The Farm Forestry Association says the Ministerial Inquiry, into land-use across Gisborne needs to look closely at the tree options for to shore up vulnerable farm and former forest land in the region, or it will leave a legacy of mistakes long into the future. President, Graham West, says it is no longer just a simple matter of deciding between production pines and native trees. He says with climate change, forests need to intercept rainfall, root graft to link together the tree roots across the hillside, and sequester carbon and hold it for long periods. Graham West says many forest systems only do one or two of these three things. Graham West says more than 40 years of his forest research experience shows trees are the most beneficial option farmers and other landowners can take in this new era of environmentally aware markets and changing climate and, he says, the recent climate damage experienced in the North Island from Cyclone Gabrielle has highlighted the need to accept this is possibly a new normal for all the primary sectors.
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