The ‘million dollars new deer & goat scheme’

Two-man saw in Oregon

Imagine if there were a chainsaw massacre and the government decided to do a chainsaw buy-back because they had passed a law to make chainsaws illegal. All of a sudden our forestry industry would be faced with having to cut down pine trees with axes and with long saws: like those used way back in the times of the gum diggers.

Most people would recognise that it would throw a modern forestry operation into a time warp. It would be like making cars illegal and replacing them with bicycles…oh wait – that is what the Green party is actually trying to do; but I digress.

The gun buy-back is going to result in a pest explosion and fewer people planting seedlings. Whaleoil reader Ben explains.

I was a tree grower, planted over 250,000 trees myself. But controlling pests is essential. Putting money into a billion trees planting scheme and a firearm buyback at the same time guarantees failure of the planting scheme.

I think of the ‘billion new trees scheme’ as the ‘million new deer scheme’, because this will be the effect of planting tree seedlings on farmland without protection.

Yes, some enthusiasts will still shoot with bolt actions, but it’s like asking a forestry company to put down their chainsaws and cut trees with axes, nobody wants to go back to 1940s technology once they’ve used appropriate modern tools.

A good anecdote I heard yesterday; a forest owner in Tararua district had a couple of keen local lads with their E category rifles shooting goats in plantations for the cost of bullets and a beer at the end of the day. Now their guns are locked up in the safe the owner is faced with a $47,000 quote from a commercial pest control company. Multiply this situation over the entire country…. we get the million deer, billion goat scheme. Otherwise known as billions of taxpayer dollars spent on expensive feed for feral pests.