Based in the Motueka Valley, Roger May runs Tomorrow’s Forests Ltd (TFL), a small forestry and mapping consulting business.

Roger has always had a keen interest in indigenous forests, special-purpose woodlots and timber species, sustainable land management and integrating trees into the productive landscape. Tomorrows Forests Ltd have carried out a number of projects which have included land use planning for conservation, sustainable management, revegetation, afforestation, and riparian management.

Significant projects completed since starting the consultancy in 1992 include:

NZ Dryland Forestry Initiative
The NZDFI is a research project investigating the potential of growing ground-durable Eucalyptus more.......

Cameron Farms Food Forest – Wairarapa
The well-known movie maker, James Cameron’s property in the Wairapapa was mapped in order to establish an 8 hectare food forest. more.......

Ngai Tahu Afforestation Projects
Tomorrow’s Forests Ltd has completed a number of afforestation planning projects on Ngai Tahu tribal land ... more.......

Carbon Sequestration Forestry – Gisborne
Tomorrow’s Forests was contracted by the Tindall Foundation to investigate carbon sequestration models to offset business greenhouse gas emissions. This was a scoping project which involved interagency networking and due diligence. These carbon offset models were presented for potential voluntary uptake by New Zealand businesses. Tomorrow’s Forests worked with local and central government, research organisations, and NGO’s to develop these models..

Forest Restoration Management Planning – Motueka Valley
Brian and Barbara Parkinson owned 57ha of strongly rolling hill country in the Motueka Valley. The property contained some small woodlots of Cypress and Eucalyptus species, some grazing for their highland cattle, scattered indigenous forest remnants in the gullies and large areas of gorse, broom and blackberry in between. Their long-term aim was to restore the native forest for both amenity and productive purposes. Tomorrow’s Forests devised the timber and nurse species management regimes which provided a harvest of exotic timber in the transition to a productive indigenous forest. Shelterwood and continuous canopy harvesting systems were key elements to the plan. Plant and animal pest management was another important component of this project.

Woodland Management and Habitat Restoration – Tai Tapu
Stephen and Bindy Dakin owned 30ha of erosion-prone hill country at Tai Tapu on the Port Hills just south of Christchurch. The property contained some small woodlots of Macrocarpa and Oak together with small areas of planted shrub hardwoods and regenerating Manuka. Most of the remainder was open grass and tussock land with scattered patches of gorse. Their long-term aim was to restore the native forest for both amenity and productive purposes. A forest restoration management plan was prepared which set out the species mixes, techniques and regimes to be used to convert the existing vegetation patterns into a productive indigenous forest. Nurse species plantings were devised to encourage natural regeneration from native seed dispersed by birds. Continuous canopy silvicultural systems together with judicious plant and animal pest management were important elements to the plan.

Integrating Farming and Forestry – South Canterbury
A significant mapping project for a property owner in South Canterbury has been completed which involved mapping the entire 1,950 ha property and differentiating farm land from forest land. With the assistance of GPS, all fences, gates, paddocks, tracks and stock water systems were mapped. All the forest stands were mapped with each stand in the GIS actively linked to a MS Access database containing all stand records. The entire system was then delivered to the client with free map viewing software for use on site.

GIS Services for Biodiversity & Habitat Restoration
Tomorrow’s Forests provide the New Zealand Landcare Trust with GIS mapping services. The trust is using in-house GIS to help a number of landcare groups around the country map and manage their environmental and restoration projects.

Urban Forestry
Productive forestry within metropolitan areas using high value timber and amenity species is not uncommon in parts of Europe and North America. Prior to joining Tomorrow’s Forests, Roger May provided forest management planning services to Wellington City Council in the Wellington Town Belt. Much of the 330ha Town Belt is covered with exotic forest, mostly pine, much over 80 years old. Under a new management plan, 60% of this old (and in places hazardous) forest in the centre of Wellington is to be carefully felled and restored to the mixed species coastal forest native to the region.

  • Forest surveys on SILNA land for Landcare Research.
  • Sustainable Native Forest Management Permit assessments for MAF on 27 properties across the country.
  • Sustainable Native Forest Management Plans for eight forest owners in Nelson, Canterbury and Taranaki.
  • Town Belt Management Plan pilot project and Town Belt Management Plan (with Boffa Miskell) for Wellington City Council.
  • Significant Natural Area map0ing for Selwyn District Council.
  • Build and run native forest management systems for Forest Stewardship Council certification of 11,600 ha Waitutu Incorporation beech forest in Southland (8 years).
  • Emissions Trading Scheme applications for over 30 plantation owners.
  • Map and build National Plantation Owner database for NZ Farm Forest Association.
  • Map over 117,000 trees across 35 sites for the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative Eucalyptus research project.
  • Report on Crown Land Afforestation for Carbon Neutral Public Service Programme for MPI.  
  • Map 5,500 individual plants for Cameron Farms food forest planting, Wairarapa.
  • Expert witness responsibilities in a number of disputes/court cases.
  • Three afforestation and management project proposals and cost/benefit analysis for Ngai Tahu.
  • National Eucalyptus Site Suitability Mapping project for NZ Farm Forestry Association.
  • Wetland Vegetation Differentiation mapping project, Port Marlborough.
  • Slope Stability mapping project for SCION (Forest Research Institute)
  • National Erosion Susceptibility mapping project for University of Canterbury School of Forestry.

and over 80 other smaller projects for private clients, mostly in the South Island.

But more could be done in New Zealand’s towns and cities using our indigenous and or exotic trees to develop urban forestry concepts. Tomorrow’s Forests are advocating such developments.