East Coast Storm Event - June 2018
20 June 2018
Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) has asked for calmness in the wake of recent storm events on the east coast. The organisation that represents the interests of all silviculture, logging and roading contractors throughout NZ, fully sympathises with neighbours who have been impacted, but stresses Contractors have been doing an acceptably good job logging difficult country.
Logging contractors are willing and able to help in whatever way they can to be “good neighbours” and assist in the clean-up, which is already well underway.
FICA are concerned about the pressures some contractors are under, the effects of ongoing negative public and political comment and financial hardship as income drops. FICA has asked for patience and support from everyone, contractors, forest managers, neighbours and councils as we all work together to clean up the storm debris.
Issues around downstream impacts of land use are certainly not a forestry issue alone. New Zealand is dealing with major water quality issues, and forestry is part of that discussion. Any land use has costs and benefits associated with social, economic and environmental outcomes. There needs to be a sound science-based evaluation of land use, whether that involves, forestry, farming or land retirement. In recent years Nelson and Northland have suffered similar events.
The issues of forest debris, land use, soil erosion and sedimentation are complex, as is our geology. There is a lot of scientific knowledge out there, this needs to be reviewed and where there are gaps, further study initiated to improve forest management practices where practicable, or alternate activities on the land where necessary.
Forest Industry Contractors Association was formed to give a common voice on relevant issues and to foster development and improvement in the New Zealand forestry contracting industry. FICA currently has approximately 200 members and is governed by a board of experienced contractors and is active on a number of industry committees.