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Crown Forestry 'a good start to get to one billion tree target'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Forest Owners Association says a just announced new government mandate for Crown Forestry is the best way to start reaching the government’s goal of seeing a billion trees planted over ten years.

FOA President, Peter Clark, says he is sure that the government will need to develop and work with other instruments and industry models over time, but it is a good first step for the government to use its own established business unit in Crown Forestry.

"Crown Forestry is a Forest Owners Association member. It is an instrument of government policy and has a considerable depth of experience and established relationships with landowners."

"A billion-tree planting programme is a challenge, but it is achievable. Seedling stocks are just about all allocated for planting next winter, so the substantial start to expanding the current national forest estate needs to begin in mid-2019, which will be soon enough," Peter Clark says.

"I have no doubt plantation nurseries can gear up to producing the 100 million seedlings which will be required each year to meet the government goal. It is good to see the government has realised it needs to provide a substantial budget to enable Crown Forestry to secure seeding supply and make the arrangements on state and private land to get planting."

Peter Clark says a government focus for assisting forest expansion should be investing in skills training and regional roading infrastructure in particular.

"The government could then get considerable leverage from private sector funding into forestry itself, through a positive operating environment. This would especially be through making the Emissions Trading Scheme more attractive to participate in."

"The government has made it clear that it will not be buying additional land for forest planting. Afforestation of government land is important, but it will not accommodate a billion trees. Iwi, farmers and other investors, both domestic and overseas, will need to make a contribution, in partnership with the government’s regional and climate change goals. The government can’t do it all by itself."

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