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Locals call for logging clampdown after Cyclone Gita washes logs onto properties

Residents of communities near Nelson are calling for logging companies to change their practices after logging waste was washed down from the hills during Cyclone Gita.

A Change.org petition has been launched by James Griffiths addressed to Tasman District Council Deputy Mayor Tim King and four others, which aims to address a number of issues.

"Current forestry practices release large volumes of sediment that harm our rivers, estuaries, and sea," the petition reads.

"Considerable damage to private property also results from flash flooding caused by build-up of logging debris in waterways, and slips from clear-cut hillsides and poorly constructed forestry roads.

"Intense storms, such as ex-tropical cyclone Gita, are likely to become more common with climate change.

"We want the Tasman District Council to act with urgency to prevent further damage to our region caused by poor forestry practice."

After Cyclone Gita, footage emerged of flash floods washing large logs and wood debris down a country road.

Properties in Otuwhero Valley near Marahau were close to logging areas during the cyclone and many now have debris left strewn across their land.

More than 170mm of rain fell in some parts of the Woodstock Valley near Motueka as Gita hit.

Marie Palzer, who had logs washed into her horse paddock, told The Nelson Mail "the amount of water that was running through here was so strong".

"At one point me and my brother did a full-on river crossing like bracing each other, walking sideways to get to the other side of this paddock," she said.

"It didn't take long until the next wave came through; all the wood had dammed up and then it broke through which made a massive gush come down.

"If they cleaned all this stuff up from the forestry, it wouldn't be lying here now."

More than a thousand people have signed the petition so far.

Forest Source: 1 NEWS