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National forest owner survey and resource inventory of alternative species

By Harriet Palmer and Paul Millen, August 2021.

Download SWP-T133 (pdf)

Executive summary

Stage Two of Hawke’s Bay Region pilot project: survey of small-scale woodlot owners

The Stage 1 objective of this project was to identify a suitable methodology for a NZ-wide survey and inventory of alternative species forests and their owners by undertaking a pilot study in Hawke’s Bay Region. This objective was achieved, mapping alternative species resource down to 0.1ha in the Hawke’s Bay Region (Map 1), and identifying a significant proportion of the forest owners via application of the LINZ cadastral layer. The work confirmed that there are significant differences between NEFD data for alternative species in Hawke’s Bay and the actual forest resource on the ground.

Stage 2a objectives were to validate and extend on small-scale owners’ data gathered in Stage 1 and generate information about the Hawke’s Bay alternative species resource which will be of value in future work to develop the small-scale sawmilling industry in the region. A survey of small- scale woodlot owners was believed to be the best way of obtaining more information about the alternative species resource and its possible future harvest.

Stage 2b objectives: work is to continue at the School of Forestry to develop a mapping approach to automatedly classify alternative species based on input data received from small-scale owners (Stage 2a) and corporate owners. This is a potentially highly valuable approach for an accurate national inventory of NZ’s alternative species resource. The work, which we believe is a ‘first’ in New Zealand, has merit both as novel research as well as its potential for immediate application once developed. Dr Vega Xu will use a machine learning (ML) classification Random Forest (RF) to develop the mapping approach.

Stage 3 objectives: Pending the outcome of stage 2b a workplan will be prepared to rollout the algorithm, developed on the Hawkes Bay resource, nationally.


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