O Christmas tree!

Wednesday 25 Jul, 2012

Story courtesy of MPI

Conifers, they're a kind of tree you find all over the show. Every year we place them awkwardly in our houses and adorn them with decorations that are often fading and falling apart. They make excellent fire wood too.

Did you know they are way too successful at regeneration? Wilding conifers are the natural regeneration of introduced trees - pines, Douglas fir, redwood and larch. Wilding conifers reduce land available for pastoral or other production, restrain future land uses, reduce water yields and cause a variety of ecological impacts.

Every year, the New Zealand Biosecurity Institute holds a National Education and Technology Seminar (NETS). This year, NETS2012 was held in July at Wairakei Resort near Taupo. This year's theme was "Pests in our Dynamic Landscapes: The pressure is on!"

Sherman Smith, a senior adviser in the National Coordination Team gave a presentation based on a report on the current state of wilding conifer management. The report combines existing
knowledge, identifies issues and makes recommendations for improvements. It was a pretty interesting and entertaining presentation.

The attendees at NETS thought so too.

Sherman was awarded the Rob McGuinness Stook Award for best presentation. It's the first time a current MPI staff member has won the award.

The 'Stook' is awarded for the best paper presented by a NZBI member at the NETS conference each year. Stooks are a cross between a sword, a stick, and a book – a record in wood. This
particular model was carved from Pacific Mahogany and was first presented in 1984. It's engraved with all the winners from past years, so it reads like a who's who of NZ biosecurity!

Stook-Award-2012

Sherman Smith, left receives his award for Best Conference Presentation from New Zealand Biosecurity Institute President, Pedro Jensen. Sherman's presentation was on Wilding Conifer Management. Photo: NZBI