Planting of poplar trees across hill slopes has been long recognised as an effective means of combating slip erosion on North Island hill country. It is now considered that some areas of steep hill country should be permanently excluded from grazing and planted with trees, in order to prevent further erosion. This would reduce the amount of sediment in rivers and waterways that can contribute to downstream flooding. Between 1997 and 2002, 36,000 hectares of erosion-prone hill country were converted to exotic forest or retired from grazing.
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Photograph by Iona Wassilieff
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