The 24ha of pine trees at the northwest entrance to Alexandra were planted decades ago to hold the sandy soil in place, and their continuing presence also holds off a potential bill for $500,000 under the emissions trading scheme.
The Central Otago District Council owns 159.4ha of forests and, under the scheme, it will face a total bill of up to $2.1 million if all its blocks of pre-1990 forest are cleared and not replanted within four years. All but 24ha of the council's forestry was planted before 1990.
Three of the district's four community boards have met to consider the implications of the scheme. The Maniototo board decided to replant a 40ha block rather than face a potential bill of $373,160, and the Roxburgh board voted to maintain its 10ha forestry block rather than harvest and risk a bill of $146,433.