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Harvesting native trees - estimated versus recovered volumes

Authors: Greg Steward
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2019, Issue N.Z.J.For. 64(4) 2020, pp 11-17, Jan 2020
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Harvesting of native trees from natural stands is managed under the provisions of the Forests Act 1949 through Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Plans and Permits administered by Te Uru Rakau (Forestry NZ). They require continuous cover forestry principles to be applied by specifying (for podocarps) and shadetolerant exposure-sensitive broadleaved hardwood species the removal of single (or small) groups of trees. Stipulations in the Act, such as targeting trees predisposed to early death and windthrow, reflect that much of the available merchantable resource on private land is in old-growth forest. Those applying to harvest native trees are required to provide comprehensive pre-harvest inventory estimates of standing merchantable volume by species before plans are approved. These estimates are among important criteria that govern either how much volume for each species will be permitted for harvest or if a harvest will occur. An important consideration for landowners will be whether the effort and cost in obtaining and registering a plan and undertaking a harvest will result in usable volumes of potentially high-value timber and if it will be profitable.