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New loos confirmed for ‘faecal peak’

Enjoy this magnificcent view without the poo later this year when a toilet is installed at Ben Lomond Saddle. Pseudopanax at English Wikipedia

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After years of busting demand, a toilet has been announced for Queenstown’s Ben Lomond.

The popular summit was dubbed “faecal peak” last year due to the unsightly amount of human waste left by caught-short trampers, Otago Daily Times reports.

DOC’s Geoff Owen said a toilet will be installed within 12 months, with another confirmed for Lake Alta, in The Remarkables Conservation Area.

‘‘They are designed for sub-alpine environments, specifically to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high winds and heavy snow,” he said.

‘‘The first new loo will be at Ben Lomond, most likely in the vicinity of the Ben Lomond Saddle.”

Rebuild unlikely for storm-damaged Gunn’s Camp 

The badly damaged Gunn’s Camp will likely never be rebuilt, Stuff reports.

The Hollyford Road holiday camp, popular with trampers, hunters and tourists, was devastated by the February 2020 storm, which closed Hollyford Road, Milford Track, and many other walks in the area.

Chairman of the Hollyford Museum Charitable Trust Ebel Kremer said the site would be “almost impossible” to rebuild.

“Mother nature threw us that card, and that’s it,” he said.

“We have lost a real icon, there’s a real history ... a lot of hunters and fishermen have stayed there, a lot of school groups have stayed there and had that wonderful experience of how things were in the past.”

Memorabilia salvaged from the camp’s shop and museum may be displayed in Te Anau.

1080 claim debunked by study

A study has debunked the common claim that 1080 causes ‘silent forests’.

Victoria University researchers Associate Professor Stephen Hartley, Roald Bomans and Asher Cook turned to bio-acoustic monitoring technology to measure the birdsong before and after 1080 operations, NZ Herald reports.

Recordings taken in the Aorangi and Southern Remutaka Ranges found little evidence of short-term effects on native bird communities.

In all cases, increases and decreases were minor, and of nine native bird species studied, three showed increases in birdsong.

However, fewer calls were recorded from chaffinch and tomtit, which could be due to random chance, or could mean the birds are eating 1080 pellets.

Researchers recommend more precautionary research into the effect of 1080 drops on tomtits.

Hut wanted for Coastal Otago

The North Otago Deerstalkers are seeking approval to build a hut in Waianakarua Scenic Reserve, north of the Catlins. 

The association has submitted a building application to DOC, after two years of planning, Otago Daily Times reports.

Hut project co-ordinator Barry Wilson said extensive formal planning has been carried out, including environmental impact and geotechnical assessments, resource and building consent, and consultation with local iwi and community groups.

Wilson hopes the hut will encourage more hikers and the general public to explore the “underutilised area”.

There is currently no maintained track to the proposed site and no plans to build one, so it will likely only be accessible to experienced hikers.