NZ Institute Of Forestry Announces The 2010 Forester Of The Year

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The New Zealand Institute of Forestry Inc (NZIF) Forester of the Year Award for 2010 was presented to Russell Dale of Rotorua at the Institute's annual conference in Rotorua last week. 

In announcing the recipient of this prestigious award, the President of the Institute, Dr Andrew McEwen, noted that the award recognises leadership, excellence and personal integrity. Consideration is given to the nominee's contribution to New Zealand's economic, social and environmental development, the use of innovation and new technologies or the creation of a new product or business of significance to forestry. Further consideration is given to professional and academic achievements, broad community involvement, cultural and other achievements.

Mr Dale is the Chief Executive Officer of Future Forests Research Ltd., (FFR) a company formed in 2007 to arrange funding for and to organise forest growing research in New Zealand. FFR works closely with forest sector stakeholders and research providers to identify research needs, secure funding and then assist with the uptake of the research by end users. Research programmes include forest growing, the environmental benefits of forestry, harvesting on steep slopes and improving the profitability of other species such as redwoods, cypress, Douglas fir, eucalypts and indigenous species as alternatives to radiata pine. Total annual funding is $7.5m with the sector contributing $1.3m plus significant in kind resources and the Government $6.2million dollars. FFR recently secured Primary Growth Partnership funding to investigate ways of improving the productivity and safety of steep slope harvesting.Mr Dale, who was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 2008, has had a 35 career in New Zealand forestry that included senior management positions in Forestry Corporation of New Zealand, Fletcher Challenge Forests, Carter Holt Harvey Forests and Kaingaroa Timberlands. Prior to being appointed to FFR, Mr Dale completed a number of assignments in the forestry and building industries. Most notable were assisting Forests New South Wales on a reorganisation strategy and a review of NZ research arrangement for forest growing, which led to the formation of FFR.“I am delighted that the Institute has been able to recognize the achievements of this outstanding member” said Dr McEwen. “Russell has been a high level performer and leader in the NZ forest industry for many years, managing and directing some of the country’s largest forestry enterprises. He has been particularly applauded for the focus and leadership he has provided in establishing Future Forests Research and in securing major funding for forest research both from forestry companies and from the government.”The Forester of the Year award is a large carved wall panel, a 1989 work of Rotorua carver Lyonel Grant. The principal elements portrayed in the carving are Papa Tuanuku and the children of Tane Mahuta (the forests, both native and exotic) as well as an effort to capture their respective uses using traditional design techniques in a contemporary form.