In 1993 The Forests Act 1949 was amended to bring an end to unsustainable harvesting and clear felling of indigenous forest.
Under the Act, indigenous timber can only be produced from forests that are managed in a way that maintains continuous forest cover and ecological balance. Management systems ensure that the forests continuously provide a full range of products and amenities, in perpetuity, while retaining their natural values. Only single trees and small groups of trees can be felled for timber production.
Native timber can only legally be harvested in New Zealand sustainably either under a sustainable indigenous forest management plan or permit.
Sustainable Harvest Plan
A sustainable plan involves assessing the forest and inventory work to establish the species and volumes in the forest, growth rates and finally a conservative allowable annual harvest rate which is usually forty percent less than what is being replaced by natural regeneration and growth in the forest each year.
The bio-diversity of the forest is also assessed with a baseline survey completed by ecologists. A comprehensive biodiversity and pest management plan is then put in place to control pests and noxious animals in the forest such as goats, possums, deer, mustelids (stoats and ferrets) and rats. This is all part of the sustainable forest management and improves the environment dramatically for both flora and fauna and particularly native bird species.
Forest Holdings is committed to spending funds each year on noxious animal and pest control. The work we do in controlling pests is monitored by checking pest densities regularly and assessing permanent vegetation plots. We also have special projects such as blue duck (whio whio) and kaka recovery programs that our timber customers can be involved in.
Sustainable indigenous forest management is a very long term process and the forest should at any time during the term be in a better state than when started. Progress is observed through a series of permanent monitoring plots in the forest.
Ecorakau and Forest Holdings are strongly committed to the principles of sustainable indigenous forest management and enhancing the bio-diversity of our native forests.