What is land management?
Land management is the practice of soil conservation to
reduce erosion and therefore maintain sustainable soil and water
resources. Erosion is a natural process influenced by geology,
slope, climate and vegetation. However, land use can also affect
erosion and human modification of the landscape can significantly
accelerate the erosion process.
Soil conservation in the Bay of Plenty
The main types of erosion in the Bay of Plenty are sheet and
rill surface erosion and gully erosion.
The volcanic ash soils of the Bay of Plenty region are
particularly susceptible to erosion if they have insufficient
vegetation cover. Erosion problems in the Bay of Plenty are
aggravated by changes in land use from forest to pasture, increased
stock numbers and surface compaction.
The Ministry for the Environment has identified
680 000 ha of land potentially at risk from some degree
of erosion in the Bay of Plenty. About 20% (153 000 ha)
of this land is presently used for pastoral farming.
Who is responsible?
Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for promoting
soil conservation in the Bay of Plenty under the Resource
Management Act 1991 and the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control
Soil conservation has been practised in the Bay of Plenty since
the 1960s. Since 1970 soil conservation plans have been implemented
on nearly 200 farms with further plans still underway. These plans
cover more than 28,000ha and include the retirement of 2600ha of
steep erodible land.
Soil Conservation and Environmental Plans are the main tools
used by Bay of Plenty Regional Council to encourage land use
according to its productive capacity and sustainable