Forestry honour for Whanganui man

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Ian Moore, with some of the macrocarpa he grew for his son's house. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY
Ian Moore, with some of the macrocarpa he grew for his son's house. PHOTO/ BEVAN CONLEY

Whanganui's "Mr Forestry", Ian Moore, has been made a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

He's been a member of the institute since 1980 and ran its annual conference single-handed in 1993. He became a fellow, the institute's highest honour, at its annual general meeting on August 30.

Mr Moore's nomination by Rene Weterings says he has spent the last 40 years dealing with the complex issues of erodible steepland soils in the lower North Island, and he has planted many thousands of hectares of trees.

His practical approach has had a big influence in the region, and he has mentored many - both young and older.

As a young man Mr Moore got degrees in geology and soils at Victoria University. He then worked in the Pacific before getting a soil conservator job at the then Rangitikei-Wanganui Catchment Board. It morphed into Horizons Regional Council and Mr Moore eventually became its Wanganui area manager.

During that time he advised on setting up Wanganui District Council's forests, and feels "a certain sadness" at their impending sale. In 1989 the institute gave him a travel award and he investigated logging in the Pacific northwest of north America.

In 1993 he went to China to advise on forestry for the Loess Plateau in Gansu Province, at the headwaters of the Yellow River. He combined that with scholarship travel to Korea and Japan, to look at crops like ginseng and fungi that can be grown under forests.

In 2005 Mr Moore left Horizons and started his own forestry consultancy business, Moore and Associates. At around the same time he and wife Pam began a mixed forestry and farming venture on 200ha in Longacre Rd near Whanganui.

They planted steeper parts of the land in trees, fenced off wetlands in the gullies and carried on grazing the rest - with no reduction in meat and wool production.

In 2012 that venture won the Middle Districts Farm Forestry Association's McKean Cup for excellence in farm forestry, with a citation calling him "a consultant who actively practises what he preaches".

Still consulting, he now says he has never been busier.

He's often called on as an expert witness to provide evidence about indigenous forestry - most recently in Te Anau. He's advised on a wetland for the Riri a te Hori papakainga near Putiki.

He's done a review of Nelson City Council forests - which are used for waste disposal, subdivision and recreation as well as water systems, soil conservation and commercial production.

He's made two trips to the Chatham Islands, to advise on macrocarpa valuation and use. Some of his most exciting work at present is advising several iwi trusts that are planting mānuka on Māori land.

He said iwi had an affinity with land, vegetation and water and a sense of purpose about improving the environment.

"It's actually happening, and it's good to be involved in helping them."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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