Weather boon for DOC repairs

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013

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The Department of Conservation is taking advantage of the fine spell of weather to repair damage to tracks and assets in Fiordland.

DOC community relations manager Beth Masser said there had been a lot of damage in the national park during the heavy rains and flooding at the start of the year.

DOC staff were able to do running repairs during and immediately after flooding forced the closure of the Milford and Routeburn tracks in early January.

Staff were stationed at the huts along the Great Walks and were doing repairs needed to reopen and keep the tracks open, she said.

However, this week's good weather meant staff were able to do permanent repairs.

As well as the damage reported on the popular Great Walk tramps, Ms Masser said the department had discovered significant damage to DOC assets in more remote areas of Fiordland.

"There is a lot of damage in the Murchison Mountains - to the huts used by DOC biodiversity staff involved in monitoring the takahe population. The huts are in the valley floors and were exposed to flooding," she said.

The department was also reminding trampers heading to the remote tracks to be aware of damage to tracks and infrastructure.

Trampers should check the DOC visitor centres before setting off and report any damage they find.

DOC had to look after 1.2 million hectares of national park in Fiordland but the department's focus would be on repairing the high use corridors, Ms Masser said.

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- The Southland Times

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