For private forests:(Was: Re: Sustainable indigenous forestry in N Z)

Brian Sandle bsandle at
Wed Feb 16 08:39:18 EST 2000

In nz.politics Euan Mason <fore057 at> wrote:
: Brian Sandle wrote:

:> Euan Mason from the University of Canterbury School of Forestry, and
:> whose name appears on your website below, says he runs the agroforestry
:> course. An exam paper question gives:

: I don't run the agroforestry course, and I have never said that I did.  If you
: are going to quote me, please get it right.

From: Euan Mason <fore057 at>
Newsgroups: nz.politics,,
Subject: Re: PR: Hearings on beech scheme should resume
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 11:47:56 -0500

Brian Sandle wrote:
> Euan Mason <fore057 at> wrote:
> [Brian said that the school should address agroforestry issues]
> I am wondering how much overlap there is now in the courses, or whether
> the artificial, to me, separation is still being imposed.
We do, Brian.  We have a course in agroforestry, and I am rapidly 
expanding my
contacts in that area, recognising that it is more etgical for research 
funds to
be spent helping people with NZ owned forests, and most of these are now 
small holdings.

Sorry, I must have interpreted, `that area' as refering to the topic of 
the first phrase of your sentence, `a course in agroforestry.'

Maybe I had looked at the web page of the School  postgrad.htm and had 
some difficulty quickly looking thinking it was not down to anyone, but 
that could have been because of the way the names of lecturers and 
subjects seem to be reversed in proximity to the margin, that is for the 
closest description, trees on farms.

I have been trying to figure which year 1, 2 or 3 courses of the School 
it might be included in.

  You've also misquoted me on the
: pest control cost question.

  Why not ask your correspondents to visit:


: where they can read my opinions at first hand, undistorted, and quoted in
: context.

: Euan

I did read through your pages some while back, but I don't think you put 
it quite the way you have in that recent article. Now I have reposted it 
below with the line wrap it is easier to read on the common 80 character 

So a $450 million rather than a $250 million should have been filtering 
back into my consciousness, with the provisos you gave.

The question is whether the financial contribution 100,000 dieback beech 
trees per annum can make to the wasp and other pest problem solution will 
be any use.

From: Euan Mason <fore057 at>
Newsgroups: nz.general,nz.politics,nz.reg.west-coast.general
Subject: Re: German Scientist Supports Sustainable Logging
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 09:42:40 -0500
Organization: University of Canterbury
Lines: 61
Message-ID: <38A8145E.C1934D8F at>

> One of my colleagues roughly estimated the cost of control at $450
> Million/annum, but
> my impression is that his estimate is _very_ rough.  He took into
> account overheads
> and access costs as well as direct control operations.
> DoC has a mainland island habitat program that should provide some
> hard data for
> calculation of costs.  We might hope that costs will come down as
> they data for
> calculation of costs.  We might hope that costs will come down as
> they learn more
> about how to implement control.  The current costs of the program
> are very high per
> hectare, higher than my colleague's estimates.
> One option that I think we should consider is the creation of
> wealth, through sustainable harvesting, tourism, or whatever, with
> a requirement that businesses
> include pest control in their management plans.

That is sort of like asking your rich dental patients to susbsidise your 
poor ones, your private school pupils to pay for your free ones &c your 
commercial radio stations or TV license to subsidise the non-advertising 
ones and the NZSO, which used to be funded by Broadcasting. A few years 
ago NZSO was moved away from the Broadcasting Fee to a grant from the 
Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Orchestras all over the world require govt 
grants to run, as do educational institutions overall. Fortunately we 
are getting away from the idea of a making a profit from an activity to 
run another which we artificially decide it ought to pay for. We honeslty 
go to general taxation. Probably for our forest cathedrals we should do 
the same.

Actually often the rather poor are working very hard and paying to the 
rich who may know how to pay less taxes. The same with a poor forest 
suffering pests. You are asking it to pay for upkeep of rich people as 
well as itself. As Sandra Lee said the forests are our cathedrals in New 
Zealand. (If I remember her words on the topic in the early 
parliamentary debate this seesion.)

The forests of New Zealand have paid enough already.

  The idea of
> "living sustainably" can  
> include wealth creation from harvests if the ecosystems can be
> retained.  This was 
> the essence of "A sand county almanac", written many decades ago by
> Aldo Leopold, a
> forester and conservationist.  The problem I have with the
> Minister's   approach to
> Westland beech is that it will not contribute to our overall global
> objective of
> living sustainably.  We can choose to live in, extract resources
> from, and protect  
>  abitats, or we can try to "preserve" some habitats (whatever that
> means, as they are
> all changing) while imposing extra stresses on others.

But does it impose a stress on a sheep farm to put some agroforestry on it?

Some religion or similar activity is trying to follow your theory by being
money making, perhaps. But then the trouble is that the money making can
become more important than the message. 

  Every time
> a New Zealander
> goes to the shop and buys furniture made from tropical hardwoods
> mined from a
> delicate tropical ecosystem, we should think of the lost
> opportunity to create the
> same products from a small portion of our beech estate, harvested
> in a sustainable
> manner.   

`Our' beech estate when we were going to sell it, and hope that it would 
be looked after better than other beech forests such as Alton. Did you 
not say it was a side track last time I mentioned that it would be a much 
better thing as an exmaple of conservation to try to get all our beech 
logging operations sustainable when they have been very unsustainable 
rather than start new ones and leave the unsustainable ones to continue 
that way.

> In the end, NZers need to realise that our forests habitats are
> changing, and that in
> many areas it may not be financially feasible to retain the
> character of original
> native forest.

As Ian of the Greens Party siad in his maiden speech, the Exxon Valdez 
oil spill disaster produced a great improvement in the local economy. We 
need other ways to improve the economy than environmental destruction.
Economics is getting fixed by the new govt. We don't have to beat the dead 
horse of the market any more, the often artificial market as was being 
imposed on the health system and was one reason the govt was voted out.

  That character is now gone throughout most of the
> two main islands.
> The question then becomes, "What kinds of ecosystems are now
> feasible,
>  nd which ones
> do we want?"  The answers will come from research, government
> policies and decisions
> of individual land owners.  If we leave the answers to arise in a
> "market" kind of
> way, then we may not like the results.  I think it's better to be
> proactive, and the
> first task is to inform everyone about the questions.
> Euan

Yes. Don't impose a silly old failing economics theory and lose more like
a soldier who believes he will get closer to god by dying for his country. 
Anyway the people have said what they value, the greatest number of them
who can agree and co-ordinate and support each other, that is. 

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