Visualising Forestry Harvesting Cycles

Future risk planning through the visualisation of forestry harvesting cycles

Pine forest near Wakefield in the north of the South Island. Photo: John Carnemolla / Shutterstock

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
July 2023 – June 2024

Collaborators Ngā haumi

GeoInsight | Gisborne District Council | GNS Science | Hawkes Bay Regional Council | Indufor | Marlborough District Council | Nelson City Council | Tasman Regional Council | University Of Canterbury

You are here: Home / Projects / ­ Visualising Forestry Harvesting Cycles

What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

Local councils, landowners, and the forestry sector are working to enhance their management and mitigation of future environmental impacts. Central to this effort is the ambition to improve access to vital information about forestry stand locations, recent harvests, and forthcoming harvesting schedules.

The project aims to create an online spatial decision support tool to help visualise forestry stand age data and predict risk profiles in catchments of different sizes. This involves visualising future intergenerational harvesting cycles, downstream risks, and the natural susceptibility of areas typically prone to erosion.

This approach aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of harvesting cycles on a catchment scale, which is essential for proactive environmental stewardship.

The methodology will be completed by mid-2024. After this, the web-based tool will undergo further refinements in five targeted regions: Te Tauihu (Tasman, Nelson, Marlborough), Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawkes Bay), and Tairāwhiti (Gisborne), with the goal of expanding deployment throughout Aotearoa.

How can the research be used? Ka pēhea e whai take ai te rangahau?

  • Users of the tool will be able to see a consistent and accurate baseline of plantation stand age that can be used as a proxy for likely harvesting activity.
  • Visualisations of data will use a time slider and heat mapping to highlight catchments and forested areas needing greater attention to help focus management efforts into the future.
  • Users will be able to visualise and understand the evolving risks associated with forestry activities in different catchment areas.
  • The results from this project could ultimately provide a common medium to enable open and transparent landscape-scale management conversations to flourish to futureproof communities, infrastructure and the sensitive receiving environments downstream.
  • This project will surface data and information that is currently inaccessible to many due to resource limitations, empowering the forestry sector to showcase progressive and proactive catchment planning with regulators, empower tangata whenua to protect cultural heritage, and encourage other land users to think holistically.

Participation & engagement Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

  • A stakeholder analysis will be undertaken to deeply understand needs, pain points and opportunities.
  • The research team will work with Māori stakeholder groups, predominantly through te Taiao teams within post settlement governance entities and representatives from iwi commercial boards that hold forestry interests, to ensure that their needs are well understood and accounted for in the design of the tool.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Project Manager
Mark Spencer
Architect/Software Lead
Robert Besaans
Science Lead
Brenda Rosser
GNS Science
Pete Watt
Mark Bloomberg
University of Canterbury

Future Landscapes Projects

Kids & Co Photos / Laura Bolt / TrueStock

Matarau: Empowering Māori Landowners in Land Use Decisions

Providing accessible and useful data to support Māori landowners to prioritise land-use options
View Project
Next Generation Systems Illo

Next Generation Systems

Identifying next generation primary production systems and opportunities to change the face of farming
View Project
This project has produced
Information Type Icon Journal Article OutlineInformation Type Icon Presentation OutlineInformation Type Icon Technical Reports Outline
Measuring Denitrification In Groundwater

Measuring Denitrification

The development of a method for measuring denitrification is a first for New Zealand, providing vital data for understanding natural denitrification processes
View Project
This project has produced
Information Type Icon Infographic OutlineInformation Type Icon Method OutlineInformation Type Icon Presentation OutlineInformation Type Icon Summary OutlineInformation Type Icon Technical Reports Outline

Phosphorus Best Practice

Investigating whether current fertiliser and effluent guidelines and policy are strong enough to prevent phosphorus loss
View Project

Healthy Estuaries

Assessing the interactions between loadings of different contaminants from freshwaters on the health and functioning of estuaries
View Project
The Duke of Edinburgh (third from left) observes border dyke irrigation at the Winchmore Research Station Irrigation Scheme. In a border dyke irrigation system, when water is diverted from the main water races into smaller ones, a temporary dam must be created at the outlet to each border, so the water spills through onto pasture. In this image the outlet behind the worker in the water has been closed with a board, the pasture on the right of it has been flattened by the previous flow of water. The worker is lifting a corner of the canvas dam to allow water to flow down to the next temporary dam.

Linking Legacies to Wai

Accounting for lag times and natural concentrations of contaminants in groundwater
View Project
Scroll to Top