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Forest owners want National Enviro Standard

Forest owners say they are thrilled that a National Environmental Standard (NES) for Plantation Forestry is within sight in New Zealand. Source: Scoop Independent News, Timberbiz

Environment minister Nick Smith and associate primary industries minister Jo Goodhew announced that the proposed standard has been cleared by Cabinet and is open for public consultation. All going well it will become law in 2016.

“The standard will give certainty to anyone establishing or harvesting a forest in New Zealand. Rules in all regions will be based on the soil erosion risks posed by a particular class of land, rather than the region in which the forest is located,” said Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes.

“The forest industry is extremely proud of its environmental credentials, which will be reinforced by the new standard. Instead of fighting regional council red tape, we can focus on doing a great job in our forests.

“Regional councils have played an important role in developing the standard, which will make forestry a permitted activity on all land of low erosion risk.

“On land of high erosion risk, resource consents will be needed to ensure that the erosion risks associated with forest roading and harvesting are minimised.”

Mr Rhodes said a spin-off from the NES will be the development of improved environmental management tools that can be used across the country.

Already, refinements are being made to the national soil erosion risk maps that underpin many of the proposed rules. A national fish-spawning calendar is being developed and a wilding pine spread risk calculator has been adopted.