Conserving and maintaining soil and water resources

Soil and water resources underpin forest ecosystems. Forest ecosystems help regulate surface and groundwater flows. Together with associated aquatic ecosystems and clean water, they are essential to the quality of human life.

Forest management can significantly alter forest soils, water quality and associated aquatic habitats for better and for worse.

Measuring how well soil and water resources are protected

Protection of soil and water resources can be evaluated by:

(i)    the area of land allocated for protective functions

(ii)    legislation and industry guidelines targeted at protecting soil and water

(iii)   levels of best-practice forest management related to soil and water

(iv)   changes in soil and water quality, and associated aquatic habitats around forests over time.

  • New Zealand has significant areas of forest, both indigenous and planted, protecting soils with erosion potential
  • A range of industry guidelines encourage good management of soil and water resources around forests.

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