As guardians of some of New Zealand’s most beautiful plantation forests, we pride ourselves on the role we play in looking after the land, not just for our business, but for future generations. We have been studying the potential impacts of forestry for decades and regard for the environment is embedded in every facet of our business to ensure our footprint is light upon the forest floor.
While forestry provides many economic and social benefits it also plays a vital role in protecting the environment.
Our forests contribute to a number of important environmental and climate outcomes by absorbing carbon dioxide, increasing biodiversity and reducing erosion. Planted forests conserve natural forests by reducing deforestation and improve water quality.
Our environmental team has established a number of practices and processes to monitor the impact of operations in our forests to ensure there is no threat to diminishment of conservation values.
Healthy soil means a healthy forest.
We have developed our own environmental standards to minimise the impact of heavy machinery during harvesting, roading and re-establishment phases of the forest cycle.
Containment and stabilising of soil, including applying hay or wood material mulch and sowing grass seed on areas of bare soil, limits erosion and minimises the risk of disturbed soil entering waterways.
We recognise that some land has ‘special or cultural value’ and with this in mind we continue to survey and identify such areas in order to protect them.
We work with local councils, Historic Places Trust, Iwi, Department of Conservation and local communities to proactively manage cultural and recreational values.
Deep in some of our forests are significant heritage and archaeological sites – such as Maori pa and landmarks, early goldmining sites and sites of Māori and early European occupation landmarks - that are being preserved and cared for.
Within the Rayonier Matariki Forests estate there are 17,000 hectares of indigenous vegetation and wetlands which have been classified by independent ecologists, in recognition of their conservation value.
Thirteen sites of regional or national significance include a rare, endangered native plant species in Hawkes bay – Kakabeak (Clianthus maximus), Pink Broom (Carmichaelia carmichaeliae) in Canterbury, unique wetlands in Bay of Plenty and a high country tussock reserve which is one of only a few remaining in Southland.
We have developed specific management plans for these areas and work with Department of Conservation, local councils and communities to ensure the ongoing protection and enhancement of these special sites.