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Published: 2002-11-27 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has provided $7,500 to help restore the Hakarimata Scenic Reserve.

The Reserve near Huntly is one of the most easily accessible native forest remnants in the Waikato and is an important wildlife corridor. Some plants found in the area are rare and many of the freshwater fish have national conservation status.

Environment Waikato (the Waikato Regional Council) confirmed the grant from its Environmental Initiatives Fund this week. The Fund provides support for community-based environmental work.

Environment Waikato's contribution will be used to help the Hakarimata Restoration Trust develop a formal management plan for the area. The plan will be developed with input from the community and alongside organisations such as Environment Waikato and the Department of Conservation (DoC).

Environment Committee Chair Councillor Lois Livingston said Council was very pleased to support a local group which was essentially working on behalf of the Regional community.

Councillor Livingston said it was important that DoC also played a role. "Native forests are part of our heritage and we are very pleased to be part of a wider movement to protect and restore them," she said.

Council had granted the money on the condition that DoC endorsed the preparation of the restoration management plan.

Environment Waikato has budgeted to allocate $240,000 during the current year for community-based environmental initiatives.