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Environmental thumbs up for new forest owners

Thursday 24 November 2004

Environmental thumbs up for new forest owners

New forestry companies are doing a good job for the environment in the Bay of Plenty.

In spite of major upheavals in ownership, forestry operators have worked to a high standard over the last two years, according to a compliance report by Environment Bay of Plenty.

Rotorua-based compliance officer John Holst told the regional council’s regulation and monitoring committee meeting on Tuesday there were “more players at the table” since Fletcher Challenge Forests sold off its forestry interests to six separate companies.

However, communication with consent holders has actually improved even though there are more parties to deal with, Mr Holst says. “There seems to be far greater sense of ownership, which may be attributable to the breaking up of the forests from one owner to number of owners.”

The report gave details of 58 consents for vegetation removal and land clearance. Just over 70% of sites had high compliance grades, compared to 58% two years ago. The other sites fell in the moderate category, which meant they met with most conditions. No sites had low levels of compliance.

Mr Holst said figures showed a significant improvement. “It was a very pleasing result.”

ENDS

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