Forest practice guides launched

Wednesday 10 Oct 2018

The Forest Owners Association has just launched a series of 28 Forest Practice Guides. The Guides are a joint venture between the forest sector and MPI and were initiated as part of the implementation of the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) that came into force on 1 May.

The NES-PF – a set of nationally applied rules and conditions for plantation forestry was developed to better protect the environment while also increasing operational certainty for foresters. The NES-PF was designed to provide rule consistency for forestry across the country.

The Forest Practice Guides will help industry and councils by providing standard practice guidance to include in management plans as part of requirements under the NES-PF. The guides will be especially useful for smaller companies with less specialist in-house expertise because the information is standardised to enable the forest industry to meet the NES-PF rules and conditions.

FOA president Peter Weir says the guides will help contractors and forest managers implement best practice across all regions.

“They’re freely available and will direct forest owners and managers to other resources and technical specifications. The aim of the guides is to provide clear direction on best practice, and to be inserted into harvest plans so the resources are standardised and easily accessible.”

The Guides offer forest owners and managers guidance in a number of areas of forest operations:

• Earthworks and construction (including planning and design)
• Erosion and sediment control measures
• Construction of river/stream crossings
• Construction of tracks
• Vegetation measures to manage erosion
• Slash management

The Guides take information from earlier work completed by FOA and update it with reference to the new regulations, and to reflect the changing and improving practices of forest operations. They have some technical specifications and detail and link to other documents to ensure regulatory requirements are met.

The Guides themselves are not regulatory, but can be used as references in management plans. When used in this way, the Guides will support part of the compliance obligations under the Resource Management Act. Foresters will still need to work closely with contractors and regional councils to ensure compliance.

The Guides have been updated with content provided by forest managers who have practical experience.

The guides have been developed with support from MPI. They will be updated regularly as practices change and improve.

To download the guides please visit

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