Unearthing Forestry Management: An insightful journey with Kyle Heagney

Unearthing Forestry Management: An insightful journey with Kyle Heagney

Well, last month, Rex producer, Joe Grigg, had a day visiting a forest logging operation in her native Marlborough, overseen by a bloke called Kyle Heagney who is the Managing Director of M&R Forestland Management.

The event was a bit of a field day to showcase award-winning forestry management, especially during logging.

Heagney joins REX host Dom George to discuss the environmental considerations his company has to take into account in logging operations and the importance of sustainable practices. He reveals how M&R Forestland Management has won awards for their environmentally friendly efforts. 

Heagney elaborates on a chipping trial they have implemented for waste wood, which he hopes can eventually be used as biofuel. This innovative solution could offer a new revenue stream and help improve the industry's image. However, he notes that it's currently in the trial stage and is not yet economically viable.

"At the moment, it's not economic because it's still very much at the trial stage," he says.

"So it still costs us, but it costs us to manage it anyway." 

The episode also delves into the contentious issue of converting farmland into forestry, a topic Heagney admits is controversial. Despite the debates, Heagney stresses the need to manage the environment responsibly, particularly on steep land. 

He emphasises that the biggest challenge for them is "to make sure we're doing a good job and not damaging the environment." 

Lastly, Heagney offers an industry insider's perspective on current log prices and market trends. He shares that the past year has been tough, with depressed markets from April to October. 

He also highlights the reduced demand for timber in New Zealand, which has impacted their operations. Despite these challenges, Heagney remains optimistic about the future of the forestry industry.

Listen to the full chat between Kyle Heagney and Dominic George above.

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