Call for calmness on the coast

Wednesday 27 Jun 2018

The head of the Forest Industry Contractors Association has called for calmness by the public in the wake of recent storm damage events on the east coast. CEO Prue Younger says their members fully sympathise with forestry block neighbours who have been impacted, but stresses contractors have been doing an acceptably good job logging difficult country. Logging contractors are willing and able to help in whatever way they can to be “good neighbours” and assist in the cleanup, which is already well underway.

The group is concerned about the pressures some contractors are under, the effects of ongoing negative public and political comment and financial hardship as income drops. Prue Younger has asked for patience and support from everyone affected and involved as we all work together to clean up the storm debris.

Issues around downstream impacts of land use are certainly not a forestry issue alone. New Zealand is dealing with major water quality issues, and forestry is part of that discussion. Any land use has costs and benefits associated with social, economic and environmental outcomes. There needs to be a sound science-based evaluation of land use, whether that involves, forestry, farming or land retirement. In recent years Nelson and Northland have suffered similar events.

The issues of forest debris, land use, soil erosion and sedimentation are complex, as is our geology. There is a lot of scientific knowledge out there, this needs to be reviewed and where there are gaps, further study initiated to improve forest management practices where practicable, or alternate activities on the land where necessary.

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