Eyes in the air, reducing the boots in the blackberry

TFF wordmarkWe play a leadership role helping industry and science come together to progress forestry through easier implementation of technology.

We aim to remove technical hurdles and roadblocks to get useful technology into the hands of forest users. In doing so, we aim to help attract the next generation of forest workers, upskill workers, reduce downtime, costs and trouble shooting and improve forest profitability. These technologies can provide a sense of kaitiaki through the monitoring of our forests from above and below.

You can find resources by…

  • Signing up for the Tools For Foresters mailing list
  • Participate in the forum for advice and troubleshooting about technologies such as UAVs in forestry, applications and algorithms
  • Read SOPs, best practice and recommendations for use of UAVs and other technologies in forestry.
  • Check out our upcoming events


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 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, we formalised our 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.

Tools for Foresters Committee Partners

We are a collective of professionals in the forestry and research sectors that contribute our time and expertise to this initiative. Our TFF Committee is kindly supported by members of the following:

Sign-up to our mailing list

  • Be kept in the loop with the latest on what the Initiative is up to
  • Be the first to hear about latest developments with UAVs in the industry
  • Be involved in surveys and other key opportunities to have your say in the Initiative