The pine forests around Orange are popular destinations for walking, camping, mountain biking, four wheel driving, trail biking, fossicking and more. They also support a valuable industry that produces sustainable timber for Australian homes and businesses and creates thousands of regional jobs. They form part of NSW’s 230,000-hectare softwood plantation estate, which grows enough timber to build a quarter of Australia’s new homes each year.
Find out more about growing for the future in the video below.
State forests are sustainably managed for multiple uses, including environmental conservation, tourism and recreation, and renewable timber production. Timber plantations are managed on long-term cycles and for most of the plantation’s life, they are open and freely available for the community to use and enjoy. However, every 30 years or so, plantations are harvested to supply renewable timber and replanted for the future.
What is happening at Kinross State Forest?
Kinross State Forest contains 388 hectares of Radiata pine plantations. These timber plantations were established in 1986 and 1990 and are now ready to be harvested to create renewable timber products, then replanted for the next generation. Kinross State Forest also contains 209 hectares of natural forest, which will not be impacted by these operations.
Forestry Corporation commenced harvesting operations on Monday 4 January 2021 and has commenced transporting timber from the forest.
Weed control operations - April 2022 Update
As part of our plantation re-establishment operations, Forestry Corporation of NSW will be conducting pre-plant aerial herbicide applications at Kinross State Forest through aerial and ground based methods between now and 31 May 31 2022. More than one round of spraying may be required if weed re-growth is considered heavy. Original notification was given in February, but the operation has not yet commenced.
Aerial herbicide application will be by helicopter at low altitude during suitable weather conditions. This will be in accordance with relevant State legislation (e.g., Pesticides Act 1999 & Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997). Herbicide mix used will include the active ingredient Glyphosate and Metsulfuron-methyl.
Operational areas will be closed and clearly signposted during operations. Please consider that this relatively short period of works to establish a new forest will be followed by decades of low activity.
Should you require further information please contact Shana Read on (02) 6330 1000 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Preparation for replanting - March 2022 update
From Monday 21 March, a new phase of operations will commence in preparation for replanting of Kinross State forest. This phase involves the stacking of forest residue and ground cultivation (i.e. ripping the soil). This is achieved with heavy machinery (bulldozers and excavators).
These activities are important to ensure good growing conditions for the new crop.
300 hectares of the total 388 hectares of plantation area is scheduled to be re-planted this winter.
The remainder (88 hectares – south of Bulgas road) is expected to be re-planted winter 2023 as harvesting operations continue south of Bulgas road.
Please continue to observe instructions signposted in the area as the site remains an active worksite.
The current noise curfew on operations will continue with this next phase of operations.
Replanting Kinross State forest - December 2021 Update
We're pleased to advise the commencement of the next phase of operations in the replant of Kinross State forest.
Starting late December, early January 2022 reestablishment operations will commence to the north of Bulgas road to prepare approximately 300 hectares of plantation area for replanting (see pink shaded area in map). PDF, 3249.49 KB
These operations will include the stacking of some forest residue with heavy plant (bulldozers) and the ripping of the surface, followed (during March, April and May) by the burning of stacked residue and weed control.
These operations are necessary to provide newly planted seedlings with the best opportunity to establish and develop.
Planting will occur during July.
The area south of Bulgas road remains an active harvest operation and is closed to visitors.
When safe to do so, we will re-open areas of Kinross State forest to visitors. We thank you for your patience.
Update on operations to harvest and replant - November 2021
Forestry Corporation of NSW advises that harvest operations within Kinross State forest have commenced in the area south of Bulgas road. In order to manage the safety of workers and visitors, the forest areas south of Bulgas road are now closed to all visitors. This means all of Kinross State forest is currently closed to visitors.
Bulgas road remains open to vehicle traffic and although you may be detoured from time to time. We appreciate your patience as we complete this activity and look forward to re-opening Kinross State forest to visitors in the near future.
Update on operations to harvest and replant - July 2021
As of 31 July 2021, approximately 50 per cent of the pine plantation has been harvested, with over 75,000 tonnes of renewable timber sold to local processors in Central West NSW.
Parts of Kinross State Forest remain closed to public access. Given the hazards associated with harvesting operations, such as falling trees and the movement of large machinery, these worksites are closed to unauthorised persons.
These worksites remain closed even when operations are not occurring, as the harvesting operation can impact on the stability of remaining plantation trees. Further, branches and other hazards can be dislodged during harvesting that can fall to the ground at a later time.
Forestry Corporation reminds forest visitors they must follow all instructions sign posted or given by Forestry Corporation staff or its partners.
This news article on the Kinross State Forest operations shows the types of barriers that are used to define a closed worksite.
Update on operations to harvest and replant - May 2021
Operations at Kinross are progressing and FCNSW anticipates moving into the plantation area to the west of Kinross Lane end of May/early June, depending on operating conditions.
This will restrict a larger area to public access and this is to ensure the safety of visitors and workers in the forest – please see the linked map.
The area south of Bulgas road remains open.
Update on operation to harvest and replant - March 2021
With 20% of the plantation area harvested, Forestry Corporation is on track with its plan to harvest and replant Kinross State forest.
Since commencement of the harvest operation on 4 January 2021, in excess of 25,000 tonnes of renewable timber has been harvested and transported to local timber processors in the central west.
The operation has been largely unaffected by the significant rainfall events of the last couple of months. While it was anticipated that operations may cease during winter, we are in fact planning to increase production, by introducing a second harvesting system. While this will bring about more activity in the short term, the upside is that it decreases the overall operational timeframe.
As we increase the rate of harvest, we will move our operations to the western side of Kinross lane, the outcome of this is that more of the forest will be temporarily closed to the public.
To date Forestry Corporation has not recorded any safety events with this operation. We thank the community for their ongoing understanding and respect of this worksite and in adhering to safety instructions.
We recognise as stakeholders and immediate neighbours of Kinross State forest your interest in these operations and have included the following photos to demonstrate the current operational activity.
- Shows an overview of the landscape, showing harvested pine plantation and the natural forest of Kinross State forest.
- Shows the harvested pine plantation and retained native vegetation.
- Shows different log products stacked at roadside, the thinned plantation in the foreground and unthinned plantation in the background.
- Shows logs harvested and processed into different lengths and sorted at roadside ready for transport.
Please contact bathurstAdmin@fcnsw.com.au if you would like any further information or have any concerns you would like to raise.
Public access to Kinross State Forest - updated January 2021
For the safety of forest workers and forest visitors, the area to the east of Kinross Lane within Kinross State forest is now closed for public access. All visitors must follow the directions as sign posted. The area to the west of Kinross Lane, remains open to the public, with the best point of entry being Bulgas Road.
Please see the public access map (PDF) for further detail.
As part of this operation, heavy vehicles will use Kinross Lane, Banjo Patterson Way and Ophir Road to transport timber from the forest to local processing centres. These heavy vehicles may be travelling less than the sign posted speed limit and we thank all road users for their patience and for providing these vehicles some extra room.
During these operations, residents will see increased activity and will see changes in the plantation landscape. We appreciate this may impact on residents and look forward to fully replanting the plantation area and once again making Kinross State forest fully available to the public to enjoy again.
In the meantime, we encourage visitors to explore other State forests in the local area, including the new forest trails within Glenwood State Forest, off Cargo road.
Further detail on operations
The harvest plan operation map outlines the areas that will be initially harvested – compartments (5,7,9,10,11).
The forest overview map shows the broader context of the forest and operations.
During this time you will notice significant changes in the landscape as the mature trees are removed and taken to local processors and new seedlings are planted to begin regrowing the plantations. The operational phases you will notice are described below. During each of these phases forest access may be fully or partly limited for safety reasons.
Prior to the commencement of harvest and haulage activities, we will upgrade internal forest roads. From mid-2020, you may notice an increase in activity, which will include the use of graders and gravel tippers. During this time public access to internal forest roads will be limited.
We will be removing all the pine trees from this forest and transporting them to local processors where they will be converted into a range of renewable timber products, from house frames and furniture to kitchen cabinets and paper products.
Harvesting will commence around October 2020. Specialised harvesting machines will process each tree and cut it into a range of log products and stack these at the roadside ready for transport. We expect the operation to harvest the plantations in Kinross State Forest to take up to two years, operating during the spring, summer and autumn periods.
Specialist haulage vehicles will use Banjo Patterson Way and Ophir Road to take the products from the forest and deliver them to mills in Oberon and Bathurst for processing. Haulage vehicles will only operate on business days and typically between 5am and 5pm. These activities can create additional localised noise and dust.
After the trees are harvested, work will begin to prepare the ground for the new seedlings. Branches or other parts of the trees that are not suitable for renewable timber products will be stacked by bulldozers. These stacks will be burnt in a controlled manner to reduce fire risk and create the right environment for new seedlings. During this time, you may see or smell smoke for several days. We will also be conducting weed control operations to remove weeds that may compete with the seedlings.
Weed control operations are most often conducted using a helicopter and managed to strict controls. This will give the seedlings the best chance of surviving and growing into a robust pine plantation.
The seedlings we plant in Kinross State Forest need to grow into straight, strong, timber producing trees, so nothing is left to chance. Every year, Forestry Corporation selects seeds from seed orchards with genetic properties that are proven to be adapted for our local conditions and sows them in its custom-built nursery at Tumut, where they are nurtured for around seven months. Each winter, the nursery dispatches more than seven million seedlings to be planted in pine plantations across NSW.
Each pine seedling is planted by hand, with an experienced planter planting up to 2,000 seedlings per day. Pine seedlings are planted during winter because they are dormant during the cooler months, which means they can be transported more easily and planted in the ground in time for their spring growth period.
Replanting of Kinross State Forest may occur over multiple years and may commence prior to the completion of harvest activities in the plantation area.
Forestry Corporation plants around 8.5 million pine seedlings to regrow plantations each year. Laid end-to-end, these would stretch from Brisbane to Hobart.
Where will the timber go?
The typical radiata pine tree is up to 35 metres tall and half a metre across at chest height when harvested. It takes about six of these mature radiata pine trees to make one timber house frame.
The plantations of Kinross State Forest are expected to produce around 170,000 tonnes of renewable timber products from this harvest.
While the main product to come from these plantations will be structural timber used in house
framing, each tree can produce a range of different products. The narrower sections towards the top are used to create products like timber panels for kitchen cupboards and benchtops, engineered timber products and paper products.
Can I visit the forest?
During the timber harvesting and replanting operations, parts or all of Kinross State Forest will be closed. There will be several active worksites and hazards making the area unsafe to enter.
We understand that Kinross State Forest is a popular area to visit and thank you for your patience and understanding during these operations. We look forward to welcoming visitors back in to enjoy the forest once the plantations have been replanted.
Reopening the forest for the community
Once the plantation area of Kinross State Forest is replanted we will reopen the forest for the
community to welcome visitors back in to enjoy the forest for the next 30 years.
Walkers, runners and cyclists will be able to access formed roads as soon as operations have concluded, however some activities, such as mountain biking, away from formed roads will not be possible until such time as the seedlings have established, to give the seedlings the best chance of survival. Within one to two years of replanting, these trees will grow tall and robust enough for us to reopen the planted areas of Kinross State Forest.
Some of the smaller and weaker trees may be removed or ‘thinned’ at about age 15 to allow the
remaining trees more space, light and water to grow, but for the coming decades the forest will be managed for the community and open for everyone to enjoy. In around 30 years, the trees will once again be ready to harvest, starting the cycle again for the next generation.
Sharing the road
During the upcoming operations, specialist haulage vehicles will be hauling timber through the forest and along Banjo Patterson Way. These vehicles have a range of safety features to ensure they are as safe as possible. These include electronic stability control; electronic roll protection, autotensioning load restraints, forward and driver facing cameras, in-vehicle monitoring systems, including fatigue and distraction management systems, GPS tracking and on-board scales.
However, you should always take extra care when sharing the road with heavy vehicles.
When sharing the road with heavy vehicles you should:
- Be careful and reduce speed
- Be prepared to move to the left side of the road if necessary
- Allow trucks extra room on corners and do not overtake turning vehicles.
More information about sharing the road with heavy vehicles.
Kinross State Forest is a much-loved destination for mountain bikers. There will be a period where it will not be possible to mountain bike in Kinross State Forest, although there are some fantastic alternative mountain biking tracks in State forests around Canobolas and Glenwood. Contact your local club for more information.
Once the new seedlings have become established, we look forward to welcoming mountain bikers back into the forest and working with the community to establish a new network of mountain bike tracks for the community to enjoy over the next 30 years.
Download the fact sheet about our operations in Kinross State Forest. If you have questions about our operations in Kinross State Forest, or would like more information, please contact us. If you have questions, comments or feedback about our haulage vehicles, please contact 1800 LOG HAUL (1800 564 4825).
The Ultimate Renewable
Renewable timber sourced from sustainably managed forests is a key part of the climate solution.
Taking into account the energy required to transform raw materials into building products and the fact that timber stores carbon for the whole of the product’s life, timber has a much smaller carbon footprint than other popular building materials like steel or concrete.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that in the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.
Every time a tree is harvested from a State forest pine plantation, another tree is planted in its place, making timber a sustainable, renewable resource for future generations – the ultimate renewable.
Find out more about renewable timber.