Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Special Interest: Silverstream Silver Peaks 1080 Information

"The Dunedin City Council has agreed to a request from OSPRI to undertake a pest control operation using 1080 on council land in the Silver Stream catchment area.
... The 1080 application is likely to begin on or after 5 June (weather dependent)...
The Silver Stream catchment is a 3,880 hectare area which is used as a back-up treated water supply. A highly cautious approach is being taken and no drinking water will be used from the catchment while 1080 is present.
The operation is weather dependent, and will take around two weeks. The catchment and affected tracks will be closed to all users for around 15 days. After that, the reserve will re-open to the general public, but will remain closed to dogs for up to 12 months and hunting permits for the catchment will be suspended to ensure dog safety."

Here is all the information I can find on this operation, collated and linkable.
This will be updated as more information is released.

Operational Area

Original ODT article
DCC take cautious approach over 1080 drop

Operational Area with DCC-owned land in green

How do I keep my dog safe?

In the case of 1080 Poisoning, urgent care is vital. Often by the time symptoms have been noticed, it is too late. Get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Washing soda crystals are a good way to induce vomiting. If you know me in person, let me know and I'll give you some for free.

Keep Your Dog Safe PDF

Muzzles are available from the OSPRI office, 399 Moray Place, level 1 above Rabobank

Where can I walk my dog while this area is closed for access?

There are a number of places where you can walk your dog in Dunedin, including similar tracks at Mt Cargill, Bethunes Gully, Flag Staff and Nicols Creek.

From the DCC website Silverpeaks Pest Control

DCC owned dog walking areas

Mt Cargill and Bethunes Gully - Dogs On Lead

[OSPRI] will carry out a possum control operation at Mt Cargill Scenic Reserve and Bethunes Gully, starting from the 13 March 2017. These DCC reserves contain important and unique forest areas. The TBfree possum control will have much benefit for forest health and biodiversity. The possum traps will be placed raised (>70cm above the ground) from 20 – 40m from the walking tracks and can be placed on the ground >40m from the tracks (traps that are placed on the ground catch 50% more possums than when placed above ground). Feratox bags will be placed on trees >20m from tracks throughout the areas. Visitors should keep their dogs on the lead at all times.
From the MTB Otago Forums, I'm currently seeking further information.

Signal Hill was not on the council supplied list of alternative areas, but it has also had Feratox bait bags and ground possum traps laid. Signal Hill was completed on the 25th of March. The four month ‘caution period’ (Feratox was used there) finishes on July 25th.

The ground-based possum control operation at Mt Cargill and Bethunes gully is still ongoing and will be finished on the 1st June which means the caution period will go to the 1st October. During the caution period dogs should be walked on a leash in these areas.

Flagstaff - May be risky

By my very rough computer-screen measurement, the operational area is 1.5 km away from the "Flagstaff loop" many of us commonly use. This is outside of the exclusion zone for possoms, but within the exclusion zone for pigs. The other factor influencing risk factors is that there are no rivers originating in or passing through the operational area that flow into the "Flagstaff Loop" area.
UPDATE: Pigs have been sighted in this area in the past  

Nichols Creek - May be risky

"From the bridge on Leith Valley Rd that crosses Nicols Creek, the left hand track leads up to the Nicols waterfall and Swampy Ridge. On the right is the Nicols Creek/ Switchback mountain bike track. The walking and bike tracks merge at times so look and listen for other users."
From Dunedin Walking Tracks PDF

By my very rough computer-screen measurement, the operational area is just over 1.5 km away from the top of Nichols Creek/Moon Track where it joins the Swampy Ridge Track (underneath the legend in the Operational Area map). 
Some track write-ups suggest walking Nichols creek as a return trip to the waterfalls, which may be a safer, if shorter option.

For general information on where you can take your dog, see the  DCC Dog Control Bylaw Interactive Map

Non DCC owned dog walking areas (contributions welcome)

City Forests Flagstaff Creek Track

Forest entry is generally by permit only (to be applied for at least a week in advance), but walkers are welcome on the Flagstaff Creek Forest walking track at all times. The use of other City Forests' forest areas must be outside of normal forestry operational hours, i.e. during weekends, public holidays and weekdays from 6pm until dusk during the daylight saving period of the year. Forests may be closed at any time due to operations and hazardous conditions.

This area suffers from the same problems as the Flagstaff loop, in that it is very close to the operational area so safety of access would depend on the type of animals you are likely to encounter.

City Forests Wakari Creek Mountain Bike Trails

McGouns Creek track is dogs on leash only, but the Pineapple Track allows dogs off leash. Be careful as the top end of the Pineapple track connects to the Flagstaff Loop discussed above (DCC)
The Wakari Creek biking, walking, running tracks allow dogs according to the City Forests website, please let me know if you come across any signage contrary to this.

For Reference

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