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Quick Six - November

NZ Forest Growers Levy Trust Vote 2019

The NZ Forest Growers Levy Trust currently collects 27 cents per tonne/JASm3 or m3 of logs sold to log processors and log exporters. This revenue of approximately $10m per annum is used to support investment in research, health and safety, biosecurity, and a host of other activities that benefit the forestry industry in New Zealand. Through March/April 2019 the Trust will hold a series of public meetings around the country to discuss current projects and future plans. Forest owners will also vote to set the levy for the next six years. Details of the public meetings can be found in the following link.

Britain drive to plant trees

The British government plans to plant more than 11m trees across England with the injection of £60m of new funding over five years, as part of what the government billed as its “drive to preserve the country’s greenery”.

The bulk of the money, £50m, will pay landowners for planting trees that lock up carbon, which observers said raised questions over how accessible those woodlands would be to the public. The Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme, should pay for 10m trees.

The other £10m will be targeted at planting in cities and towns and should fund at least 100,000 more trees.

Indeed, a northern forest of 50m trees is to be planted between Liverpool and Hull over the next 25 years, A vast swathe of woodland will be created over a 120-mile area to improve the environment and help prevent 190,000 homes from flooding. It is expected to boost the economy by over £2b through increased tourism and job creation supporting local businesses.   READ MORE

 

Green light for new particle board processing facility at Kawerau

Chinese company Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group has been given a green light to lease land to build and operate a NZ$100 million-plus particle board factory in Kawerau. Fenglin last year announced plans to establish a plant in Kawerau by 2020 to produce 600,000 cubic metres of panel board a year and generate around 110 new jobs, at an expected cost of NZ$180 million. Fenglin will lease approximately 33 hectares of Maori freehold land owned by Putauaki Trust. Fenglin was founded in 2000 and has three MDF (medium density fibreboard) plants and one particle board plant in China with an annual capacity of 810,000m3. It also owns about 14,000 hectares of forest. 

NZ wilding conifer control

To date, the NZ Government has spent $12.4m on wilding conifer control, with $5.8m from other parties. By 2030 the programme aims to have contained or eradicated all wilding conifers. NZ Biosecurity minister Damien O’Conner spoke recently at the annual conference of the National Wilding Conifer Group.

“Wilding conifers are a seriously established pest in New Zealand and out-compete native plants and wildlife for light and water, infest farmland and native ecosystems and spoil the unique character of iconic natural landscapes such as the high country,” Damien O’Connor said. “Hardy, prolific and carried by wind, wilding conifers cover 5 per cent of our landscape and without intervention would have covered an estimated 20 per cent by 2035”.

“The National Wilding Conifer Control Programme has now treated half a million hectares of land and searched a further million hectares for outliers, with 40,000 hectares of dense and moderate infestation removed – meaning control work has been completed on over a quarter of affected land”.

“Priority areas will now be targeted across another 150,000 hectares in Canterbury, Otago, Southland, Marlborough and the Central North Island”.

“We know the cost of control operations increases if wildings are left to spread so early intervention is the best option. For example, treating light infestations can cost as little as $20 a hectare and dense infestations up to $2,000 a hectare.

“Our success to date is due largely to collaboration. Everyone from central and local government through to landowners, farmers, iwi and community trusts have got stuck in together to control the spread of these invasive trees,” Damien O’Connor said.

 

Provincial Growth Fund to increase LidAR coverage in NZ

Councils in New Zealand will be able to apply for co-funding for three-dimensional mapping of their territories from a $19m grant from the Provincial Growth Fund.  Land Information and Economic Development ministers Eugenie Sage and Shane Jones announced the decision to increase funding the LiDAR, or 3D, mapping because of the need for a national database to assist with land use planning, including for forest planting, agricultural productivity, infrastructure development and planning for the impacts of climate change and flooding.

LiDAR, standing for Light Detection and Ranging data, measures height using laser measurements of the earth's surface to create highly accurate digital terrain models (DTM’s). Forests owners can utilise these maps to plan the most efficient infrastructure. 

Seed banking not an option for more than a third of critically endangered tree species

Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England have discovered that 36% of critically endangered tree species produce recalcitrant seeds. This means the seed cannot tolerate the drying process that is required before freezing, which is a critical process of seed banking. Previous studies estimated around 8% of the world’s tree species produce recalcitrant species. This recent study shows the percentage of plants unable to be preserved via seed banking is much higher within critically endangered species.  READ MORE