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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2019) 64(3): 33–39
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Professional Paper
Alternatives to clearfelling for harvesting of radiata pine plantations on erosion-susceptible land

Mark Bloomberg *,1, Eric Cairns 2, Denny Du 3, Harriet Palmer 4 and Chris Perry 5

1 Adjunct Senior Fellow, School of Forestry, University of Canterbury. Corresponding email:
2 Forest owner and member of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.
3 Consulting Forester
4 Forest owner and member of the NZ Farm Forestry Association.
5 Business Development Manager, PF Olsen Ltd.
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Approximately one-quarter of New Zealand’s plantation forest estate is on erosion-susceptible lands. There is a ‘window of vulnerability’ to increased erosion after clearfelling of these plantations and before the replanted crop begins to re-occupy the site. This paper explores alternatives to clearfelling (smallcoupe harvesting and continuous cover forestry) which reduce these erosion risks arising from the window of vulnerability. The technical, operational and financial implications of these alternatives are discussed. The costs and difficulties associated with adopting these alternatives need to be balanced against the risks of continuing to harvest large clearfell coupes on land with high or very high erosion susceptibility.
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