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9 July 2015
Memo to: Mayor and Councillors
Memo from: Administration Advisers
Subject: Governance Committee– 9 July 2015 – LATE ITEM
A report titled Forestry Harvest on Dun Mountain Walkway is attached and to be considered as a major late item at this meeting.
Section 46A(1)-(6) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Standing Order 2.15.8 require that agendas are distributed with the associated reports. As this report was not distributed with the agenda for this meeting, it must be treated as a major late item to be considered at this meeting.
In accordance with section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Standing Order 3.7.5, a procedural resolution is required before a major item that is not on the agenda for the meeting may be dealt with.
In accordance with section 46A(7)(b)(i) the reason why the item was not on the agenda is because it came to hand after the agenda had been distributed.
In accordance with section 46A(7)(b)(ii) the reason why discussion of this item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting is because a resolution on the matter is required before the next scheduled meeting of the Governance Committee to enable a timely decision to be made.
THAT the item regarding Forestry Harvest on Dun Mountain Walkway be considered at this meeting as a major item not on the agenda, pursuant to Section 46A(7)(a) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, to enable a timely decision to be made.
9 July 2015
Forestry Harvest on Dun Mountain Walkway
1. Purpose of Report
1.1 To advise the Committee on pending forestry harvesting activities in the Brook Valley and the impact of this on recreational use of the Dun Mountain Trail and to seek advice whether to proceed with this or not.
2.1 The Governance Committee is delegated to consider matters of commercial activities relating to Council.
2.2 The Commercial Subcommittee at its meeting on 9 July 2015, resolved to defer this matter to the Governance Committee.
Recommendation to Council
4.1 The Council currently owns a 25 hectare block within the Dun Mountain area that requires harvesting. This forest is on its second tree crop rotation and is located adjacent to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. (refer to attachment 1 for location). PF Olsen, Council’s management consultant, identified the block has reached its optimum harvest age, and the net present value of this block will decline after 2015.
4.2 Matters relating to forestry have not previously been put before Council; they have been treated as operational decisions. In addition, the Chief Executive has initiated a review (which the Commercial Subcommittee will be considering). This matter comes before the Committee now because of staff endeavours to accommodate all users of the surrounding area within the harvesting timetable, whilst achieving best outcomes for Council.
4.3 The harvesting requires resource consent to carry out soil disturbance and earthworks activities associated with harvesting. Consent was granted on 6 July 2015.
4.4 Council has two operational Forestry and Harvesting agreements with a management consultant, PF Olsen. PF Olsen has robust health and safety requirements and procedures in place for their logging sub contractors and are TELARC registered. These agreements mean that the activity will not be the subject of a separate tender.
4.5 Several forestry methodologies have been discussed with PF Olsen. All require the closure of the Dun Mountain Trail for most of the intended period (of up to four months) of harvesting, planned to start around August 2015.
4.6 As this is the second rotation of pine trees, the site has already been heavily modified during the harvesting of the first crop of trees. The proposal is to clear the existing track network that was used in the previous harvest of this stand in 1986. It is planned to use some of the existing tracks to skid logs to the central ridge where they will be picked up with a falcon grapple and hauled down by cable to the existing skid site. The trail will be re-instated on completion of the harvesting.
5.1 This block was identified as having reached its optimum harvest age and that the net present value of this block will decline after 2015.
5.2 PF Olsen estimate that the harvest contractor’s per tonne rate will be high – around $42 per tonne due to the difficulty of extracting the logs from this steep block of land. Net revenue to Council is expected to be within the range of $300,000 - $350,000, however this will depend on the market opportunities available at the time the trees are logged.
5.3 Council is currently undertaking a forestry review which will focus on the strategic aspects of our forestry activities. This review will consider the future of forestry and /or retirement of those forested areas that are fragmented or poorly located and whether to replant in native bush or not.
5.4 Logging truck access to and from the Brook Valley has been carefully managed in the past to avoid trucks travelling past schools at busy times. The Tasman Street upgrade is due for completion early August and will not impact on logging truck movements.
5.5 Forestry harvesting activities will limit access to work sites for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust’s (BWST) fencing contractor. Work on a 5.5 km stretch of the fence programmed for December would not be possible if the forest harvest was started any later than August, and result in further disruption of the Trust’s programme going forward.
5.6 If the harvesting can be completed by November 2015, the Dun Mountain Trail will be available for recreational users over the summer period.
6.1 The Committee could indicate that the harvesting of this block either does or does not proceed.
the harvesting does not proceed over the next 12 months, it is likely the
condition of the forestry will deteriorate and returns to Council will
diminish. However, it should also be recognised that the financial
returns to Council will be affected by economic conditions.
Council’s investment policy is the guiding document, and the forestry section is provided as Attachment 2.
7. Alignment with relevant Council policy
7.1 The block is scheduled for harvest by the management consultant.
8. Assessment of Significance against the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy
8.1 This is not significant in terms of Councils Significance and Engagement Policy.
9.1 Any consultation will be guided by the regulatory process.
10. Inclusion of Māori in the decision making process
10.1 No consultation has been undertaken with Maori
11.1 The forest block is due for harvest and should result in a net income to Council of between $300,000 and $350,000.
11.2 The activity has obtained resource consent.
11.3 The harvest will require the closure of the Dun Mountain walkway for a period of time (estimated to be no more than 4 months).
11.4 Harvesting is proposed to commence in August 2015 and will include a detailed communication plan.
11.5 Harvesting of this block will in no way over ride or preclude the outcome of the pending forestry Review.
Team Leader Roading and Solid Waste
Brook Forest Stand 21.04