A Biography of Lake Tūtira
This talk sketches Lake Tūtira’s history from formation to today. Historian Jonathan West will follow in the traces of Herbert Guthrie Smith, whose obsessive records of the changes witnessed while farming by the lake made him the founder of environmental history here. He will take his cue from Guthrie Smith’s first book’s opening lines: ‘The lake on Tutira may be considered the heart of the run. It is the centre of all the station’s life and energy.’ Guthrie Smith preserved the lake as a sanctuary for his beloved birds.
But since the 1950s Lake Tūtira has faced problems – now posed much more widely – of invasive weeds, nutrient pollution, poisonous algal blooms, and mass fish kills. Jonathan will conclude considering the lessons its history provides for our future.
These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the Alexander Turnbull Library and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Recorded live on 6 July 2021.
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