Issue 4-1: Accelerated erosion*
  1. Farming and other land uses in hill country
    Some aspects of current farming and other land use practices in the Region’s hill country and adjacent to water bodies are unsustainable. Where vegetation clearance*, roading, tracking or other types of land disturbance* (including filling) are carried out in hill country or adjacent to water bodies, there is potential to destabilise slopes, causing accelerated erosion*. Accelerated erosion* is often causing:
    1. a significant reduction in the productive capability of land
    2. increased sediment loads in water bodies which are reducing water quality, smothering aquatic ecosystems, infilling rivers, lakes and estuaries, and increasing flood risk to lowland communities
    3. land stability hazards, particularly in steep hill country, which threaten people, buildings and infrastructure.

  2. Coastal foredune*
    Vegetation and soil disturbance associated with vehicle movement, tracking, coastal protection works and land recontouring have the potential to destabilise fragile coastal foredunes* if not well managed.

  3. Large-scale land disturbance* including earthworks
    Most other land use activities are not of a sufficient scale to have significant regional adverse effects. However, large-scale earthworks related to urban expansion and other development can have significant adverse effects on water bodies if sediment from these earthworks is poorly managed. Large-scale land disturbance activities can also destabilise sandy soils in coastal areas which can cause significant adverse effects associated with wind-blown sand.

  4. Forestry*
    Forestry* is considered to be a generally beneficial land use in the Region’s hill country due to its ability to facilitate the long-term stabilisation of land subject to an elevated risk of accelerated erosion*. However, forestry* needs to be prudently managed, in a manner consistent with industry best practice, to ensure that sustainable land use is realised and off-site adverse effects are minimised.

  5. Cultivation*
    Cultivation* does not generally cause soil erosion problems within the Region. However, the potential for increased sediment loads to water bodies can increase as the slope of the land being cultivated increases and when undertaken adjacent to water bodies. Therefore cultivation* should be appropriately managed, including by the use of appropriate industry best practice sediment run-off control measures.