The Mountain Club is heavily involved in various conservation issues pertaining to our wilderness and mountain areas in Southern Africa.
Pine Busters are a group of volunteers drawn from MCSA KZN Section, the online forum www.vertical-endeavour.com, and unaffiliated members.
We have recognised the serious threat that the invasive alien species, Pinus Patula, poses to the ‘Berg, and concentrate on the more isolated trees and clusters that EKZN Wildlife teams are hard pressed to get to.
The area from Hospitaalspruit to the top of Makhulumane Gorge, including the upper slopes of Eagle Gorge, is to all intents and purposes, clear of pines. This is an area of approx 1200 ha. We are concentrating on the lower Eagle Gorge at the moment, and are starting to see good progress.
We try to do 4 working hikes in a year, 3 in the area that we are concentrating on at the time, and one in a different resort, just for a change.
Work is strictly no pressure and at the pace which people are comfortable with, with people helping with admin and record-keeping, carrying of equipment to site, and the actual felling/treating work.
Trees are preferably felled, but otherwise girdled (ringbarked) if they are too big.
As we are all volunteers, we try to make the hikes as fun as possible, while still doing something very worthwhile for our Drakensberg.
SEARCH & RESCUE
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