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Northland plantation forestry owners and contractors keen to better manage their earthworks and harvesting are being urged to attend one of five free local authority workshops being offered around the region next week.
The workshops in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Whangarei, Dargaville and Maungaturoto are being run by the Northland Regional Council and are based on the recently released ‘Forestry Earthworks & Harvesting Guidelines for Northland’.
Franco Meyer, an Environmental Monitoring Officer with the regional council, says plantation forestry earthworks and harvesting are permitted under the council’s Regional Water and Soil Plan for Northland, subject to conditions.
“The new guidelines are a tool to help forestry owners and contractors meet those regional plan rules and were developed over the past two-and-a-half-years by the council and the RMA Forestry Development Group, which is made of representatives of the local forestry industry.”
Mr Meyer says the comprehensive guidelines – which run to almost 100 pages - were launched in late August at a Whangarei workshop attended by about 180, mainly larger scale owners and operators in the forestry industry. However, the guidelines are also applicable to smaller scale forest owners and loggers, who still need to comply with the regional rules for forestry earthworks and harvesting.
“The workshops will provide participants the opportunity to find out about practices that will help them meet those rules.”
Mr Meyer says failure to follow appropriate practices when developing and harvesting forests can result in unacceptable environmental effects, including soil erosion and pollution of waterways.
Where this happens, the forestry owner and/or contractor may be liable to formal enforcement action, however, the council prefers education to enforcement wherever possible.
“We want all forestry owners and contractors to follow the guidelines so that the earthworks and harvesting they undertake are more likely to have acceptable environmental effects, which will be of benefit to Northland’s environment.”
He says the workshops will run at the following times and venues:
• Kaitaia; Tuesday 9 October, 9am, Returned Services Association, 12 Matthews Ave
• Kaikohe; Tuesday 9 October , 3pm, Returned Services Association, 158 Broadway
• Whangarei; Wednesday 10 October, 9am, Glenbervie Hall, Glenbervie
• Dargaville; Wednesday 10 October, 3pm, Town Hall, 37 Hokianga Rd
• Maungaturoto; Thursday 11 October, 9am, Maungaturoto Sports Club, Bickerstaffe Rd.
Mr Meyer says a compact disc of the guidelines will be provided to workshop participants.
To register – or for further information – contact Franco Meyer on (0800) 002 004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org