I'll be the first to admit I was one of the many disgruntled Capetonians to air my unhappiness when SANparks started cutting down the pine trees in Tokai Forest in 2007.
Those pines were beautiful, giving us shade during our many walks and runs through the plantation and of course hard at work converting carbon dioxide back into oxygen. What on earth would possess them to cut those trees down?
Well it turns out after an accidental fire in 1998 they discovered a critically endangered vegetation type - the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. When SANparks took over the management of Tokai Forest in 2007, they decided to reintroduce this very rare species. Initially it was going to be a 25 year project (how's that for long term thinking) but the fires in 2015 somewhat accelerated the process.
Read more about this very interesting project in an article by Arnold Ras on the Wild Card Blog:
Flora lovers can now marvel at the 108 threatened Cape Flats Sand Fynbos plant species, of which 16 are found nowhere else on earth.by Arnold Ras