Don’t plantation forests ruin the land?
Many forest growers in New Zealand are certified by the internationally recognised by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) which sets a demanding benchmark for environmental protection.
All forestry management practices are bound by the requirements of the Resource Management Act, a level of environmental responsibility that does not exist in a number of other countries.
In 2007 the New Zealand Forest Owners’ Association released a comprehensive Environmental Code of Practice which covers areas such as the protection of waterways, endangered species, historical sites, sediment control and the management of fuel, oil and wastes – to name just a few. This was acknowledged by the NZ Fish and Game Council, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and other organisations as leading the way for other sectors.
While pine is the predominant planted forest type in New Zealand, NZ Wood supports all plantation forestry. NZ Wood supports the growth of diverse plantation species in New Zealand.
The harvesting of trees in plantation forests involves careful planning and evaluation, and plantation forestry is a more environmentally friendly, and is more effective in managing erosion, than competing land-uses.
As an example an independent study by Hawkes Bay Regional Council in the Pakuratahi Catchment provides some information on land and water effects of pasture compared with forests.