Forests

Forest Management Policy

 

Introduction

Craigpine Timber Ltd 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 currently comprises of six forests of 2,155 hectares of freehold land.  This land is all situated in the Southland province of New Zealand.  All forests owned by Craigpine Timber Ltd are in close proximity to the Winton sawmill.  

The net stocked area of forestry is 1,850 hectares, of which 1,846 hectares is planted in radiata pine and 4 hectares in Douglas fir.  There are 306 scattered hectares of native bush and scrub, including streamside buffers and on steep areas throughout the 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.

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

Mission

The mission of the Craigpine Timber Ltd forestry activities is to supply high quality radiata pine saw logs for the Winton sawmill.  This creates employment for forestry contractors and sawmill personnel, and also indirectly in the local community.
 

Forest Stewardship Council Certification

Craigpine Timber Ltd has a proud record of quality forest management.  We became the first forestry company in New Zealand to achieve FSC certification in 1997 and have achieved the standard required to maintain this ever since.  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 annual 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 forest estate is to produce high quality pruned radiata pine saw logs.

Radiata pine is the species of choice due to its white appearance, its ease of use for working, and quick growth rates.  It meets the mill need for wood supply and reliable demand in lumber markets.  Markets are continuing to expand in South East Asia, as radiata pine is an environmentally friendly substitute for their rain forest species.

To best meet market demand, the forestry policy is to produce pruned logs and small branched saw logs.  This log mix enables the Sawmill to target 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 target rotation length is 28 years for radiata pine.

Craigpine is focused on working to industry best practice.  Forestry operations take into account a range of laws, rules and expectations including environmental, social, practical, legal, efficiency and effectiveness.  We operate within the NES-PF framework and have a strong Health and Safety ethic to protect our workforce and the wider community.  Our contractors are encouraged to become Safetree Certified, and this will become our minimum standard during 2022.

Planting & Silviculture

The objective of Craigpine Timber Ltd forest estate is to produce high quality pruned radiata pine saw logs.  The right tree must be planted in the right place and managed to best practice to produce good volumes of high grade saw logs at harvest.  Work must be appropriate, on time and carried out to a high standard.  This means sites and stocks are inspected and measured, work is carefully planned and allocated to skilled crews.  Work quality is monitored to see that the required standard is achieved.

A high quality saw log starts with high quality stock, planted in a well prepared site at the right time.  Preparation for the planting starts years before, with selection of seedlings.  This is followed with post harvest activities to prepare the site for planting.  A fallow period of at least 6 months is used to allow weed seedlings to germinate so they can be removed prior to planting.  Heavy slash burdens are removed to allow planters to achieve an even stocking across the planting site.

The young crop are our “babies” and we care for them well to ensure we get the best crop we can at harvest.  We regularly monitor the young crop for problems and may apply treatments such as blanking or releasing if needed to ensure survival of quality trees.

After a few years we start looking at the crop to assign silvicultural activities such as pruning and thinning.  Pre-assessment plots are carried out to measure the trees and ensure operations get carried out at the best time.

We prune on our best sites to maximise saw log quality. On poorer, more exposed sites we use an unpruned regime, but still aim for the best possible saw log quality.

Pruning is undertaken in two or three lifts to best suit the growth of the trees and the characteristics of the stand.  The objective is to produce a 6m pruned sawlog with a tight DOS and a large diameter.  We see all the internal pruning faults at the sawmill when we open up the logs so we understand the importance of quality pruning.

Thinning activities are designed to keep a balance between diameter growth, height growth and branch suppression.  Pruned stands need more space to grow diameter, so thinning takes out more trees.  Unpruned stands are usually in more difficult sites and higher final crop stockings help the trees to maintain good form and small branching.  Some stands have heavy seedling regeneration from the previous crop and we may need to pull or cut these out early in the rotation.

Harvesting

Harvesting is undertaken in Craigpine forests using skilled and experienced crews.  Where possible we use fully mechanized operations.  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, work is planned within the NES-PF framework and any necessary consents are applied for.  A pre-harvest meeting is held with the contractor to discuss issues including health and safety, 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 environmental impacts, soil disturbance and health and safety are appropriately managed.  All contractors must adhere to the NZ Forest Code of Practice and are encouraged to be Safetree certified.  During 2022 this will be a mandatory standard. At completion of harvest, the cut-over is examined and the review is documented as a post-harvest inspection, with remedial action taken if necessary.

Roading and Quarrying

Craigpine forests are all second rotation or older, and the roading network is largely complete.  Most roading activity is maintenance of the existing network.  Road works are carried out to the standards of the NZ Forest Road Engineering Manual.  Great care is taken to ensure water quality is not impacted through sedimentation or slippage.  Roads are inspected regularly and repairs are conducted promptly to prevent deterioration and minimise environmental impacts

Rock is occasionally extracted from quarries or borrow pits within Craigpine forests.  We use existing sites, or sites selected to minimise ground disturbance, have low risk of water contamination and for ease of access.  We operate small sites on flat areas or ridges and use sediment traps and soil bunding.

Health & Safety

Craigpine strives to ensure the health and safety of all staff, contractors and visitors to its forests.  This means we manage forest access, restrict hunting, set expectations and monitor activities.  We work with our contractors to ensure that activities are appropriately managed including careful operations planning, pre operational meetings, monitoring and review.  We carry out incident investigations for even minor incidents so the lessons can be applied to prevent serious incidents.

Employees

Other than the Craigpine Forestry Manager, contractors undertake all forestry work.  Our relationship with most contractors extends over many years and we work to provide a consistent, stable workplace for them.  This involves ensuring that they are kept well informed of the upcoming work program, work standards and hazards are well communicated and that Craigpine does a good job of managing its side of the relationship.  Contractors are responsible for their own employees and Craigpine has little direct influence over their employment.  Normally these employees are on individual employment contracts but they are free to negotiate their conditions individually or in groups.

Monitoring

Craigpine conducts extensive monitoring and measurement of its forest estate and activities.  This includes:

  • Forest valuation
  • Stream and water monitoring
  • Crop monitoring and measurement
  • Operational monitoring
  • Pest plant and animal monitoring
  • Rare, threatened and endangered species record keeping
  • Disease monitoring
  • Stakeholder communications
  • Mapping work
  • FSC audits

In many circumstances the results of the monitoring are used to guide operations and remedy problems.

Environment

Craigpine places a good deal of emphasis on being a careful custodian of the environment.  We take into account our physical environment and the broader context including social, legal, Iwi and other obligations.  Work planning includes assessment of impacts, legal and other compliance, and ongoing monitoring is in place to track changes over time.

Within the Craigpine forests, there are 306 hectares of native cover (including scrub).  This area is reserved from operations and is included in our monitoring work.  We have predator management activities in place and are expanding this management.  We carry out wilding management across this area.

Craigpine staff and contractors are aware of and look out for rare threatened or endangered species, and records of encounters are kept.  We have records of karearea encounters on a single harvest skid going back almost a decade.  We hope they are the same birds…

Craigpine is careful about water quality.  Streams across the estate have been assessed for buffer zones with no forestry activities allowed within the buffers.  The buffer zones are set to a minimum of the zones under the NES-PF, but are often larger than these allowances.  Stream crossings at harvest are carefully planned and managed to limit impacts on water quality and aquatic life.

Sediment load in runoff water is managed through use of water tables, sediment traps, and cutoffs.  The NZ Forest Road Engineering Manual provides design standards for engineered areas such as roads, tracks and quarries.

Procedures are in place to minimise the environmental impact of industrial waste and spills.  Contractors carry spill kits and minimise on-site chemicals.  Craigpine avoids the use of chemicals where practicable, with chemical use restricted to release spraying, roadside, and boundary management.  Mechanical weed control or no weed control is our preferred option.  Craigpine operates an integrated pest management strategy and the planning of any chemical use is subject to ESRA.

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.

FSC 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.

Social Impact

Craigpine understands that it has a social license and takes its social obligations seriously.  We enjoy our interactions with the wider community and employ a friendly approachable manner 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.

We produce an informative newsletter yearly which can be viewed through this website.  A copy can also be requested from the front desk of the Winton office or through the Forestry Manager.  Craigpine Timber prides itself on helping out the local community via sponsorship of local events and employing 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.

Craigpine also has a complaints process.  All complaints are recorded, investigated and, where necessary, acted on.

While hunting is tightly controlled on the Craigpine estate, we are happy to consider access into the forests for other reasons.  Access is sometimes temporarily restricted for operational reasons.

Emissions Trading Scheme

Craigpine forests are all pre-1990 forests and are not registered under the ETS for carbon credits.

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