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Investment in training a key factor

Tom O'Leary Dec 12
Investment in training a key factor
AFM’s services include tree planting, chainsaw thinning to waste, fertilising and spot spraying, forest access safety induction, fi re break and fi re pond maintenance, wilding pine control, native habitat restoration and track maintenance

Action Forest Management (AFM) is proud that one of its staff members, Tony Dell, won the Skilled Professionals Tasman Pine Forests ‘Forestry Excellence’ Award at the inaugural 2019 Top of the South Forestry Awards.

AFM owner Robin Thompson says that Tony, who is a crew manager of one of AFM’s silvicultural crews and a Competenz trainer and assessor with national qualifications in health and safety and leadership, reflects AFM’s investment in training.

“He is a good example of the quality of our team and the professional manner we operate the business in for the benefit of our clients,” says Robin.

Robin is an active member of the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) Silvicultural Action Group (SAG), which is working hard to improve the professionalism of silvicultural contractors.

He says the aim is to create training and career pathways for silvicultural workers and to improve the physical and financial training and skill recognition for silviculture workers across the industry.

He says that AFM invests heavily in people and training, viewing its team as the cornerstone of its business. “The skill level required for silviculture workers, and the associated financial recognition, have long been underrated by our industry.

“A person who can undertake multiple silviculture operations is a real asset to the forest industry.“People like Tony, who can train and lead a skilled piece rate silviculture crew and still operate on piece rate himself as required is a real asset to our contracting company.

“People with these skills are vitally important for the New Zealand forest industry, particularly with the Governments One Billion Trees programme.”Based in Richmond AFM was formed in 2005 and provides professional forestry, fire, rural land management and contracting services.

As well as engaging and managing heavy machinery for specialist tasks, AFM operates its own contracting crews under the name Action Forest Services Ltd providing many of AFM’s operational services.

Robin says that this allows AFM to plan, implement and manage any aspect of a forest operation, from providing quality assured contract services only through to full management of a forest as an investment in wood and carbon.

Services include tree planting, chainsaw thinning to waste, fertilising and spot spraying, forest access safety induction, fire break and fire pond maintenance, wilding pine control, native habitat restoration and track maintenance.

He says that AFM personnel are trained in applicable Growsafe chemical application and forestry environmental standards as part of the company’s focus on minimising the impact of its operations.

He says that spot release spraying is environmentally preferred to broadcast aerial spraying for releasing young pine trees from competition by weed species. AFM has won a number of awards over the years including taking out the overall title for the Nelson-Tasman region in the Chamber of Commerce Service Excellence Awards in 2012.

“We aim to solve our clients’ problems and deliver them a complete package. Professionalism combined with management expertise allows us to deliver outstanding results.”

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