Studies into future of forestry on erosion-prone hills; Waratah and PF Olsen win safety awards; how Marlborough foresters plan to attract young workers; Louie and His ‘Hard Case Buggers’ – book launch; Tatra takes a big load; Eastland forestry awards; bigger machines debut at Elmia Wood 2017; DANA forestry conference is well timed; check tracks are compatible.
THE SUITABILITY OF REPLANTING RADIATA Pine on highly erosion-prone land in the Gisborne region is the subject of two studies that have recent gained government funding.
They are two of eight projects sharing in $3.3 million of new funding announced under the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research programme.
A question mark hangs over the future of forests planted on fragile soils on the East Coast in the wake of Cyclone Bola in 1988. These forests will be coming up for harvesting in the coming years and there is increasing pressure from locals about runoff and debris causing flooding and damage after major rain events.
Landcare Research is to conduct a study on the best options for land use following Radiata harvesting.
Landcare says: “The vulnerability to future storm events is forcing a rethink of the most appropriate long-term use for the most at-risk parts of the East Coast forest estate.
“We will assess the potential impacts associated with land-use change from Pinus radiata plantations to natural regeneration or Mānuka plantations against the status quo of production forestry.”
Meanwhile, Scion will conduct a parallel study on the economics and carbon impacts of transitioning clear-fell planted forests to permanent cover forests on severely erosion prone steep lands.
Scion says: “There is no knowledge on how to transition from current Radiata clearfell regimes or what economic or carbon effects there may be.”
Researchers aim to provide a suite of new options for steepland forests to be considered by investors and policy makers to help grow the economy and meet our climate commitments through maintaining our forest based carbon stocks or establishing new long-term carbon forests.
Two other forestry-related projects to receive funding include a study on converting some Māori land to native forest carbon farming, which could offer financial benefits and environmental and cultural co-benefits for Māori landowners and carbon emitters alike
Whilst another study will look at whether several exotic and indigenous forest species, other than Radiata pine and Douglas-fir, could be highly suitable for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.