Abstract: This paper discusses how environmental, societal and technology trends will likely impact on commercial forestry in the future. Climate change and freshwater quality are two background drivers of change, but it is the highly capital-intensive nature of plantation forestry and its profitability relative to sheep and beef hill country farming that in New Zealand will dictate the rate and degree of land use change. Smart use of computing power, big data, remote sensing and robotics will have an increasing role to play in future forest management. The Government has a role to play in regulating, so that competing land uses are required to internalise environmental impacts to the same degree if New Zealand is to make the most of the forestry opportunity at least cost to the taxpayer. (no keywords)
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