Friday, January 18, 2013

Tasman Sea - Second Crossing 1/16/2013

During our journeys in New Zealand we have seen and learned a great deal. Along the way there have been surprises, one of which being the country’s involvement in the lumber industry.

Forestry in New Zealand has a history starting with European settlement in the 19th century and is now an industry worth four percent of GDP. Much of the original native forest cover was burnt off but it was also logged until 2000. Native forest logging on public land attracted opposition with protests and environmental groups becoming very active until it ended.

It now occurs only on private land and is shown to be sustainable. Extensive forests have been planted, predominantly with Monterey Pine, the same tree found in California.

Here conditions are such that the trees mature at a faster pace, allowing New Zealand to export wood chips, whole logs, lumber and paper products, the evidence of which we saw at a number of our stops.

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