Forests

Forest Management Policy


 

Introduction

Craigpine Timber is a private company that was established in 1923.  The Company is owned by Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (the Black family from Melbourne). 

The forest estate comprises of six forests of 2,144 hectares of freehold land.  This land is situated in the Southland and Otago provinces of New Zealand.  The net stocked area of forestry is 1,715 hectares, of which 1,695 hectares is planted in radiata pine and 20 hectares in Douglas fir.  There are 366 hectares of native bush and scattered areas of cut over native scrub, remaining as streamside buffers and on steep areas throughout all blocks.

In addition, Craigpine Timber has one cutting right with private landowner included under its FSC® certificate.  The total area of land is 102 hectares, of which 97 hectares are planted in radiata pine.

All forests owned by Craigpine Timber Ltd are in close proximity to the Winton sawmill.  Full details of the species, area and age class distribution of the forest estate are in an independent valuation prepared by Chandler Fraser Keating Ltd, Forest Valuers, which is reviewed annually.

The company has one sawmill, which is based in Winton. The mill has FSC® ‘Chain of Custody’ certification.

 

Mission

The rationale behind Craigpine Timber Ltd having its own forest estate is to supply high quality radiata pine saw logs for the Winton sawmill.  This in turn creates employment for both forest contractors and sawmill personnel, and also indirectly in the local community.

 

Forest Stewardship Council Certification

Craigpine Timber Ltd has met the requirements necessary for Forest Stewardship Council certification, with all aspects of forest management meeting the appropriate principles and criteria.  A manual has been prepared which details each FSC® principle and how the company complies with them.  An internal monitoring system is in place and SGS Forestry undertakes surveillance audits.

 

New Zealand Forest Accord

Craigpine Timber Ltd has reviewed the Principles for Commercial Plantation Forest Management in New Zealand and the objectives of the New Zealand Forest Accord signed 6 December 1995.  The Principles cover environmental and social aspects of plantation management.  This company endorses and practices the principles recommended for Commercial Plantation Forest Management, and the objectives of the Accord.

 

Plantation Objectives

The objective of Craigpine Timber Ltd having a forest estate is to produce high quality pruned radiata pine saw logs.

The rationale behind the choice of radiata pine timber is that, due to its white appearance, its ease of use for working, and relatively short term growth rates, it meets the market demand for this type of product.  Markets are continuing to expand in South East Asia, as radiata pine is an environmentally friendly substitute for their rain forest species.

This objective has resulted in the establishment of a silviculture regime to meet the above requirements.  The policy is to produce primarily small branched saw-logs with a component of pruned material, which enables the Sawmill to produce clear wood and cuttings grades, primarily for the export market. 

Craigpine forests are operated on a sustained yield basis to ensure continuity of supply.  The rotation and harvesting period is 28 years for radiata pine, which is the most appropriate, to produce logs to the required specification.

 

Seedlings

Craigpine uses mainly GF19 radiata seedlings, which are stocked at 1,250 stems per hectare.  Trials have been undertaken with other ratings within Craigpine’s forests and are under constant review.

Each year a mortality count is undertaken to determine tree losses.  Where appropriate, replanting is undertaken.  If there is a weed or grass problem that will compete with and smother the planted seedlings, release spraying is undertaken.


 

Roading

Roading is completed using the best practices available to minimise environmental and site disturbances.  Sediment traps and cut outs are installed to reduce any flow off into associated waterways.  All pre and post roading meetings are documented and kept on file at the Winton office. Grass is sown on road sides that are unstable and could be susceptible to erosion. 


 

Quarries

Rock is extracted from quarries within Craigpine forests, where available. Site selection for these quarries is as follows –

  • Minimum site and ground disturbance.
  • Select a number of small sites rather than one large site.
  • Dry ridges away from waterways.
  • Ease of access.
  • Minimise sediment movement by the use of top soil barriers.

All quarries are managed under our ‘Quarries – Operational Plan’.

 

Planting & Silviculture

Prior to any planting and silviculture work being undertaken, a meeting is held with the contractor to discuss all issues.

A residual period between harvesting and re planting will occur.  December is the preferred final month for harvesting for the following years planting.  This allows adequate time for regen seed and other site specific weeds to germinate prior to root raking and pre plant spraying.  Industry research has indicated allowing residual holding periods also reduces chances of hylastes infestation.  Root raking ideally to commence in January, allowing pre spraying in February.  Pre plant spraying reduces regen issues reducing future thinning costs, along with the most cost effective method for weed control.

Pre-assessment plots are carried out prior to any planned silviculture operations commencing.  This ensures operations get carried out at the most beneficial time.

Pruning will be carried out on high index sites to maximise returns. On lower site index sites pruning shall not be employed.

Pruning is undertaken in two or three lifts.  In areas with light to medium hindrance, the lifts are 0 - 2.5m, 2.5 - 4.5m, and 4.5 - 6.5m and in areas with heavy hindrance 0 - 4.5m and
4.5 - 6.5m are undertaken.  The lifts are taken at ages 7 - 8 for the 0 - 4.5m lifts, and 11 - 12 years for the 4.5 - 6.5m lift.  The justification in undertaking these lifts is to produce high quality pruned logs for the Winton sawmill.

Two thinnings (mainly production thinning) are currently undertaken.  A structural thin is carried out at 8 – 9 to a stocking of 700 s/ha.  A final thin to 380 stems per hectare is carried out at age 11 - 12 years.  Due to a lack of returns and damage to crop trees, waste thinning is preferred.  If returns improve with improved production thinning methods, production thinning may be considered.

Following all silviculture work, a post-silviculture meeting is held with the contractor to assure that all work has been undertaken as planned.  All pre and post silviculture meetings are documented and kept on file at the forest office.

 

Harvesting

Harvesting is undertaken in Craigpine forests using low ground pressure machines or Skyline haulers.  This is to minimise the impact on soil and water in the forest.  Pre-harvest assessment of stands to be harvested is carried out so that post-harvest stand grade and volume outturns can be reconciled to expected returns.

Prior to any harvesting being undertaken, a meeting is held with the contractor to determine issues including the health and safety applications, site specific hazards, and what is required in the cut-over inspection.  Where difficult harvesting conditions are encountered, outside expertise will be used to ensure that soil disturbance and health and safety effects are minimised.  All contractors must adhere to the NZ Forest Code of Practice.  At the cessation of harvesting, the cut-over is examined and the review is documented as a post-harvest inspection, with remedial action taken if necessary.

 

 

Health & Safety

A policy is in place and a copy of the manual is maintained at the forestry office. Compliance with the manual is checked at the time of pre and post review of the work being undertaken.  Ongoing training for all contractors is provided through the use of industry providers.

A quarterly audit (minimum) is undertaken on all contractors to assess their compliance with our Health and Safety policy. A forestry operations health and safety specialist is retained by Craigpine to oversee Health and Safety and to provide training to contractors.

 

Employees

Other than the Craigpine forestry management team, contractors undertake all forestry work.  The contractors are responsible for their own employees who tend to have individual contracts, rather than collective contracts.  Craigpine Timber Ltd has no control over this contract situation, but understands that the employees are free to negotiate their conditions individually or in groups.

Random drug testing of all contractors is now a standard practice by Craigpine Timber Ltd.

 

Monitoring

Chandler Fraser Keating Ltd, forestry consultants, are consulted annually to provide updated forestry valuation information.  Mapping of the forest has been undertaken using global positioning system measurements.

Assessments of the aquatic environment are undertaken using SHMAK kits (stream health monitoring assessment kit) in major waterways within Craigpine forests.

All Craigpine forests are monitored to identify pest plants and wildlings.  Management of these is undertaken in compliance with the Southland District Council’s Regional Plan. Consultation with effected stakeholders is also undertaken.

 

Environmental Objectives

Prior to any work being undertaken in the forest, a meeting will be held with any stakeholder, contractor or Council where appropriate, to discuss environmental impacts.  These are documented and the information retained on file.  Craigpine Timber Ltd is committed to comply with the Resource Management Act 1991, and uses Environment Southland to assist with the compliance and for guidance when appropriate.

Within the Craigpine forests, there is 324.4 (with an additional 58 hectares from Hokonui and Pinnacle) hectares of native bush (including cutover native scrub).  This area will not be cleared and planted in radiata pine.

Plantation forests will not replace this indigenous vegetation, and steps are undertaken to avoid adverse effects of forest operations on these areas.  Detailed mapping of native bush areas has been undertaken.

In order to retain the existing native bush and stream buffer zones, planting is not carried out in these areas.  Following a detailed inspection of the Craigpine Forests by Environment Southland, NZ Fish & Game, and Department of Conservation, a waterway policy has been established.

Craigpine water policy:

We have two stream classifications:

“Class 1” – Seasonal Stream”, is less than three metres wide and will have a two metre unplanted buffer.

“Class 2” – Perennial Stream”, equal to or greater than three metres wide, will have a five metre unplanted buffer.

The measure for these buffers is taken from the ‘edge of the influence’ of the stream.

Where the indigenous area is within ten metres of any stream, the buffer will extend to the indigenous species.  Where practical, indigenous vegetation in waterway areas will be left intact.

The major impact on the environment is the effect of harvesting.  All attempts are taken to minimise the impact on soil and water.  All harvesting is undertaken according to the NZ Forest Code of Practice.  Roading will be completed a minimum of 12 months prior to harvesting, which reduces possible problems and site disturbance at harvesting time.

Site preparation is by windrowing, using a hydraulic digger fitted with a rake attachment.

Procedures are in place to minimise the environmental impact of industrial waste and spills.  Spillage kits have been supplied to contractors, and a disposal system for waste products has been instigated.  Chemical use is restricted to use for release spraying, roadside, and bush weed control. In the event of a spill, an action plan is in place to ensure minimal effect on the environment.

Pursuant to the Pesticides Regulations Act 1983, Environment Southland has authority to apply 1080 poison to control possums and is carried out to prevent the spread of bovine TB.  Craigpine Timber Ltd is concerned on the environmental impact of 1080 and has taken the stance that no 1080 is permitted in Craigpine forests. Alternative methods of possum control such as trapping will be used by Environment Southland.

The application of agrichemicals is conducted according to the New Zealand Agrichemical Users Code of Practice to avoid adverse environmental effects.  A "Grow Safe" manual is on site, and checks are made to ensure compliance.  Industry providers are being used to train forest employees.  Details of all chemicals used are in a register at the Winton office.

There are no recorded sites of cultural or historical significance.  If any sites are unearthed, work will cease and the appropriate authorities contacted for guidance.

Where any rare or threatened species are found within Craigpine’s forests, the contractor or Craigpine staff member will refer to their Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species booklet to identify the species.  This is then recorded on the provided sheet.  Craigpine staff is notified by the contractor of this sighting.  Any relevant findings are reported to the appropriate local authorities in the form of a letter.

 

Monitoring

When any silviculture, roading, or harvesting work is undertaken in any associated forest operations, the Forest Manager will meet with the contractor to ensure policies are adhered to.

Land surrounding the Craigpine plantations is made up of either other forestry or pasture land.  The Waitane forest is also bordered by some native forestry.  Any work undertaken next to boundaries will be discussed and documented following stakeholder consultation.

Work undertaken in each compartment of each forest will be documented and maintained in a compartment manual.

Yearly updates of the website will be produced by the Company, which will supply information on various aspects relating to FSC® compliance, and associated forest management and practices.  Field days will be held for stakeholders and interested parties, where and when appropriate. A newsletter is distributed yearly to inform stakeholders of Craigpine’s practices/news.

Craigpine conducts its own audits regularly, and policies are reviewed to ensure compliance. These reviews will be recorded, and alterations noted.  FSC® personnel undertake annual surveillance visits to ensure that Craigpine Timber Ltd continues to comply with the FSC® principles and criteria.

 

Purchase of Forest Land

Prior to any purchase agreement becoming unconditional, Craigpine will liase with stakeholders, Department of Conservation, Environment Southland, Fish and Game Council, Historic Places Trust, Te Ao Marama, Southland Museum, and the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society to determine whether there are any issues relating to the land.  This will particularly include an ecological survey of the land, to identify any sites with rare, threatened and endangered species.

If any site is recommended by competent scientific authorities to be set aside for protection from planting, this will be documented, and will be left as a reserve.

The Company will determine the most suitable areas for roads and tracks, taking into account landscape considerations.

All land purchases will comply with the procedures as documented on the schedule for “Procedures for the Purchase of Forest Land”, see appendix twelve.

 

Chain of Custody

Non-certified logs are separated from certified logs, and only product from certified sources will be sold to customers requiring that timber.  Logs from non certified sources have a cross, marked on the end for identification.

The timber is identified by packet numbers and coloured tags, which indicate whether product is from a certified or non-certified source.

Product is tracked through a computer system, so that timber sold can be checked to guarantee that it was produced from certified forest.  Audits are undertaken to check compliance.

 

Emissions Trading Scheme

In January 2010 Craigpine Timber Limited joined the Emissions Trading Scheme.  An application was made applying for units from our post 1989 forests.  This application was successful and units have been allocated for the 2008 and 2009 years.

In August 2010 an application was submitted applying for our allocation of pre 1990 units.  In 2012 Craigpine undertook the FMA plots and received the yield table from this data. The mandatory returns were filed in 2013 with units received.

In 2014 Craigpine chose to surrender its obligation to the Emissions Trading Scheme.  The Directors at a meeting held on the 21st of March 2014 resolved to follow the strategy presented by the CEO of deregistering the Company from the Emissions Trading Scheme (Forestry) – Post 1989. The company decided to extinguish its liability as it stood to minimise the risk that future policy changes may increase the costs to the company.  Craigpine will continue to re assess its position in being part of the scheme if circumstances change in the future.

 

Social Impact

Craigpine Timber Ltd endeavors to communicate with and work closely with its stakeholders, local iwi, DOC, Environment Southland and the police.

We employ a friendly approachable nature resulting in most communication being verbal. Emails and letters tend to only be used when time allows or a matter is important enough to record.  Craigpine keeps an up to date stakeholder list and on here it normally indicates when a stakeholder was last contacted.

We keep our stakeholders up to speed yearly via an informative newsletter.  A copy of this can be requested from the front desk of the Winton office or through one of the Forestry Management Team.  Craigpine Timber prides itself on helping out the local community via sponsorship of local events and employing a vast number of local staff.

Craigpine Timber also works closely with Rural Women’s forestry scheme NZ, helping to manage their forests at no cost and holding regular meetings with them. There has also been some assistance given on the Rural Women’s wetland area project at Castledowns.

 

Client Services

Craigpine is active in the procurement of privately owned plantation stands for harvest and milling. Craigpine staff continue to provide complimentary advice to post harvest clients in regard to forest practises and also offers complimentary supervision of silviculture work to assist the forest owner.

 

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