A wide variety of landscapes exist in this area from grassed river valleys, mixed beech forest, to mountain peaks. This scheme would sacrifice 67 hectares of mature beech forest habitat in exchange for a mass tourism infrastructure more consistent with a city than a conservation area.
The monorail would consist of massive concrete beams supported by concrete bases and piers every 20 metres. A permanent fully formed ‘construction road’ would run alongside it. This is clearly inconsistent with both the purpose for which the land is held, and the remote visitor setting. It is inconsistent with the current Conservation Management Strategy for this area.
The hectares will not only be lost, they will split an ecosystem in half. The forest canopy will be laid opened up to accommodate both the monorail and the construction road and further destruction of trees on either side will be necessary to prevent the threat of trees from the mature beech forest falling on the line.
The total amount of forest affected is significant larger than many of the individual conservation areas within Southland.