Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Farmers lose; we win

The natural environment won a big victory today:

The Mackenzie Basin's status as an outstanding natural landscape is official, but questions remain about how it will become a reality.

The Resource Management Act considers an outstanding natural landscape the highest form of protection - outside of public conservation land.

The Mackenzie Basin's status was confirmed yesterday in a ruling from Justice Williams in the High Court. He was responding to a Federated Farmers appeal over a 2011 Environment Court declaration the basin be declared an outstanding natural landscape. The High Court hearings took place in August last year.

However, Justice Williams said Federated Farmers had now "reached an acceptance that the decision on the outstanding natural landscape was final".
The Mackenzie District Council still has to work out the details about exactly how that outstanding landscape will be protected, but it is likely to mean tight restrictions on large-scale irrigation and subdivision. Farmers lose, but the environment wins.