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Forestry Holds Up Well in Series of Intense Storm Events

The outcome of recent heavy weather in Hawke's Bay graphically shows the effective erosion protection afforded by forest cover – in this instance Radiata pine (see photo below).

A large body of research both internationally and in New Zealand as well as extensive anecdotal evidence supports the fact that forest cover is the most effective way of protecting vulnerable land-classes from highly destructive erosion. Why is it then that it is taking so long for the 100s of thousands of hectares of such land to be developed into the more appropriate forestry land-use? Not only does erosion clearly have a detrimental effect on the productivity of land directly affected, it also has considerable down-stream impacts that are not adequately costed into the land-use (e.g. siltation of water-ways, increased flooding, inundation for downstream infrastructure such roads, buildings and bridges) – see also Clarky's Comment.