Local councils will have more power to decide where new commercial forests are located, while forest owners will have to remove slash. Environment Minister David Parker says the new national standards give clear rules on harvesting practices and new requirements to remove slash from erosion-prone land. Forestry Minister Peeni Henare says slash provisions have been tightened to reduce the risks of damage to downstream communities and under the new regulations, slash longer than 2m, and with a large-end diameter of more than 10cm, must be removed after harvesting from erosion-prone land unless it is unsafe to do so. This is a minimum standard across the country, and councils can apply more stringent requirements if they choose. These changes come into force from November 2 this year.