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close this bookForest codes of practice. Contributing to environmentally sound forest operations. (FAO Forestry Paper - 133) (1996)
close this folderNew Zealand forestry and the forest code of practice
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAbstract
View the documentNew Zealand forestry
View the documentNZ’s environmental legislation
View the documentNZ forest code of practice
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReference
View the documentAuthor’s contact information
View the documentAnnex. Reproduction of a page on “Roading” from the operational database.

NZ forest code of practice

The aim of the LIRO NZ Forest Code of Practice (FCoP) is “to plan, manage and carry out forestry operations in a sustainable manner”, and this is closely aligned with the purpose of the RMA. The FCoP was first published in 1990, after three years of consultative work. It was revised and updated in 1993, primarily because of the introduction of the RMA. The FCoP is intended to be a very practical document for both the environmental planning of forestry operations, and an information base on the forestry operations themselves.

The FCoP commences with a page on the beneficial aspects of the relationship between forestry, the environment and the community. The objectives of the FCoP relate to the protection or maintenance of the following ten common production forestry values: soil and water, scenery, cultural, recreation, science and ecology, forest health, site productivity, off-site impacts, safety, and commercial viability. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but should provide a useful starting point for addressing specific issues.

Environmental Planning Process

Thorough environmental planning is considered to be the key to achieving the best possible environmental outcome. Figure 2 shows the Environmental Planning procedure as outlined in the FCoP (use of the Code section), in addition to indicating where the other sections of the code are to be used.

Minimising adverse effects of operations starts in the planning phase through clear and systematic identification of values. The Objectives section of the FCoP lists ten common values related to production forestry. These common values are not always present, but by consultation with a wide range of local interest groups, the important site-specific values can be recognised.

Impact of Operations

Considering how operations might impact on the identified values can be achieved through a systematic matrix checklist such as the one provided in the FCoP (Figures 3 and 4). The checklist is designed for easy use in the field, which can highlight operations with potentially high impacts at an early stage. It is not intended to substitute for a comprehensive environmental plan for the whole forest, but to provide site specific information. Figure 3 shows how operations are rated using the FCoP checklist. The + and - indicate an expected positive or negative effect respectively.


Figure 2. The FCoP Environmental Planning Process

Fig 3. The FCoP Checklist Rating System

Length of time affected

Degree of risk/potential effect

Potential impact

Checklist symbol

Short term

Minor

Minimal

·

Long term

Minor

Low

+ or -

Short term

Major

Intermediate

++ or --

Long term

Major

High

+++ or ---

Example

Figure 4 is an example checklist from a Wairarapa woodlot. By consulting the landowner, Department of Conservation, Fish and Game Council and the Regional Council, the values of water quality, wetland areas, slope stability, erosion and domestic water supply were established for the site. The checklist is then systematically filled out to highlight areas of concern relative to the identified values for this woodlot.

From the checklist, for example, we see that felling of the woodlot will potentially be very beneficial in the short term for slope stability. This is because many of the larger trees are starting to fall or slide on the slopes creating erosion scars. Similarly, roading and tracking could potentially give significant long term adverse impacts on water quality, highlighting the need for careful road and track location. Road maintenance and oversowing are highlighted as measures which could mitigate impacts on water quality.

Selecting Cost-Effective Low-Impact Techniques

Mitigation methods or techniques must be implemented by forest managers and supervisors and carried out by individual operators. The FCoP Operations Database contains detailed information that helps identify risks associated with certain operations. It lists key consideration factors for the stages of forest development: access, land preparation, establishment, tending, protection, and harvesting. For each stage the range of methods available to undertake the operation, the potential adverse impacts, and methods for reducing those adverse impacts are listed. Annexed to this paper is a copy of one page on Roading from the Operation Database. In addition to the “Sidecasting & Cut and Fill” technique, “Endhaul” is also discussed in the Roading section.

Figure 4. Example checklist for a Wairarapa woodlot.

Identified Environmental Values

Operation

Water Quality

Wetland Areas

Slope Stability

Erosion

Water Supply

Access






Roading, tracking

-

·

---

--

--

Land preparation






Herbicide appl.

--

·

·

·

--

Over sowing

++

·

+

+

·

Tracking

--

·

---

---

--

Grazing

--

---

---

---

--

Establishment






Planting

+

·

+++

+++

++

Releasing

·

·

·

·

--

Grazing

---

---

---

---

--

Fertilising

--

·

+

+

---

Tending






Pruning

+

·

·

++

·

Waste thinning

++

+

+++

+++

·

Protection






Animal control

·

·

·

·

--

Road maintenance

--

·

--

--

-


- long term

++

·

+++

+++

++

Weed control

--

--

·

·

·

Harvesting






Roading, tracking

---

·

---

---

---

Landings

---

·

---

---

·

Felling

·

++

++

·

·

Processing

++

·

·

·

·

Extraction

---

--

--

---

--

Stream crossings

---

-

-

---

·

Transportation

·

·

-

-

·

Obtaining Approvals and Monitoring Performance

Operations that potentially have a significant impact on the environment, such as earthworks or vegetation removal, can require a resource consent from the district or regional council. It is important to ensure the correct approvals have been obtained prior to commencing operations.

Performance monitoring is expected to be the last step essential for achieving the best possible outcome. Post-operational monitoring will help ensure that adverse effects on the identified values have been minimised. Implemented alongside a regular maintenance program, monitoring can continue to protect the site values, and prevent possible problems. A common example of inadequate post-harvest management is poor road, track and landing maintenance. Failure to check-up on a regular basis is often the reason for continued erosion and water quality problems.