Forest Enterprises won the Environmental Management Award at the 2021 Eastland Forestry Awards in Gisborne on 21 May 2021.

This award recognises Forest Enterprises for its leadership in harvest catchment management and planning, and for supporting contractors to implement innovative mechanised harvesting systems.

A key principle of forestry investment is to protect the underlying asset being the land.

“We’re taking leadership in making meaningful change to the way we manage land during the vulnerability of harvest”, says Dan Fraser, Forest Enterprises’ co-owner and Gisborne Regional Manager.

“It’s a real focus on lifting the value of forestry for our community.”

“From the onset of our Gisborne harvest, we identified that we cannot continue doing the same things and expect a better result.”

Forest Enterprises has sought practical solutions to the impacts on harvest, not only from regional supply chain constraints, but from the significant risk to the environment that harvesting large single age class blocks could pose.

“Planning a harvest within natural boundaries like a river catchment, means we are managing risk holistically to mitigate downstream effects. Our replant strategy has also changed. We incorporate planting of alternative species along some stream margins for the second forest rotation.”

Forest Enterprises has ‘opened the gate’ and demonstrated its positive actions by hosting numerous open days, inviting other forest owners, contractors, Gisborne District Council staff and officials on forest tours and for harvest visits. The Council has been supportive of the operational changes and its monitoring team has provided very good feedback. Similarly, visiting Department of Conservation staff have praised the level of technology involved and the extent of planning undertaken to improve environmental performance.

Forest Enterprises’ collective harvest strategy has enabled us to partner with the best contractor workforce. The combination of continuous harvest programmes and highly skilled contractors has leapfrogged the development of new harvest technology.

Forest Enterprises’ Gisborne contractors are some of highest production crews in the region. They are innovative and successful. Importantly, they are setting new standards on the East Coast for mitigating and managing the environmental and health and safety risks.

Forest Enterprises’ contractors shone among those honoured at this year’s awards. Congratulations go to:

  • Ben MacArthur (Speirs Logging) – Skilled Professional of the Year (2021 Overall Winner)
  • Ben MacArthur (Speirs Logging) – Faller Excellence (Mechanised)
  • Speirs Logging – Crew of the Year
  • Grant Walker (Raywood Contracting) – Roading (Civil)
  • Kevin McKay (McKay Cartage) – Cartage Excellence. Runner-up was Steven Kent (Pacific Haulage Ltd)

We’d also like to acknowledge Krissy Mackintosh from the movement HEAR4U, for winning the Good Deed Award. Dan Fraser nominated Krissy for her work with male suicide prevention. The very popular Good Deed Award is voted by the audience on the night.