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Kaingaroa Timberlands plantations around Rotorua’s Blue Lake, Tikitapu, are dynamic and cannot remain as they are today.
The management plan for the plantations ensures the recreational, environmental and economic sustainability of the existing exotic forest cover around Tikitapu.
The current stands are all around 90 years old and, like all plantations, require active management to maintain health and vigour, and ensure continuity of forest cover.
The management plan for the forest was developed in consultation with external experts, including independent landscape architects, to protect Tikitapu’s scenic value and water quality. It was approved by the Rotorua District Council in 2006.
The management plan recommends converting the even-aged stands of Douglas fir around Tikitapu to stands of uneven aged Redwoods, over 25 years, in five phases. This process will ensure the stands are healthier, have improved biodiversity with mixed ages, are more capable of withstanding a major storm, and are aesthetically attractive.
Douglas fir is not suitable for mixed-age forestry because it cannot tolerate shade hence the reason for replanting with Redwood.
The area from 20m above the main walking track to the lake margin will have only 15 per cent of trees removed and only in clumps of up to six trees in every 33. All extraction will be with a heavy-lift helicopter to ensure no deterioration in lake water quality.
The forest operations are being undertaken in accordance with resource consent from Rotorua District Council, and Environment Bay of Plenty’s permitted activity standards.
Timberlands Ltd., which manages the forest on behalf of its owners, is continuing to work with local council to ensure water quality is protected.