Scaremongering from Forest & Bird

August 21st, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

released:

Calls by for the Department of Conservation to stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory work on the Denniston Plateau because of smoke coming from an old mine shaft are ill-informed, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.

“The smoke is coming from an old mine shaft where low level underground fires have burned for decades. These fires also occur naturally in this rich coal field. These smouldering seams pose no significant threat and are left to burn naturally. Smoke appears periodically relative to atmospheric conditions and has done so for many years,” Dr Smith says.

“It is ridiculous for Forest & Bird to blame Bathurst for these fires and to demand any work stop before they are put out. The smoke is some kilometres from Bathurst’s escarpment mine. Forest & Bird should check with the Department and be better informed before making these sorts of public claims.

“This smoke from an old mine shaft just highlights the degree to which the Denniston Plateau has been previously mined and that it is not the pristine area that some claimed.  It reinforces the Government’s decision to allow the Denniston mine to proceed.”

So the smoke is from a location many kms away from where Bathurst is mining, yet Forest & Bird blame it on them. Anything for a headline!

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25 Responses to “Scaremongering from Forest & Bird”

  1. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Forest & Bird say they informed DoC. Maybe they should have waited for a reply before publishing.

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  2. Scott Chris (6,153 comments) says:

    The smoke is coming from an old mine shaft where low level underground fires have burned for decades. These fires also occur naturally in this rich coal field

    Really? Subterranean unmined coal seams spontaneously combust? That’s news to me.

    If old mined seams are burning then surely those that mined them should put out the fires. State owned were they?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

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  3. Berend de Boer (1,711 comments) says:

    John Key allows mining kilometres from where a previous mine is smoking. If that isn’t the proof he is deeply into #dirtypolitics, I don’t know what proof is!

    Wait… :-)

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  4. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Coal is dirty. Coal is political. Dirty politics!

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  5. Mlec (13 comments) says:

    “Really? Subterranean unmined coal seams spontaneously combust? That’s news to me.”
    they do there is a coal seam at mangarkau Golden Bay that has been burning for decades & never been mined.
    The early gold miners talked about it.

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  6. stigie (1,220 comments) says:

    There are some vicious people in Forest and Bird.

    Bathurst Resources were not given a fair go by these filthy hippies !~

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  7. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    I saw Eugene this other day , just before her grey hair day,

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  8. Tarquin North (305 comments) says:

    Forest and Bird are the saddest outfit this side of the Labour party. They make the Greens look enlightened.

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  9. Scott Chris (6,153 comments) says:

    there is a coal seam at mangarkau Golden Bay that has been burning for decades & never been mined

    Yes I know about natural coal fires but fires deep underground in a labyrinth carved by men where oxygen would never have otherwise penetrated sure as hell ain’t a natural occurrence in my book.

    Point being – you make a mess you clear it up. Fair enough?

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  10. trout (939 comments) says:

    Forest & Bird (‘Twig and Tweets’) has historically been a grouping of gentle, caring people with a genuine love of flora and fauna – and then it was infiltrated by hysterical Green activists who are trading off the Society’s honorable reputation. A great shame. It is past time that the centre-right developed an informed grouping of conservation minded people who were able to promote the continuation of economic progress tempered by environmental concerns.

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  11. soundhill1 (241 comments) says:

    @Nick Smith: “This smoke from an old mine shaft just highlights the degree to which the Denniston Plateau has been previously mined and that it is not the pristine area that some claimed. It reinforces the Government’s decision to allow the Denniston mine to proceed.”

    I don’t think his heart is in it. Or else he would not be putting forth such a weak argument: comparing an open cast mine which destroys a huge surface area of ecology with underground mines.

    And now coal prices are dropping as China has done most of its large construction, and Bathurst shares have dropped, who is the insurer if they go broke, to meet the environmental agreements?

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  12. rangitoto (247 comments) says:

    The burning mountain coal seam fire in Aus is thought to have been burning for thousands of years. Quite interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Mountain

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  13. grumpy (261 comments) says:

    This must be the Burnetts Face Mine. I can remember going there as a boy, 50 years ago and it was burning then, it is just beside the rough road and you can drive right up to the smoking vent. There used to be a sign there “Danger, burning mine and Giant Snails”

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  14. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    It’s almost like they need to decide whether they are a conservation group or a lobby group…

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  15. Scott Chris (6,153 comments) says:

    The burning mountain coal seam fire in Aus is thought to have been burning for thousands of years.

    So the oldest known natural coal fire burns at a depth of 30 meters according to your link.

    6000 years – in sandstone – 30 meters deep.

    Amazing how our little old damp NZ can produce a natural coal fire hundreds of meters deep in just a few decades. The clue might be in this quote from Nick Smith:

    The smoke is coming from an old mine shaft

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  16. Steve (North Shore) (4,565 comments) says:

    Well if NZ mined the coal in that area there would be none left to burn, problem solved, two birds with one block of coal.
    See how simple it is to fix something you stupid greenies?

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  17. Albert_Ross (298 comments) says:

    Couldn’t agree more trout. My vote and a regular charitable donation would go in a second to an environmental group that showed the slightest modicum of economic literacy and scientific rigour, and I think it’s truly sad that not a single one of them does or seem to have any interest in acquiring it

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  18. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    When has Forest & Bird ever supported any development? Anyone..? Bueller..?

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  19. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    “It’s almost like they need to decide whether they are a conservation group or a lobby group…”

    They have decided. And conservation missed out.

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  20. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    When they change their name to “Forest Deer Chamois Thar Fish and Bird” I might consider joining! :)

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  21. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    Your patience has been rewarded again Minus!!

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  22. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    I have been up in that area, and the smoke can be seen from some distance. My understanding is that a lightning strike started the fire. The shaft mentioned was near the top of the hill concerned.

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  23. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    http://englishrussia.com/2008/03/25/darvaz-the-door-to-hell/

    Perhaps all the Greenies could pop over to study this one and stand to close to the edge. Just thinking! :)

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  24. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    I discovered F+B were populated by lunatics in 1993.
    A researcher at the Uni of Auckland I was talking to said two women from F+B actually threatened to kill her for suggesting that the native rat should not actually be completely wiped out (just controlled) as it is a bad concept generally to completely remove a geno-type (or other such academic wording) from the ecological system.
    They were serious in their hostility and threatening behaviour.

    The final straw was later when some member of F+B told me that John Key wanted to destroy all native bush and natural scenery in NZ so his big business mates could ‘rape the land’.

    Fruitcakes!

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  25. Maggy Wassilieff (409 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris…. some coal seams have been burning for centuries….
    not sure if a little drop of water would put them out
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/52869/5-places-are-still-fire

    I remember the stockton mine burning for years in the 1980s…. don’t know if it still is

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