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Foresters Head to Taranaki


6 June 2013

Foresters Head to Taranaki

Forestry professionals will head to the centre of dairy farming country at the end of this month to attend the NZ Institute of Forestry’s annual conference. Entitled “The Place of Forests in Collaborative Land Use Decisions”, the conference will be of interest to a broad cross section of rural land users, regulators and conservationists and is also the time when the forestry profession recognises its achievers including new Fellows, Forester of the Year and various scholarships awarded through the NZ Institute of Forestry Foundation.

While containing less than 1% of the nation’s productive plantation forest, Taranaki is nevertheless unique in the way land use decision making to balance the multiple use interests of the mountain, the intensive dairying ring plain and the eastern hill country is managed. The drainage of approximately 300 rivers and streams through dairying country creates significant challenges for the control of diffuse pollution and the Taranaki Regional Council’s riparian management programme will be something that delegates will learn about.

However Conference Committee Chair John Schrider says the conference is not just about riparians and water quality; it will also explore the ecological changes that have taken place over 200 years of agricultural development. There is acute awareness in this region that problems and land use decision making to protect and enhance this environment require multidisciplinary resources. The need for economic, social and environmental values to be the responsibility of all land users will be a core component of the conference. The fact that these decisions are increasingly made in a collaborative manner to ensure all interests are considered is a feature of the Taranaki approach.

This conference is a regional case study that highlights the successes and acknowledges the failures of previous land use decision making and will provide delegates with ideas and approaches relevant in other regions.

NZIF President, Andrew McEwen, says the role of trees, and not just commercial exotic species, is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Forestry professionals have an important role to play in the transformation of our landscapes to ensure the indigenous flora and fauna values we hold dear can exist harmoniously with the goals of economic development.

Key speakers will include: Associate Minister for Primary Industries Hon Jo Goodhew; Executive Director of Ecologic Guy Salmon; Chief Executive of Taranaki Regional Council Basil Chamberlain; and Director General of the Department of Conservation Al Morrison. Further details of the 30 June – 3 July event can be found on www.nzifconference.org.nz or by emailing admin@nzif.org.nz.

ENDS

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