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CHS WINTER SPEAKER SERIES
14/06/2018 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$10
Wilding conifers – Landscape scale weeding
Keith Briden was born at Christchurch in the late 1950s. In 1977 he joined the New Zealand Forest Service and spent a year at Ashley Hamner and Balmoral Forests. In 1981 he gained a Bachelor of Forestry. Following graduation he worked as a district forester until the demise of the Forest Service in 1987 when he relocated to far north Queensland.
Returning to New Zealand in 1990 Keith joined the Department of Conservation as a scuba diver and launch master based in Picton and helped complete DOC’s first sub tidal survey of the Marlborough Sounds. Keith then spent a year in DOC’s Wellington Head Office in the animal pest section. A year later he escaped head office and worked in DOC’s Napier office as a recreation planner and advisor for pest animal and weed control work. While in Napier Keith wrote the first Wilding Conifer Control Strategy for the Kaweka Range. After five years in sunny Napier another government department restructure saw Keith return to Christchurch to take up a national role in DOC’s Regional Office working as NZ’s key technical advisor for ecological weeds.
With a strong background in ecological weed work and wilding conifer control, Keith could see a looming issue facing New Zealand and has worked tirelessly to support the development of a national wilding conifer strategy and obtain funding. Wilding conifer spread is now recognised as a serious threat to New Zealand landscapes, native plants and animals, farming and water quantity and quality. In the 2016 budget round the government provided an extra $16m for wilding conifer control over four years. This funding is the start of what is going to be a much larger program.
Keith now lives near Taylor’s Mistake and is married to Erin. They have 3 adult sons. Erin is a keen home gardener and Keith gets to garden at the ‘landscape level’ clearing weeds from the entire Taylors Mistake catchment. Keith has won two Weedbuster awards for removal of boneseed and broom at Taylors Mistake, and for native plant restoration.