Regenerating New Zealand: Using nature to restore forests

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The documentary, “Fools and Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest,” features botanist and nature buff Hugh Wilson and his work to regenerate 1,500 hectares (3,706 acres) of native forest in New Zealand
  • The film shows how conservationists used the power of nature to regenerate native forests
  • Under the theory of “minimal interference,” Wilson and others embraced the presence of an exotic native “weed” called gorse to turn pastureland into a thriving forest
  • Gorse, which is hated and considered a nuisance by pastural farmers, helped regenerate forests by providing a canopy for native forest plants to grow and thrive
  • Restoring forests provides many benefits, including an increase in native vegetation and biodiversity, improved water flow and carbon sequestration, which help fight climate change by capturing excess atmospheric carbon and storing it in the soil

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