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PUBLISHER: a h & a w reed

John Tenison Salmon
John Salmon made significant contributions to science through his work on insect systematics, but will be most widely remembered for his contribution to fostering the conservation and appreciation of nature.

His father, Charles Salmon, was a passionate outdoorsman & an early conservationist and he campaigned against the felling of native forests around the Tongariro volcanoes, writing many angry newspaper articles on the subject.

In 1960, John published an outspoken book, Heritage Destroyed. The Crisis in Scenery Preservation in New Zealand. This prescient work warned of the dangers of unrestrained and often unthinking development works, usually undertaken in those days by the State. He followed it through with speeches, broadcasts and popular articles, almost single-handedly raising public awareness about conservation issues at a time when there was little interest or concern. He managed to persuade the government of the day to establish the Nature Conservation Council, on which he served as a foundation member from 1963 to 1983. The effort that he mounted came at a critical time in New Zealand’s development, too late perhaps to save many outstanding forests, rivers and geothermal features, but nonetheless in time to fuel an emerging public mood of concern and activism that achieved its first great political victory in 1972, with the halting of plans to raise the level of Lake Manapouri campaign with which John was intimately involved. The subsequent achievements of the conservation movement, including the extensive protection of native forests, the creation of the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment, and the enactment of wide-ranging legislation for sustainable resource management, built on the foundations laid by John’s campaigns during the 1960s.
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  • Seller location: Carterton, Wairarapa, NZ

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