautaki Whakatipu-wai-Māori and has oversight of all the Department’s operations delivery in the Whakatipu basin.
Tom is a member of the WCG Executive group. After a life of farming in Southland he retired to Frankton in 2012.
Briana is Parks and Open Spaces Planning Manager at Queenstown Lakes District Council. Bachelor of Forestry Science (BForSc) from Canterbury University...
Jon has had a strong interest in conservation throughout his long career in public service.
Sue is the WCG Funding Manager and makes initial contact with local landowners.
Will is the DOC Senior Ranger for Wilding Conifer Control and the WCG Project manager.
Graeme is involved with farming, fly fishing guiding tourism and is a Trustee of the Waiau Fisheries & Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Trust. He is a former Chairman of Southland Fish & Game and was a representative of the QEII National Trust for 8 years.
Bryan was CEO of Real Journeys for over 25 years and retired from that position in 2002
Jess works in the ORC Biosecurity and Rural Liaison team and represents the Otago Region on the National Wilding Conifer Programme.
Jo is the Volunteer Coordinator for WCG engaged to grow the volunteer base and organise wilding control work through volunteer days and the Adopt-a-Plot programme
WCG Funding Partners
Queenstown Lakes District Council • Skyline Enterprises • Central Lakes Trust • Lotteries Grant Board Environment and Heritage fund QLDC • Department of Conservation • LINZ • NZTA • Cecil Peak Station • Mt Nicholas Station • Closeburn Station • Elfin Bay Station • Ben Lomond Station • Queenstown Hill Station • Coronet Peak Station • Waitiri Station • Halfway Bay Station • Mt Difficulty Station • Remarkables Station • Loch Linnhe Station • Cone Peak Station • Lowburn Station • Pioneer Energy • Southland Building • Scope Enterprises
National Wilding Conifer Management Group
For access to the National Wilding Conifer Management Strategy 2015-2030, the Wilding Risk Calculator and updates on national news and events, click on the link below.
- ALERT - the community to the exponential spread and cost of wilding control
- COMMUNICATE - the WCG programme of control and the projected effects of no-control
- ERADICATE - all seeding trees where necessary
- CONTAIN - non-removable wilding areas and planted forests
- HAND BACK - control maintenance to landowners, DOC and QLDC at the end of period
- WCG also work in conjunction with the New Zealand Wilding Conifer Management Strategy 2015-2030.
- Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
- Contorta or lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)
- Scots pine (Pinus sylestris)
- European larch (Larix decidua)
- Corsican pine (Pinus nigra)
- Bishops Pine (Pinus muricate)
- Ponderosa Pine (Pinus Ponderosa)
- Mountain Pine (Pinus mugo)
- Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster)
Please get in touch with any questions we haven’t been able to answer by filling out the form below
We would love to hear from you. To get in touch, please fill in the form to the right with your details and message and click submit.