After a controversial land swap with the Department of Conservation, Australian company Blackfish can break ground on its $500 million ski field development in Canterbury. Blackfish swapped a 70ha forest block in Banks Peninsula called Ferns Gully for 198ha of conservation land in Crystal Valley, about an hour west of Christchurch.  Blackfish plans on building a 3500-bed alpine village, six new ski trails, a gondola and three high-speed chairlifts. DOC director-general Al Morrison said the swap would result in a net gain for DOC and the preservation of coastal forest blocks was a priority.

Source: Southland Times, 23 March 2011 (AG)


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