Friday Offcuts – 13 May 2022

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Much of the recent focus on improving efficiencies in forest operations has been at the end of the forest rotation. Worker safety and the growing volume of logs being extracted from steeper slopes has led to research and innovation that’s brought in automation and robotics to most wood harvesting operations. The focus increasingly is switching to establishment and silviculture. An array of mechanised tree planting systems are being trialled by forest companies and are already been used commercially in both New Zealand and Australia.

Mechanised planting operations – both from this region – and internationally were a focus for the just completed ForestTECH 20212-22 event. A series of trials and commercial planting is underway this planting season and will be profiled to the wider industry as part of the November ForestTECH 2022 event. In-forest videos and a write-up of some of these mechanised planting systems in operation have already been posted out to the ForestTECH community. Last Friday came the welcome announcement that another NZ$25.5 million has just been secured for a new seven-year Precision Silviculture development project in New Zealand. The objective is to progress some of this early work underway in automating nursery production, tree planting and silviculture.

Aligned to new silvicultural innovations, Australian plantation forest managers increasingly have been showing an interest in the potential use of mechanical or robotic tree pruning systems. Some of the earlier interest stems from the opportunity of pruning outer trees of forest stands to help with fire suppression. FWPA commissioned an independent global review of mechanical tree pruning technologies currently being used for plantation forest management internationally. The report has just been completed and it’s now available to the wider industry (link below). And out of Sweden, this week we’ve built in a video detailing a Swedish company that’s been working on their own light weight 6 metre diameter drone (think about that for a minute), under which, a 60kg pruning and harvesting saw is fitted. The concept is that you can thin – with a drone – and from the air.

A High Court decision late last week siding with a small local Council was an interesting development for the local industry. Differential rates for forestry in the Wairoa District on New Zealand’s East Coast are more than twice that of commercial properties, four times that of residential properties, and more than five times the rates being paid by farmers. The forestry industry sought a judicial review of Wairoa District Council's new differential rating system but the application and all claims were knocked back late last week. Disconcertingly, forestry in the decision was unfairly being blamed for “reducing the well-being” of the area. As well as being singled out and targeted in the Wairoa district, unfortunately the court’s decision could now well reverberate around the country.

And finally, in the wood residues and energy generation space, biomass got yet another boost with the NZ Government announcing that they’ve setting aside funding to convert all remaining coal boilers in schools with renewable woody biomass or electric heating sources by 2025. As we’ve reported before, demand for wood residues continues to really ramp up. The economics are now starting to make sense and it’s encouraging forestry companies and those looking to residues from wood harvesting operations to co- ordinate regional fuel supplies and deliveries. And in Australia, a AU$48.2 million grant through the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative was announced at Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill, where a new Energy from Waste (EfW) facility is to be co-located. More on wood residues will come in future issues. And, that’s it for this week.

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Forest industry unable to overturn rates increase

In New Zealand, a small district in a high deprivation area has won a major victory over the forestry sector, with a judge agreeing a council had the right to increase rates on forestry land due to “negative community wellbeing”. NZ Forest Owners Association Inc has been unsuccessful in its application for a High Court judicial review of Wairoa District Council’s decision to increase rates on forestry land.

The association was representing seven substantial forestry companies that had about 52,000 hectares in the district. The council, which has a small rating base of about 8300, overhauled its system to make rates more affordable for residents and small commercial properties. The changes increased rates for high value properties, although it did not result in the council collecting more in rates.

Forestry was most impacted, with 115 ratepayers in the forestry sector paying NZ$334,000 more. The increase came about from additional costs for roading maintenance and an “increase to reflect the negative community wellbeing impacts of the industry on the district”.

The review was heard by Justice Christine Grice in the High Court at Gisborne in February. The association argued the rating decision was “unfair and unreasonable and in particular improperly targeted forestry because they were wealthy”. It said the council failed to take into account environmental wellbeing and climate change, and wrongly assumed that forestry was the cause of negative wellbeing.

It also said the council was using the Rating Act as a means of discouraging the conversion of productive land to forestry “because it had no powers to regulate against conversion of farmland for forestry use”.

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For further coverage on this announcement click here

Source: Stuff, NZ Herald

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NZ$25.5 m for Precision Silviculture development

A ‘smart spade’ which identifies exactly where to plant a tree seedling is just one of the new technologies in the seven-year NZ$25.5 million Precision Silviculture development project.

The newly elected President of the Forest Owners Association, Grant Dodson, says the just announced joint government funded project to bring mechanisation and robots to the production of tree seedlings and the tending of plantations covers a wide range of technologies.

“It’s not a single Eureka discovery which is going to make all this work. It’s combining, for instance, a planter with a sensor and linking it to electronic mapping. The map sends a beep signal to the planter that they need to go a couple of metres up or along the slope to put the seedling in. The end result is a much more optimally spaced plantation forest which makes for better growth and easier and safer harvesting.”

Grant Dodson says that the growth in mechanical harvesting over the past decade already shows that using machinery results in greater productivity and a much safer workplace.

“In harvesting, we are now onto our next phase, developing robot operations, particularly for sorting and grading logs. There is great opportunity to apply these technologies to the nursery and forest growing operations.”

Grant Dodson says the Government’s Fit for a Better World roadmap for increased food and fibre exports heavily relies on forestry, to deliver an extra NZ$2.6 billion in export revenue by 2030. “That’s more growth than is expected out of the whole pastoral sector combined.”

“The development of mechanised thinning and pruning will not only make these operations safer, more efficient and more precise, but also enable them to integrate into mechanical extraction of now increasingly valuable forest biomass,” National Research Manager, Paul Adams says.

“Using machinery and remote sensing through our silviculture operations lets us keep very accurate records of how well the trees in the forests are doing. “At the moment the usual way of assessing the growth and quality of a forest is through someone going in and measuring a few samples. Using technology to measure the development of each and every tree and batch of seedlings would be a quantum leap in management and ultimately much more precise breeding selection as well.”

Paul Adams also says remote sensing will enable the already small volume of herbicide use in forest nurseries to be reduced. “And we are looking at using water retaining gels for the seedling roots, which is not practical at present. That could extend the planting season from four to six months and into drier areas and periods, which will occur in most regions with climate change”.

The Government is contributing NZ$10.2 million to the project through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.

Photo: Henry Fear, Henry Fear Contracting & Hon Stuart Nash, Minister of Forestry

Source: Forest Owners Association

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Parkside to close historic Greenbushes Mill

In a sad day for the Western Australian forestry industry, Parkside has been forced to close its historic Greenbushes Mill. As a result, more than 50 local employees will be stood down. Forest Industries Federation of WA (FIFWA) Chief Executive Officer Adele Farina said the news came as a blow to industry and the Greenbushes community, particularly given the State Government’s commitment to “business as usual” for industry until 2024.

“Our thoughts are with the Parkside management and their employees during this difficult time, and I know the owners and board of Parkside are extremely disappointed with having to make this decision,” Ms Farina said. “This situation is a direct result of the State Government’s political decision to end native forestry by the end of 2023. Government has been standing on the hose of timber supply and deliberately holding back access to higher yielding coupes, resulting in a significant reduction in log supply to Parkside and other businesses.

“Despite the Premier’s assurances that it would be ‘business as usual’ for industry until that time, the reality has been quite the opposite. Had that commitment been honoured, the town of Greenbushes would not be facing this grim situation and workers would remain employed for at least a further 12-18 months.” Parkside’s green and dry mill at Greenbushes will close on Friday 13 May, while Parkside’s Nannup and Manjimup facilities will continue to operate.

The timber industry in Greenbushes dates back to 1894, when the first mill was built in the town. Parkside’s Greenbushes facility was built in the 1950s and is known to many as Whittakers’ Mill. Parkside purchased the mill in 2019 and was actively encouraged and praised by the State Government for its significant investment, which now totals more than AU$75 million.

Ms Farina said the online portal allowing impacted workers to access compensation packages was still not open and urged the State Government to take action. “FIFWA has been in discussions with the State Government to allow workers to access resources through the Native Forestry Transition Group as soon as possible,” she said. “This all should have been in place by now and immediate support for these people and the local community is essential.”

For further coverage on the mill closure, click here

Source: Forest Industries Federation of WA



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A 6.2m electric drone for forest thinning

Airforestry has been in stealth mode since the start of 2020. But now they finally reveal their pioneering technology for forest management.

“We have been working in secret for almost two years and already have paying customers among Europe’s largest forest owners. But now it’s time for our public launch. We want to tell you about our concept, which is to thin trees from the air with electric drones “, says Caroline Walerud, who is co-founder and chairman of Airforestry, which has 13 employees in Uppsala.

The drone - Their high-capacity drone is 6.2 metres in diameter. “With it, we are building the forestry of the future. With the drone, trees can be thinned from the air and then transported to the nearest road. We design according to a development process that includes traceability. It has a specially designed structure in carbon fibre and angled rotors, to achieve the precision flying necessary to carry the tool and tree”.

The harvesting tool A 60 kg light harvesting tool is carried by the drone to the selected tree. Once in place, the tool grabs the top of the tree, hugs it, prunes off the branches on the way down and then saws off the trunk. Thereafter, the tool secures the tree so that the drone can carry it all the way to the nearest road. This is a completely new way of thinning a forest.

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Source: Airforestry



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AU$350m hardwood plantation deal announced

Midway Limited, forestry owner, processor, and wood fibre exporter based in Geelong, , has announced the sale of 17,000 ha blue gum plantations in Victoria to overseas investors, MEAG. The Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) welcomes the announcement, CEO Deb Kerr said.

In addition to purchasing the existing Midway plantations, MEAG will invest AU$200m over the next five years to establish greenfield hardwood plantations in south-west Victoria to underpin supply to Midway over the next 35 years.

“The announcement shows significant international support for investment in Victoria’s forestry sector. MEAG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Munich RE, currently manages 339billion euros ($515 billion) worth of investments and has had a long and proud history of investment in the forestry sector.

“Today’s announcement clearly shows that the world recognises Victoria as a valuable region for plantation investment with potential to grow the plantation estate into the future. We congratulate Midway and MEAG on this significant investment relationship and look forward to welcoming MEAG Munich RE”, Ms Kerr concluded.

Source: Victorian Forest Products Association

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AU$48.2m grant for Maryvale Energy project

The Maryvale Energy from Waste (EfW) project has received an AU$48.2 million grant through the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). The Hon Darren Chester MP, Member for Gippsland confirmed the grant at Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill, where the EfW facility will be co-located. The Maryvale EfW facility will reduce the site’s reliance on gas and electricity and assist in securing its energy requirements into the future.

The EfW facility will process 325,000 tonnes of residual waste, recovering valuable energy that would otherwise be lost to landfill. It will reduce net greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria by an estimated 270,000 tonnes annually and provide a sustainable efficient waste management solution aligned to the circular economy.

“With half of the project’s waste supply already committed, we are securing the remaining volume required through numerous council tender processes currently underway in metro Melbourne and regional Victoria. We expect to move to financial close for the project in the second half of 2022, so that construction can begin,” said Mr David Jettner, General Manager Opal Corporate Development & Strategic Projects.

The Maryvale EfW project is aligned with the principles of the circular economy and will bring state-of-the-art alternative energy technology to Gippsland. It will offer local and metropolitan councils and commercial customers a competitive waste management solution that will divert waste from landfill, reduce emissions and deliver a range of social benefits.

The project investment of over AU$600 million will create more than 500 jobs in Victoria and Gippsland during the construction phase, and support 450 Victorian jobs including flow on once operational. Construction is planned to commence in 2022 with the facility starting operations in late 2025.

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Autonomous pruning: the future of forest management

With anticipated future innovations, this type of technology could be used to support bushfire risk management, improve the economic value of the nation’s timber resource, and overcome occupational health and safety risks.

The recently completed report, A review of current mechanical & robotic tree pruning equipment, was developed by the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Forest Research Institute (FRI) and international research partners.

“In recent years, increased interest has been expressed by Australian plantation forest managers in the potential use of mechanical or robotic tree pruning systems,” said lead author Mark Brown, Professor of Forestry Operations at USC and Director of the Forest Industry Research Centre, who led the review.

“Meanwhile, Australian researchers agree there could be potential value in importing and testing specific commercial solutions, or even designing and developing specific solutions domestically.”

Before committing to significant financial investment in this space, FWPA commissioned an independent global review of mechanical tree pruning technologies currently being used in plantation forest management, as well as the prospective development of future technologies both domestically and internationally.

A technical desktop review was used to inform the report, alongside a review of academic literature published in the last five years and industry journals published in the last two years. Information was collected on each identified system of interest, covering capabilities and performance, while considering stem and branch size, height, tree age, species, trees per hour and the impact of gradient.

Equipment was also compared for technological readiness, capital and operating costs, range of application, and the general strengths and weaknesses for potential use in the Australian setting.

“While the mechanics of these inventions have improved, the agility and range of application are still limited, in particular when applied to radiata pines,” said co-author of the report Dr Sam Van Holsbeeck, a research fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast who worked closely with Brown on the review.

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The full report can be found by visiting www.fwpa.com.au/resources

Source: FWPA R&D Works



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Biomass replacement for school coal boilers

Thanks to a NZ$10-million dollar investment, all remaining coal boilers in New Zealand schools will be replaced with renewable woody biomass or electric heating sources by 2025 reducing carbon emissions by around 35,400 tonnes over 10 years, Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced.

The move is part of the latest allocation from the Government’s NZ$220 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund which supports the Carbon Neutral Government Programme, which has already achieved an emissions reduction of 433,981 tonnes of carbon over ten years – the equivalent of taking 17,400 cars off the road.

“I am delighted to announce an end to dirty coal-powered boilers in our schools. This investment means more young people will be kept warm and healthy at school, using clean, green, low-carbon energy,” said James Shaw.

“To date, the School Coal Boiler Replacement Programme has prioritised schools with the oldest and least efficient boilers, but today’s commitment is a major expansion of the programme, and means that around 180 schools with coal boilers will be in a position to prioritise the transition to clean energy”.

Other co-funding announced will enable the replacement of additional fossil-fuelled boilers across the Health, and Tertiary Education sectors, and a further 12 fleet electrification projects in the State sector. The investment will bring the total number of EVs co-funded since the fund’s establishment to 978.

Southland has led the charge within New Zealand in encouraging schools and larger facilities such as hospitals to convert their heat plant from coal to to biomass. As part of the upcoming Residues2Revenues 2022 event being run in Rotorua on 26-27 July, Great South will be outlining a raft of initiatives that have been undertaken in the lower South Island to encourage conversion and how they're working with industry to co-ordinate disparate supplies of wood residues to a growing number of end users across the region. Details on the full conference, workshop and exhibition programme can be found on the event website.



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Why do we love wood but hate forestry?

Opinion Piece: Nick Steel, CEO, Tasmanian Forest Products Association

A colleague told me an interesting story recently. He was at a dinner party and the age-old question of “what do you do for a living” came up. Forestry was his answer to which typically, some in the room frowned. A short conversation about the merits of local forestry ensued and the conversation moved on.

A while later one of the people in that conversation announced that her long awaited Ikea table had finally arrived. He asked her if it bothered her that Ikea had been accused of using illegally sourced timber and that there was a chance that this purchase supported that?

Her response was merely more than a shrug and great disappointment that he had “ruined her moment”. It was clear that she was happy to be anti-forestry, yet her love of her new Ikea table overrode any desire to consider the ethics of that timber.

The fact is many people don’t care where their timber products come from. What was the last timber or paper/cardboard product that you bought? Was it imported from deforested land or was it from sustainable regenerated forests? It’s a question we need to be asking, as addressing climate change is dependent on both stopping deforestation and reducing emissions.

The clear message from the Paris Agreement and the United Nations IPCC report is that carbon neutral isn’t enough – carbon negative must be achieved. Yet the climate benefits of production forests are increasingly being challenged and used as a weapon by some in the environmental movement, leading to confusion and doubt as to the role for forestry in climate change mitigation.

But it gets worse, Dr Craig Brown recently wrote (Mercury 28 April) that an aluminium smelter driven by hydro-electricity has “very low embodied carbon”. The case was to somehow suggest that aluminium has better environmental credentials than timber.

Greens senator Peter Wish-Wilson recently tweeted about the merits of green steel. Well Senator you don’t have to put “green” in front of forestry, as we are already there. So toxic is the “anything but forestry” mantra that environmentalists are now arguing that non renewables are a viable replacement to carbon storing timber.

I think we all agree that meeting the challenges ahead is going to be hard and will require a substantial amount of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, in conjunction with deep reductions in emissions.

The most prominent removal strategy in global modelling is afforestation/reforestation. But afforestation initiatives for climate change mitigation commonly promote the establishment of conservation forests only, rather than production forests. Production forests can provide climate change mitigation and emissions reduction through displacement of carbon-intensive building products.

Studies, such as the ones done by Fabiano Ximenes, Senior Research Scientist at the NSW Dept. of Primary Industries show that managed production forests deliver greater climate benefit than unharvested conservation forests, and the benefits compound over sequential harvests.

Of course, this isn’t to say we shouldn’t value our reserved forests, as around 50% of the state is reserved forests, but it is to say that the climate benefits of production forests, which are increasingly being challenged by the anti-forestry cause, need to be front and centre in any genuine conversation about climate change mitigation.

The argument that reserved forests alone are a silver bullet is flawed. The carbon sequestration potential in forests is finite and conservation forests are at best carbon neutral, as once forests reach maturity, the rate of sequestration slows until an equilibrium is reached.

Carbon sequestration and storage in forest products from managed forests is infinite and achieves the goals of being carbon negative by delivering both removal and storage of carbon from the atmosphere and reducing reliance on high emitting materials.

In addition, we know that we need to ensure the security of our domestic timber supply, the current shortages in the building industry have taught us that, but it goes much further than that. We have a responsibility to grow timber.

Failure to produce these products domestically will lead to greater pressure on international markets, and potentially shift demand to regions where unsustainable forest management adversely impacts climate and biodiversity.

Timber shortages are a global issue and there is currently not enough timber to supply the world’s needs. We have a responsibility as a global citizen to grow and harvest our fair share of timber, to do our share of the heavy lifting and produce at least enough forest products for our own domestic needs, if not more.

All countries that can produce sustainable forestry share this responsibility. It’s not acceptable that we would push this responsibility to countries where deforestation is rife and conversion from forest to pastures common practice.

Despite attempts by some to dismiss the reality of what forestry looks like in Borneo or the Amazon, shortages create demand and high demand can result in poor practices and illegal forestry which goes against all the principles of climate change mitigation.

I told the story at the start because we need to think about and care where our timber comes from. This is important because the need for production forests globally is going to increase as we decarbonise the economy and those production forests need to remain as working forest.

We all love wood, so let’s start recognising and loving responsible and renewable forestry so we can continue to produce wood that we are proud of.

Source: Tasmanian Forest Products Association

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New video launched on Tasmanian forest products

The Tasmanian Forest Products Association is pleased to release their new promotional video. The aim of this campaign is to educate the public about:

a) the forestry products that are in their lives every day

b) the need for forestry products

c) process of creating those products (growing trees)

d) the people/industries that forestry supports and supplies



For more information visit tasmanianforestry.com.au/

Source: Tasmanian Forest Products Association

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WA Forestry Minister’s timber yield claims refuted

Forestry Australia’s Western Australian Branch has refuted claims made by Minister for Forests Dave Kelly who suggested timber yields in WA’s forests are declining, that the state’s forests are no longer productive, and that the decision by the State Governments to end native forest harvesting is based on “science”.

Chair of the WA Branch of Forestry Australia, Brad Barr said there was no available evidence to support the claims. “There is no available evidence in Western Australia to support the State Government’s claims that timber yields are declining and that WA’s State Forests are no longer productive,” Mr Barr said.

“Forestry Australia, representing scientists, professionals and growers who manage, study and care for our forests, wrote to Minister Kelly in March 2022 seeking evidence of this science. No answer has been forthcoming.

“It is the statutory responsibility of the Conservation Commission to provide advice to the Minister for the Environment about the level of sustained yield that could be provided by WA’s magnificent multiple use State Forests. To the best of our knowledge, the Conservation Commission provided no correspondence to Government to the effect that a conclusion could be drawn that “the science tells us that the industry is no longer sustainable.

“Forestry is a scientific discipline, informed by careful study of forest ecosystems. Critical to that is measurement of trees, to determine the rate of growth. Long term measurement plots have not shown that tree growth has stopped, despite the clear reduction in rainfall since the 1970’s.”

“Recent scientific research, published in the journal Climate Dynamics, concluded that the recent decline in rainfall in SW Western Australia since 2000 is not unusual in its magnitude or duration compared to rainfall variability over the past seven centuries. We’ve been lured into an invalid comparison period – the twentieth century was actually the wettest in seven centuries. The resilient forests of WA have survived and thrived in much drier conditions in the past.

“Forestry Australia notes that the 2014-2023 Forest Management Plan (FMP) document, and its various independent reviews (most recently in 2019) have all reiterated that the potential effects of climate change on the growth rate of jarrah and karri trees have been applied when projecting future yields. The FMP settings for future tree growth was “high climate change severity assumed”. And even then, a further ten-percent was deducted from calculated sustainable yields, just to be on the safe side.

“Actual measurements of tree growth conducted since have shown these predictions to be overly pessimistic, with actual tree growth being much higher in reality. “The Minister may point to reduced sawlog yields and difficulty in meeting contract volumes as evidence.

“In reality, Government intercessions that cancelled planned harvests of high yield areas at short notice, overestimation of COVID impacts on forest product demand (predicted to subdue demand, but massive Commonwealth stimulus in fact exploded demand), under-resourcing of DBCA forest environmental planning, a shortage of harvest and haulage contractors, and recruitment gaps at the Forest Products Commission all conspired to make it difficult to harvest the long-term sustainable volumes that the forest scientists know are out there in our forests.

“Minister Kelly is receiving very poor scientific advice on the topic of forest productivity and impacts of climate change. Whatever advice he is getting, it is not coming from members of Forestry Australia.”

Source: Forestry Australia



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Accredited Employer Work Visa information webinar

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service invites you to a webinar with Immigration NZ (INZ), to help you prepare for the new temporary work visa being introduced on 4 July 2022. Employers must be accredited to hire new migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and satisfy other minimum requirements and commitments depending on their business model.

This is a great opportunity to hear directly from INZ before the changes come in, so you’re prepared and ready for what the requirements are for you as an employer.

INZ have asked for questions in advance to help ensure the session is efficient and beneficial to all. Please email your questions through to angela.banfield@mpi.govt.nz before end of business Monday 23 May so INZ can ensure your questions are answered appropriately during the session. Further information on AEWV can be found on INZ's website.

Dial by your location, Tel: +64 4 886 0026 New Zealand, +64 9 884 6780 New Zealand. Find your local number.

Join Zoom Meeting. Meeting ID: 848 4457 6258 Passcode: 799280.

Source: Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service

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Planting pine has become a goldmine

“Insanely high” profits can be made by planting exotic trees and selling the carbon emissions they store, experts say. The profit margins from carbon farming were highlighted in the recent debate on a proposal that would make permanent exotic forests ineligible for New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (or ETS).

Native forests are costly to establish, absorb carbon slowly and require more maintenance, so could take decades to earn a profit. In contrast, exotic forests are cheap to plant, absorb carbon more quickly and require less upkeep, potentially allowing owners to bank decades of profit.

Right now, both types of forest can sell the emissions they store for the same sum: today’s carbon price, which is about $76 a tonne. This set-up is incentivising exotics and disincentivising native trees, although the Government wants to do the opposite.

The profits that exotic trees can earn from sucking carbon dioxide is so high that many landowners would, in theory, make more money from a permanent exotic forest than a plantation. Harvested forests are able to sell logs every few decades on top of selling units for the carbon that’s stored – on average – in the forest, under the ETS.

But the carbon units earned by a new harvested forest will be subject to a cap: balancing the carbon gains while the trees are growing and carbon losses after harvest. Under standard harvest conditions, a pine forest would be able to earn carbon units for the first 16 years of its life.

Yet permanent exotic forest wouldn’t have this cap. According to forestry expert Keith Woodford, exotic forests could theoretically still be absorbing carbon, and therefore selling units for at least 80 years – and in the black for the vast majority of this time.

The carbon price is so high that a pine forest might pay for its planting costs within the first few years, so current landowners would profit from this point onwards.

Meanwhile, the Government is concerned about the long-term consequences of permanent exotic forests. Without routine harvests, these forestry blocks could be left untended. Climate Change Minister James Shaw worries the move could hand future generations an “ecological problem”. Forestry experts disagreed with him on this.

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Source: Stuff



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... and one to end the week on ... ANZAC biscuits

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. While suffering the agonies of impending death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite Anzac bikkies wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed.

Leaning on the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort, gripping the railing with both hands, he crawled downstairs. With laboured breath, he leaned against the door-frame, gazing into the kitchen.

Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven, for there, spread out upon waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite Anzac bikkies.

Was it heaven? Or was it one final act of love from his devoted Aussie wife of sixty years, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself towards the table, landing on his knees in rumpled posture. His aged and withered hand trembled towards a biscuit at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked by his wife with a spatula.......................


"**** off" she said, "they're for the funeral."



And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at www.fridayoffcuts.com

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