Draft forest management plan for Cashmere Forest, Port Hills, Canterbury. (2007)
AuthorsMansell, Jeremy Davidshow all
Cashmere Forest is currently a production forest comprised of mostly radiata pine (c.85%), Douglas fir (c.5%) and some non plantation areas. The Port Hills Park Trust Board (PHPTB) is interested in purchasing Cashmere Forest for the purpose of creating a public forest park environment where forestry, indigenous biodiversity, recreation and the environment are goals of sustainable management. For this purpose this draft forest management (DFM) plan has been prepared. The preparation of the Cashmere DFM plan comprised three main components: 1. An economic analysis of the current plantation component of Cashmere Forest. 2. Preparation of a draft forest management plan which encompasses the management of plantation and non plantation areas. 3. Preparation of a geographic information system (GIS) for Cashmere Forest. Economic analysis evaluated clearfell, coupe (2 to 5 ha), and a mixture of coupe and continuous canopy management (CCM) as harvesting scenarios. The coupe CCM mix was recommended for implementation primarily as it best suited long term management goals for Cashmere Forest Park while also returning modest value (NPV $561, 966). Normal cashflow analysis was also used to analyse cashflow over the first thirty years of operation from 2007. Under coupe/CCM, accrued profit does not become permanently positive until around 2019 due to initial infrastructure costs. Accrued revenue culminates at around 4 million after 30 years. This figure may drop following implementation of high pruning, alternative growth models and indigenous restoration. The Cashmere DFM plan begins with the 200 year vision which sees a Forest Park ecosystem that achieves production, environmental, ecological and recreational goals appropriate to its Port Hills location. Production forestry is practiced through the selective harvesting of a range of naturally regenerated exotic and restored indigenous species. Landscape, soil and water resources are sustainably managed through the retention of a mixed forest canopy. The forest park has been significantly augmented with indigenous flora and fauna typical of the Port Hills and ecologically significant areas are managed specifically for their indigenous biodiversity. Park recreational users are enjoying ongoing utilisation of a unique Canterbury landscape. Plantation forest management involves coupes of between 2 to 5 ha which will be harvested with cable or ground based systems with areas split approximately 50:50 between the two. Cable harvesting will be carried out with a swing yarder system with ground based operations carried out with track skidders. CCM will be carried out on a trial basis in three compartments. Re-establishment of plantation areas will aim towards occupying around 58% of Cashmere Forest, comprised of areas of radiate pine 65%, radiata pine/eucalypt 24%, Douglas fir/eucalypt 5% and Alternative species 6%. Non plantation areas are identified as either bluff, track or clearing. Within each area there may be one or more vegetation type including tussock grassland, mixed shrubland, rock association and any mixture of the three. It is proposed that the non plantation area will eventually increase to include riparian buffers 31%, restored native 55%, bluff 10% and track 4% areas, reflecting the long term vision of increased native areas in Cashmere Forest. Monitoring of forest operations, restoration, recreation and management progress will be integral to the successful implementation of the Cashmere DFM plan. A database of information will be created to allow periodical reviews of processes and predictions and reconciliation of costs and revenues associated with the management of Cashmere Forest. Periodical reviews will also be undertaken by an independent management advisory group who can liaise with the project manager of Cashmere Forest Park to discuss issues and aid planning and ensure the successful establishment of this unique park resource.