A Nelson City Councillor is raising the alarm as the government re-opens the discussion on possible changes from “volume”-based logging licences to “area”-based tenures.
Candace Batycki spent 10 years as director of Forest Campaigns with environmental group Forest Ethics.
She says forest companies have long wanted the change but the public has always pushed back against what would effectively be quasi-privatisation of forests.
The government has started two months of public consultation.
Area-based tenure would give logging companies exclusive access to a forest but the government says it would encourage those companies to invest in their area to increase future productivity.