Friday Offcuts – 5 August 2022

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Late last week, the highly controversial proposal by the NZ Government that exotic trees in permanent forests wouldn’t be eligible to earn and sell carbon units was put on hold. Lobbying by foresters, some land owners and Māori leaders strongly opposing the suggestion appears in large part, to have paid dividends. From next year, owners of permanent exotic forests are likely to be able to sell the carbon absorbed by their trees under the Emissions Trading Scheme. There’s still though some wriggle room. The Government's looking to “take more time to fully consider options” for the ETS. Māori land owners weren’t entirely reassured with the Māori Forestry Association, a vocal opponent of the proposal, suggesting that the announcement didn’t guarantee a permanent place for exotic forests. They’re still pushing for a permanent back-down. We cover this week both the announcement and responses.

The carbon debate again is likely to be lively with 300 leaders from across forestry and investment communities coming into Rotorua, New Zealand next week for the eagerly awaited Carbon Forestry 2022 event. Like the heated discussions that have raged between politicians, foresters, farming and rural communities and those involved in carbon markets since the 2021 event ran, the timing for the wider industry is perfect. Discussions are again anticipated to be spirited and the learning's and networking, invaluable. We look forward to seeing many of our readers there.

As we’re in the midst of planting right now, we cover a short story on the efforts being made to replant much of the area lost in the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Around the Tumut and Tumbarumba areas of NSW, around a third of FCNSW’s plantations were lost to fire. As a consequence, the planting programme has doubled this year (a huge effort from the forest company, their staff, contractors and nurseries) with around 6.5 million trees being planted between May and late August. And in New Zealand, the usual survey (NEFD) undertaken to collect updated stats on the country’s planted forest resource for the first time this year will be collecting information on forests of less than 40 hectares. It’s estimated that small forests could contribute to more than 40 per cent of the wood supply in the next decade.

We’ve also included a human-interest story this week providing an insight into what’s driven a couple of young people to look at forestry as an employment option and their early impressions of training and work out in the forest. The two young men have recently completed a voluntary 6-week training course run by New Zealand Defence Force and MSD. They’re now working for a forest contracting company, Inta-Wood Forestry, based in the Bay of Plenty. Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service recently caught up with them and checked out their impressions and their work programme so far.

And finally, and not from the future this time, but from the past, we’ve built in some images sent in recently by a reader of early logging in North America. Again, it will enable you to get a gauge on just how big some of those logs were – and the saws that were being used to fell them. And that’s it for this week.

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Government pulls back on limiting exotic forests

Pine is unpopular with New Zealand rural communities, but also offers landowners a chance to make huge profits. A Government proposal to limit permanent exotic forests has been left to rot, according to a letter from the Climate Change Minister.

Earlier this year, the Government proposed that exotic trees in permanent forests would not be eligible to earn and sell carbon units. Rural communities are concerned about new pine blocks. The Climate Change Commission says mass exotic planting would slow pollution cuts and “put our economy at a competitive disadvantage”. But because planting pine could be hugely profitable, foresters and landowners – including Māori leaders – vehemently opposed the suggestion.

A letter from Climate Change Minister James Shaw indicates the latter group has been, at least partially, successful. From next year, owners of permanent exotic forest are likely to be able to sell the carbon absorbed by their trees under the Emissions Trading Scheme (or ETS).

In addition, the Climate Change Commission has repeatedly warned against a climate strategy that relies too heavily on planting exotic trees to mop up emissions. Instead, the Government should focus on driving down the sources of greenhouse pollution, and encourage native trees to absorb any lingering greenhouse gas, the commission stressed.

However, the design of the ETS works against the commission’s desired approach. Under the rules, polluters must surrender one NZ Unit for every tonne of emissions they produce. Some units are gifted at no charge by the Government, others can be bought at auction. Finally, polluters can purchase NZ Units from forest owners, matching the tonnes of carbon their trees absorbed.

These were typically from harvested forests, which earned units up to a set number of years (evening up the growth and logging cycles).

In 2018, the first-term coalition Government suggested permanent forests should also be able to earn NZ Units, for their whole lifespan. The Government didn’t distinguish between native forests and exotics such as pine, redwood or eucalyptus.

This opportunity will begin from January next year. With exotic species such as pine and redwoods growing quickly and the market price of a NZ Unit rising above $70, landowners and investors foresaw large profits. Natives are comparatively less profitable.

Then – after the commission came out strongly against exotic species – the Government in March proposed the permanent category would only be open to native forests. There was some support for the idea from rural groups such as 50 Shades of Green and indigenous forest proponents.

But there was comparatively loud opposition from forestry bodies and Māori landowners. On Friday, submitters to the ministry consultation on the proposal received a letter from Shaw, which indicated the Government had changed its mind.

The letter, co-signed by Forestry Minister Stuart Nash, said the Government will “take more time to fully consider options” for the ETS. “While all decisions are ultimately for Cabinet, this means it is unlikely that we will propose closing the permanent category to exotics on 1 January 2023.”

In a statement, Shaw said he wanted to take more time to consider the issue fully. “Changes to this category will be felt for many years to come, so it’s really important we get this right.” Officials will work with technical experts, stakeholders and Māori and a decision will be made “in due course”, Shaw added. “We will consider how the [permanent forest] category interacts with the ETS in the long-term, and ensure it can be fairly accessed.”

More >>

In response to the announcement, Beef + Lamb New Zealand says the rate of whole-farm sales and conversions to carbon farming in the country is "out of control".

Read Concern about Rate of Forestry Conversions.

Source: Stuff, ODT

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Another major NZ biomass installation planned

Fonterra is taking another step towards its low carbon transition with its Waitoa site in the Waikato planning to install a 30-megawatt wood biomass boiler to replace a coal boiler. Together with Te Tumuaki o Te Kīngitanga and local iwi Ngāti Hauā, the Co-operative celebrated the turning of the first sod at Waitoa on Thursday.

Work will begin on the new boiler installation later this year, and it is expected to be up and running in November 2023. The new boiler will reduce the site’s annual emissions by 48,000 tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off New Zealand’s roads.

Fonterra Head of Energy and Climate, Linda Mulvihill says this is another significant step towards the Co-operative’s sustainability ambitions. “This is the fourth sustainable fuel switching decarbonisation project in as many years for the Co-operative with projects including Te Awamutu and Stirling providing us with insights into the best way forward along with emissions reductions.

Grouped together these projects reduce our CO2e emissions by a forecast 183,000 tonnes per annum, the equivalent of 76,000 cars off NZ roads.” The Co-operative has an ambition to be at net zero emissions by 2050 and has an interim target of a 30% absolute reduction in manufacturing emissions by 2030 based on FY18 level.

“Projects such as this make a significant reduction in our emissions. We saw that with our Te Awamutu conversion, which resulted in an 11% reduction and we’re looking forward to starting our first site on 100% renewable thermal energy next season at the cheese factory in Stirling, Otago” says Ms Mulvihill.

The new boiler will give a boost to the local wood biomass industry.

Wood Energy New Zealand Director, Nigel Ellett says "Wood Energy New Zealand is very proud to be involved with, and to support, Fonterra’s move across from coal to biomass at their facility in Waitoa, and growing our supply footprint into the North Island.

The Wood Energy New Zealand partnership, between Pioneer Energy and Niagara Sawmilling, was created to support industry and ensure quality and security of locally sourced wood fuel, removing risk to our customers and supporting their transition to a lower carbon future.

Wood Energy would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Fonterra on their positive and market leading transition to a lower carbon future.”

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North Coast Forestry Corporation firefighters recognised

More than 150 Forestry Corporation staff from northern NSW, including staff based in Maitland, Wauchope, Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Taree have been awarded the National Emergency Medal for their role in managing the 2019-20 bushfires. The National Emergency Medal is awarded to persons who rendered sustained or significant service during nationally-significant emergencies in Australia.

Forestry Corporation is a statutory firefighting authority and staff spent over 300,000 hours firefighting during the Black Summer fires in 2019-20 as part of the State’s coordinated firefighting response supporting the Rural Fire Service and all other firefighting agencies. Daniel Tuan, General Manager of Forestry Corporation’s Hardwood Forests Division said the National Emergency Medal was a significant honour and congratulated the staff who received the award.

“Every fire season, our forestry firefighters are on the ground in local communities and forests and during the 2019-20 Black Summer fires our staff were deployed to fires around the State to protect life, property and forests,” Mr Tuan said. “Our firefighters are first responders to fires in State forests, but during major bushfires like the Black Summer fires they also work in communities to carry out frontline property protection, incident management and other community firefighting as part of the State’s coordinated firefighting response”.

“Our staff play a critical role in NSW’s joint firefighting response and the National Emergency Medal is a fitting recognition of the commitment they showed and the risks they took during that national disaster in order to keep communities safe.”

Forestry Corporation has been a firefighting authority for more than 100 years and has primary responsibility for preventing and managing fires across two million hectares of State forests statewide. Frontline firefighting is a part of the job for staff at every level of the organisation, from senior management through to casual and seasonal staff and forestry firefighters must complete annual fitness tests and meet training requirements and national accreditation standards.

Photo: Forestry Corporation National Emergency Medal recipients at Wauchope

Source: FCNSW

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Fonterra use of bioenergy takes another step forward

The announcement that Fonterra is taking another step in its transition to low carbon production with replacement of a coal boiler at its Waitoa site in the Waikato with a 30 MW wood biomass boiler builds on the trend of food processors to adopt bioenergy solutions says the Bioenergy Association.

Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association said that “the use of renewable biomass to replace coal to produce heat arises because of the increased use of forest residues, instead of leaving the residues in the forest to rot. In this investment by Fonterra the supply of biomass from residues as fuel has been facilitated with the entry of Wood Energy New Zealand, as an accredited wood fuel supplier, into the North Island to supply the fuel to Fonterra.

Wood Energy New Zealand, which is a partnership of Pioneer Energy and Niagara Sawmilling, has a strong strength of supplying wood fuel in the South Island. The entry of Wood Energy New Zealand into the North Island heat market will provide encouragement for other heat users to transition from fossil fuels to a biomass fuel.”

Mr Cox said that “With Fonterra making this fourth transition from fossil to biomass fuel for producing heat at its milk processing facilities, they are providing significant leadership and demonstration on how easy it is to move from coal to biomass fuels. Such investments however need to be well planned and undertaken in partnership with their wood fuel suppliers. The transitions cant be done overnight which demonstrates that reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions will take time.”

Mr Cox said that “at the Residues2Revenues 2022 event last week it was outlined that we have the potential for adequate biomass to be available for transitioning from fossil fuels, but heat users and biomass fuel suppliers need to talk together so that each has good information on the demand and supply of bioenergy. The partnership between Fonterra and their fuel supplier, Wood Energy New Zealand, is a good example of that in action.”

Source: BANZ

Note: Details for R2R delegates to download presentations given at last weeks wood residues event were sent out yesterday. These can now be accessed. A full montage of images taken during the event can also be viewed here

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Māori landowners want more certainty on exotic trees

The National Māori Forestry Association says it is not reassured, despite a government u-turn that will keep exotic forests in the Emissions Trading Scheme. The government, in a consultation process that is still ongoing, had proposed to remove exotic trees, such as pine, from the ETS to encourage native forest planting.

It came after a backlash from the farming sector that too many beef and sheep farms on productive land would be converted to pine, thus hurting rural communities. But the moves incensed some Māori landowners, and they formed the group, Ngā Pou a Tāne / the Māori Forestry Association, off the back of it.

Some iwi rely heavily on forestry to get income from their last remaining lands, and they argued that to change the ETS would kill that income.

Last Friday, the government confirmed a partial backdown, with climate change minister James Shaw and forestry minister Stuart Nash writing to landowners to say the change is now unlikely.

"While we consulted on options to prevent exotic forests from registering in the permanent forest category by the end of the year," they wrote, "we have now decided to take more time to fully consider options for the future direction of the ETS permanent forest category.

In a statement to RNZ on Friday evening, Shaw said the concerns of Māori landowners had been heard, and that more time was needed to make sure that feedback was properly considered.

"Work will continue, with ongoing input from technical experts, stakeholders and Māori. On that basis, the permanent forestry category is unlikely to be closed to exotics from January 2023, as was proposed," Shaw said. "Final decisions will be taken by Cabinet in due course."

Association chair Te Kapunga Dewes welcomed the letter, but also said the language used did not guarantee a permanent place for exotic forests. He wanted a permanent backdown. "The wording like 'take more time', 'unlikely to propose', 'leave as it is for now'. Those elements don't provide the certainty that we as Māori need to unlock and unleash, and sustainably develop our land.

"Unfortunately, those sorts of words create uncertainty," he said. Dewes said Crown consultation had been poor, and it was only sought under the threat of legal action.

More >>

Source: RNZ

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Mobile terrestrial laser scanning of NSW native forests

In 2021, mobile terrestrial LiDAR data and ground-based measurements were collected across 15 native forest plots in coastal NSW as part of a small pilot program. This remotely sensed LiDAR data provides detailed information about forest structure that can give insight into forest condition and function.

The pilot has generated a valuable source of information that could be used to conduct further research and development of forest measurement metrics, particularly to explore the use of artificial intelligence to automate extraction of additional forest variables. This data has now been made publicly available through the TERN data discovery portal. The Commission encourages the scientific community to take a look at this data.

The report, methods and project data can be found on the TERN data discovery portal.

Source: FCNSW

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NZ firefighters receive Australian awards

NZ’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti, and Minister of Defence, Peeni Henare, have announced that 150 Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel and 145 members of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have been awarded the Australian National Emergency Medal, with Bushfires 19/20 Clasp, as part of a group of 384 New Zealanders who travelled to Australia to fight the massive bushfires over the 2019/20 summer.

The Australian National Emergency Medal is awarded by the Australian Government for sustained or significant service during national emergencies in Australia. It has a clasp for each event, to indicate which national emergency a person responded to. The medal has been awarded to Australians for five specific emergencies since 2009, the first being the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

"The award of this medal is recognition for the efforts of all these personnel in an arduous and often dangerous environment," Jan Tinetti said. "Their outstanding contribution to fighting the massive and catastrophic fires that engulfed many thousands of hectares of bushland from late 2019 reflects the quality of our people and their training.

"Our Fire and Emergency team were accompanied by 89 others from longstanding partners that are so important to international and domestic wildfire deployments, including 27 personnel from the Department of Conservation and representatives of more than a dozen forestry companies. As Minister responsible for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, I’m proud to acknowledge, alongside my colleague the Minister of Defence, this cohort of 384 as being the largest group of New Zealanders by far to receive the Australian National Emergency Medal."

This is the first time, personnel from Fire and Emergency and the NZDF have been awarded the Australian National Emergency Medal, with the only previous occasion it has been awarded to New Zealanders being to nine New Zealand Police who assisted with victim identification in response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

Minister Henare says NZDF played a multifaceted role, with NZDF firefighters and other personnel, including combat engineers and health support, assisting Australian authorities and the Australian Defence Force during what became known as the ‘Black Summer.’ NZDF NH90 helicopters and crew also deployed to assist.

"The work of our personnel varied from firefighting to transporting fuel and water, and supplies such as hay for livestock, clearing routes, removing trees which were blocking roads, and creating critical fire breaks. Our personnel also contributed to the massive efforts to support wildlife that survived the fires," Peeni Henare said.

Both Ministers Tinetti and Henare acknowledged the service of all the New Zealanders who travelled to Australia to support our Australian counterparts. Arrangements are underway to see that all those who’ve been awarded the Australian National Emergency Medal receive them in a fitting way later this year.

Source: Voxy

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The path followed into forestry employment

Recently Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service caught up with Papu Sale and Shayden Williams – two young men who recently completed the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme in Christchurch, New Zealand and are now working for Inta-Wood Forestry, based in the Bay of Plenty.

LSV is a voluntary 6-week training course for 17-24 year olds run by New Zealand Defence Force and MSD. It prepares youth for employment, training or further study by providing great life skills. Let’s hear about Papu and Shayden’s journey into forestry employment and what it’s been like so far.

1. Tell us a bit about your journey to get here

Papu: “I’m one of four brothers from West Auckland, Henderson Valley, but originally from Samoa. I’ve done a few different jobs over my life so far, but was wanting more direction and to find myself again after a few tough years”.

Shayden – “I’m from a small town in Northland called Kaeo where I grew up living mainly with my Nana as the youngest of five. I was headed down a path that wasn’t ideal and six months ago knew something had to change. I heard about the LSV course and saw it as an opportunity to get some direction and get on track”.

2. Tell us about the LSV course

Papu/Shayden: “Awesome. You make lots of great friends and get really inspired and motivated by the leaders that run it”. “The LSV course gave us confidence to challenge ourselves. Everyone there was on a different journey and from a different life.”

Papu: “The course allows you to leave any life trauma and negativity behind – you leave it at the course and move forward”.

What made you choose forestry?

Shayden: “I loved talking to Raumati (Inta-Wood Forestry). There was “no bull”. He was straight up and real and pure about the job. He described it as being hard and tough sometimes out in the elements, but rewarding”.

How did Inta-Wood Forestry help you transition into this job?

Papu/Shayden: “They helped us find a place to live and have even offered us rides on the weekend till we get sorted with a car. They have been awesome”.

“The crew manager Wiremu and Raumati made sure we felt welcomed into the crew, gave us a uniform etc. and have been a big part of helping us feel settled in”.

What does your day look like?

Papu: “We start at 5.30am on site then break at 11am for an hour before continuing into the afternoon. We have recently been pruning trees and are now into planting”.

Shayden: “When I first started it took a bit to get ‘bush fit’, although we had already got pretty fit at LSV. You can’t beat heading home for a hot shower to rest your tired muscles but it’s a good tired though – you know you’ve done a good day’s work and challenged yourself”.

What do you enjoy about working in forestry?

Papu: “I love that you can challenge yourself every day, and love working outdoors with our crew mates. The bush teaches you to back yourself and it heals and humbles you”.

Shayden: “I know that whether I have a good day or bad day for whatever reason, it’s still a good day and my attitude is to never quit”.

How does it make you feel knowing how far you’ve come

Papu/Shayden: “Yeah am proud of getting here and my whanau are pretty proud too I think”.

What advice would you give to others considering forestry?

Papu: “ Get out and there and challenge yourself”.

Shayden: “With the right attitude and people around you, supporting you on your journey, you can do anything!”.

We look forward to following Papu and Shayden as they continue on their forestry journey.

For more information about LSV, check out their website And follow them on:

Photo: L-R: Papu Sale and Shayden Williams

Source: Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service

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Plant’s biomass boiler beginning operation

A South Otago dairy industry plant hopes to lead the way in green energy, as it brought a biomass boiler online last week. Danone Nutricia NZ began "hot commissioning" for a new, NZ$30 million bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) biomass boiler at its Clydevale milk powder plant on Thursday, which will eventually provide up to 15.5MW of heat energy.

The plant processes raw milk from local farms into powder used as the base for production of infant milk formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare. Boilers played a central role in spray drying — the process of converting milk into a dry powder through the application of heat.

Biomass project engineer Ben Fisher said BFB boilers allowed for lower quality fuels to be used, such as the intended forestry slash (hog fuel). "The new plant will use FSC-certified, locally-sourced forestry slash, minimising transport-related carbon emissions”.

"This [fuel] is relatively moist and irregularly shaped, but the boiler can still operate at about 90% efficiency with that, creating about 136,000 tonnes of steam each year from 35,000 tonnes of fuel." About 85% of the plant’s energy needs come from steam production.

The new boiler would reduce the plant’s overall carbon emissions by 20,000 tonnes a year (90%-95%) compared with its current LPG usage, Mr Fisher said. Byproducts would be carbon dioxide — offset by cyclical biomass usage — water and ash.

"Once we’re fully operational, we’ll start to investigate ways to reuse the plant’s ash, and look into alternative fuel sources such as wastewater plant solids." The project was conceived five years ago as part of the company’s plan to attain zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

Note: This Danone project along with major industrial energy users Fonterra and the Canterbury District Health Board presented at last week’s Residues2Revenues 2022 event. The process of converting to biomass and their specific requirements for supply of biofuels were discussed with the New Zealand forestry industry. All R2R delegates, in person and virtual, will have now received the presentations.

Source: Otago Daily Times

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Scion appoints new GM Forests to Timber Products

Scion is pleased to welcome Henri Baillères as its new general manager of Forests to Timber Products, starting this week.

Dr Henri Baillères has deep research and industry experience in forestry and wood product innovation. Most recently, he was product development manager at Hyne Timber in Australia, an industry leader in the manufacture, optimisation and application of cross laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam products.

Before that, he led the Forest Products Innovation Team of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Baillères has also worked on forestry and wood product projects in several countries in Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.

Scion chief executive Dr Julian Elder says he is really pleased that Baillères is joining the team. “He’s well known to us having visited Scion a number of times, and his international industry leadership in advanced timber engineering will further strengthen our world-leading forest to timber products impact area.”

Baillères says it is an honour and a privilege to join the Scion team, which enjoys a strong international reputation and leadership position in many areas of research with a wide range of high-level work. “Scion's ambitious strategy for New Zealand will be transformational and pave the way for the development of a thriving new bioeconomy.

“I am ready to embrace my new position with enthusiasm and passion, where I expect to add value through my technical and scientific expertise, my understanding of the forest-wood value chain and my enjoyment of multidisciplinary teamwork.”

Baillères was born in Toulouse, the European capital of the aeronautics and space industry. His scientific career began with CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) studying the structural properties of wood from hybrid eucalyptus plantations in the Republic of the Congo. His research spans the broad spectrum of the forest-based sector, reflecting his technical skills, engineering background and research experience in wood science and technology. He has published widely in forest and wood science and engineering.

His qualifications are a PhD (Wood Science from the University of Bordeaux), a MSc in Wood Science (Paris-Saclay University) and a Master of Engineering in Wood Industry and Technology (University of Lorraine, France). He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science (IAWS).

Source: Scion

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Annual survey widened to small scale forests

The annual National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey has been widened to include small scale forest owners in New Zealand. The survey is run on a two-year cycle, with known forest owners and managers of more than 1,000 hectares surveyed one year, and between 40 hectares and 999 hectares surveyed the next year. The 2021 survey covered the over 1,000 hectares cohort.

Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service has opened the 2022 survey to landowners with forests of less than 40 hectares. Matt Dilly, Team Leader, Data & Analysis, says the survey is important to maintaining a database of New Zealand’s planted exotic production forests.

“The information is used extensively by Government and the wider forestry sector for wood availability forecasting, infrastructure planning, and for developing policy which impacts the forestry sector,” says Matt Dilly.

“It is important we identify the emerging trends and issues across New Zealand’s forestry and wood processing sectors which are undergoing change with more people, companies and organisations entering the sector, commercial and environmental considerations, and different tree species being planted”.

“It is estimated small forests could contribute to more than 40 per cent of wood supply in the next decade.” The survey collects data on forest area by age, changes in forest area and information on new planting, replanting, harvesting, and land use change. The annual survey has been improved and is easy to fill in.

“All responses to the survey are treated as confidential and will only be used for statistical purposes. Personal details provided by individual forest owners and managers are seen only by people directly involved with running the survey,” said Matt Dilly.

The survey is completed online and closes on 15 August. For more details on the survey, please email MPI your contact details, nefd@mpi.govt.n

Source: Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service

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Changing penalties for small forestry ETS participants

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment are consulting on two options to change the penalty for small foresters in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) that fail to surrender or repay units to the Crown by the due date.

The surrender/repayment penalty was introduced in 2021, replacing the excess emissions penalty which previously applied when participants fail to surrender or repay units by the due date. The surrender/repayment penalty was intended to apply to all NZ ETS participants. However, its introduction was deferred for small forestry participants – those with net liabilities of under 25,000 units per year – until 2023.

This was because of concerns the penalty could significantly impact small forestry participants, causing serious hardship in some cases. Two alternatives have been developed to the surrender/repayment penalty which are more appropriate for small forestry participants. These options will ensure the impact of the penalty is proportionate to the offence, while also encouraging participants to meet their obligations.

Feedback is being sought on these options to ensure the penalty will work in practice. Submissions close on Tuesday 30 August 2022.

Find out more about the consultation including webinars to discuss the options and have your say.

Source: MPI

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NSW planting efforts doubling in size this year

Key points:

• 6.5 million trees will be planted around Tumut and Tumbarumba by the end of August
• Planting efforts have doubled to help the timber industry recover from the Black Summer bushfires
• One third of the area's total plantation was lost in the fires

More than 100 crew members are out in cold, wet and sometimes snowy conditions, to plant more than 6.5 million trees by hand between May and late August. Silviculture supervisor for Forestry Corporation Anna Faulder said the program had doubled in size.

"The last few years and the next few years will be massive programs because of our fire recovery," Ms Faulder said. "We usually plant less than three million trees a year, so this is a big increase."

In the Tumut Tumbarumba area, NSW Forestry Corporation owns 90,000 hectares of plantation. During the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, about a third of the plantations were lost in the fire.

Forestry Corporation's Snowy regional manager Dean Anderson said it was like nothing he had seen before. "It was devastating beyond compare to any other fires I've been associated with," Mr Anderson said. "I was part of the first group that was sent to the USA in 2000 to help over there, and what we saw here just left that for dead.

"After the fires, we had a lot of success salvaging the trees, so the stuff that was older than 18 was a size we could still mill. We were expecting the market to die due to COVID but with the building stimulus and people wanting to renovate, the market stayed hot. We would normally be able to move 1.5 million tonnes but during the salvage program we got up to 3 million tonnes."

This is the third year of fire recovery planting, with the phase to continue until 2026. The doubling of planting has also led to production increases at local nurseries that supply the seedlings.

Sue-Ellen Roberts and husband Tom grow radiata pine seedlings in Batlow, New South Wales. Mrs Roberts said they had doubled production to keep up with the replanting efforts.

More >>

Source: ABC, Photo: FCNSW

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Before chainsaws – hand felling monster trees

Before chainsaws were invented, the logging industry in the United States & Canada was a seriously challenging occupation and we are only talking about 125 years ago. In the Pacific Northwest there were forests full of monster trees and cutting them down was done by hand.

Check out the length of the two-man hand saw and heavy-duty axes above that they used to drop these tremendous trees. It is almost inconceivable to think of cutting down a tree this size with a hand saw.

Take a look at an amazing set of early images in the attached document.

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... he has to be brave

A blind man wanders into an all girls biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter, "Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?"

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.

In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, "Before you tell that joke, sir, I think it is only fair - given that you are blind - that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat;

2. The bouncer is a blonde girl;

3. I'm a 6 foot tall, 175 lb. blonde woman with a black belt in karate;

4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter; and

5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler ...

Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?"

The blind man thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters, "No, not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times."

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:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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