Both exotic and native forest plantation play an important part in soil conservation in the Taranaki.
About half of the 27, 278 hectares of exotic forestry in the region is established on erosion-prone land (14, 738 hectares).
Forestry as a sustainable solution
Where land is suitable for growth and harvest, the Council advocates converting steep, erodible land to forestry. We can provide free Agroforestry Plans to farmers interested in establishing plantation forestry. These plans can also offer recommendations for alternative forms of production forestry such as manuka farming (manuka honey), or for reversion forestry on land that is unsuitable for farming.
Afforestation Grant Scheme
Under the Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) the Government encourages planting forest on Kyoto-compliant land in exchange for carbon credits. Funding under the Council's South Taranaki and Regional Erosion Support Scheme (STRESS) is available for up to five hectares of plantation forestry on land that meets the criteria. For areas greater than five hectares, farmers can apply directly for AGS funding directly through the Ministry for Primary Industries website. See the links on this page.
Based on the age of existing forestry in the region, estimates forecast 13, 800 hectares will be due for harvest within the next 10 to 12 years.
Currently, the Council allows forestry harvest provided, amongst other conditions, the land has a slope of less than 28 degrees. Some sites will require a Site Erosion and Sediment Control Plan to mitigate any erosion and sediment harvesting might cause.
The Government is currently developing a National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry which will also have implications for harvesting in the future.