In southern Hawke’s Bay around 1910, a log is carted to a mill along a bush railway, cut into a burnt-out hillside. Burning and milling deforested much of the North Island’s hill country. Through the root systems of trees, forests help to bind together soil and vegetation. They also protect bare soil from the erosive forces of flowing water. Once the forests were removed from hill country with underlying soft sedimentary rocks, common in the North Island, landslide rates increased dramatically.
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