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Graham West's comment

Graham West

Many city politicians are promising to solve climate change with trees without understanding that forests can't just be established anywhere in the landscape. It's easy to talk this up, but we shouldn't make the same mistakes of the past (e.g. dairy conversions) of changing the land use to something the ecosystem can't handle. Farmers are ready and willing to do the right thing and plant their marginal land in trees. But timber forests require harvesting and the associated roading and landings can create sediment and debris flows in steep lands. Incentives around afforestation need to be carefully planned. Many woodlots that were located in a steep gully at the back of the farm are an economic disaster and occasionally an environmental disaster as well. While permanent carbon forests are more adaptable and less demanding in terms of site, it means that land is lost from production and generally doesn't appeal to farmers drive for production or maximum economic return. Many have called for the planting of 1 million hectares to meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement. What city politicians simply don't get is that the suitable land for forestry is in private ownership, i.e. farmers and iwi. There is little suitable crown land left, unless they plant up Land Corp. So like the tax debate, where is the detail around the feasibility of these promises? I think tax payers, land owners and their advisers would like to know