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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2012) 56(4): 13–15
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
After the storms - A case study in risk reduction

Margaret Horner 1

1 Science communicator, Scion

Margaret Horner science communicator, Scion, reports on a study undertaken by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council aimed at reducing the damage from woody debris during heavy rainfall events. Extreme storms hitting the eastern Bay of Plenty show the costly damage that can flow from forested land. Heavy rainfall events have carried large volumes of woody material from plantation forests, wreaking havoc to waterways and properties downstream. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council used two affected forests as case studies to consider ways of reducing future damage from woody debris. A working group comprising council staff, representatives from the forest industry and Scion developed recommendations for forest management practices. Following is a summary of their findings. The risk Exotic forests in the Bay of Plenty region cover approximately 270,000ha. Around 9% of this area has slopes greater than 25 degrees, which is classified as high risk erodible land. These forests are frequently subjected to high intensity rain storms originating from downgraded tropical cyclones. About 90% of the exotic forest estate was planted on soil types vulnerable to erosion.
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