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Should we start with the good news or the bad news?

We've got some important news about Pringles we need to share with you, and we've made the call – we'll lead with the good news!

The good news

It turns out the area below Pringles is, in fact, a nationally-significant site for alpine lizards – DOC have declared it has "the highest diversity of lizards known on the New Zealand mainland". There are a few lizard species in Pringles, including the nationally vulnerable Orange-spotted gecko and Lakes skinks. This is a pretty big deal, and we're excited to be home to such a rare population of lizards!

The Orange-spotted gecko - how cool is this little guy!? Photo: Dr Mandy Tocher

 The bad news

Unfortunately, this means that Mr Emmerson's cartoon isn't quite right:

Credit: NZ Herald / Rod Emmerson

Our team spent the last year working with one of New Zealand's leading herpetologists (lizard experts) on what we affectionately dubbed the "LMP" – our Lizard Management Plan. We got it to the point where we were confident we were looking after the lizards, and submitted it to the Department of Conservation. DOC has recently decided that because of the national significance of the Pringles site for alpine lizards, they won't be approving our application for a Wildlife Act Authorisation.

We're a bit gutted, but we support DOC's decision, and this means we won't be installing a lift down in Pringles.

The silver lining

Apart from looking after cool little guys like this Lakes skink...

Photo: Dr Mandy Tocher

... we do have some more good news. When the snow and weather allow, we will be opening the Pringles terrain up for "slackcountry" access – it'll be patrolled, and you'll be able to traverse out to the bottom of Valley View. We've also got this shiny lift that we upcycled and brought up to modern standards to use somewhere else! Our team are spending some time figuring out where the lift will be best placed in order to complement our future lift network plans, and we're working hard to have something in place for Winter 2021.

While we're super disappointed to not get Pringles, we're excited about the future – there's so much going on up here over the next couple of years and we hope you're all as stoked to see how it all turns out as we are!

About the Author

Jen Houltham

Communications

Jen is Cardrona's resident word nerd. She's out & about on the mountain most days; a big fan of carving groomed runs, powder hunting & laps through Lil' Bucks!