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The Conservation of Natural Forest in New Zealand

Authors: J. C. Halkett
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 1983, Issue N.Z.J.For. 28(2) 1983, pp 263-274, Aug 1983
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Conservation is concerned with perpetuating functioning ecosystems from which society is supplied with a sustained yield of resources.

An awareness of natural land values is now widely evident. Publicly owned indigenous forests are recognised as important ecosystems. This view is accommodated in recently evolved management policies and procedures.

It is extremely difficult to assess the worth of non-material commodities in a manner which enables the benefit of the natural condition to be weighed against the advantages of resource development.

The maintenance of soil stability and water quality, the provision of recreational opportunities and tourist revenue, a reservoir of genetic material, the establishment of biological benchmarks and the yield of animals are some of the products and values of natural forest. Timber production needs to be based on the principle of continual supply. While timber management shows promise in some areas, elsewhere difficulties have been encountered. An appreciation of all the interactions between the forest ecosystem components is needed to permit the yield of commodities to be matched with renewal rates.

Natural forest should be accorded full protection consistent with retaining the opportunity for future generations to participate in the management decision-making process.