It seems that a landowners honest preference to clear pine trees on a block of land with a view to eventually replacing them with natives is falling foul of the Kyoto Protocol. Then, to rub salt into the wound, a failure to replant within a limited timeframe brings about a substantial fine.
Wouldn't a win/win be to use all of the "fine" to pay for new planting - native and/or exotic?
I must have missed the part where his lawyer warned him that this would be the case when he bought the property, based on the memorial that was registered on his title in 2011 (unless I have the wrong property). Rules is rules, if you break 'em you get fined, and ignorance is no defence.