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Tools For Foresters initiative launches new website

3 March 2022

It was quite a fitting week with the Australasian forestry industry celebrating 15 years of ForestTECH, Australasia’s premier annual forest technology conference running on 23-24 February – an event that has enabled and empowered our industry with game changing technology – to officially launch the new Tools for Foresters website. It was launched as part of the Remote Sensing Cluster Group meeting that was again held virtually, the day before ForestTECH 2021-22 ran.

For those of you not familiar with #ToolsForForesters, they are an industry group dedicated to the progression of useful technology at the grass roots level. They seek to enable forest workers to innovate and advance their practice, improve health and safety, attract new people to our industry, and also helping to bridge the gap between researchers and forest workers to accelerate the use of this technology.

Background:

Working in forestry is hard enough without having to figure out all the details of UAV deployment. Identifying a gap between research and on-the-ground implementation, in 2019 a group of NZ foresters and researchers began discussions around how to progress the use of UAVs in forestry. It soon became apparent that;

• For a company to adopt UAVs in NZ, they have to invest heavily in internal RnD capability
• There are no forestry-specific training courses for UAVs teaching the required skills, and no industry standards governing their use
• It’s not a forester’s role to resolve technical roadblocks for the adoption of new tools
• There is a lack of tools to aid companies in decision making around the benefits to their use and their adoption
• There is a big disconnect between research and UAV users within industry with young foresters in particular being out of the loop
• Scientific papers, where they are available, are not the best medium for end users
• No feedback link between end users and researchers.

With this in mind, they formalised their thoughts into the Tools for Foresters Initiative. The Initiative aims to progress the use of UAVs and other useful technologies as operational tools within the industry by providing technical expertise to remove barriers to adoption, informing on best practice, creating a forum for troubleshooting and forming a link between research and industry.

Tools for Foresters seeks to grow and maintain an active network of UAV-users and enthusiasts, providing leadership in the development of this technology as well as a digital platform which will act as a central hub for UAV-related research, knowledge and resources. As new technologies emerge, we will also expand our remit to encompass other new tools that will be a benefit to foresters.

The new website is the culmination of two years of discussions between researchers and foresters. Check out the new Tools for Foresters website on www.toolsforforesters.co.nz/

Photo: Droneseed

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