Like many State forests, Kiwarrak State Forest contains both hardwood timber plantations and native forests. It is part of the two million hectare forest estate that Forestry Corporation has been appointed to manage for multiple values, including environmental conservation, tourism and renewable timber production. Forestry Corporation works to balance these multiple objectives, in line with Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management principles.
Forestry Corporation is currently planning operations to harvest and replant compartment 2 of Kiwarrak State Forest, which is a hardwood timber plantation. Operations are also being planned for compartment 7 and compartments 10-13, which are regrowth native forests. Follow the links below to find out more about these different types of operations.
There are detailed environmental protections in place during all forestry operations in NSW and a thorough planning process must be completed ahead of every operation. Planning can take many months and involves teams of trained and skilled staff including ecologists, who carry out flora and fauna surveys, particularly targeting threatened spcies. Planners then identify, map and describe protectection measures for environmental features such as rainforest and old growth, wetlands and riparian zones, threatened ecological communities, ridge and headwater habitat, rocky outcrops and other habitat for wildlife. Aboriginal Partnerships Liaisons collaborate with local Aboriginal communities to carry out cultural heritage surveys and ensure protections are in place. Our team also liaise with neighbours and other stakeholders such as apiarists, community groups, recreational clubs and utility providers.
Broad area habitat searches are carried out immediately prior to every native forest harvesting operation to identify threatened flora and fauna species and ensure suitable habitat is set aside within each harvest area. In every compartment there are large areas that are reserved to protect wildlife habitat and other forest features. Feed and habitat trees for birds and arboreal mammals are also identified and protected, and mature trees are retained to provide a high-quality seed source to promote and enable harvested areas to regenerate, providing long-term wildlife habitat and ensuring a sustainable timber resource for the future.
About one per cent of the State forest estate is harvested for timber and regrown each year and in native forests, these operations are selective. Mapped rainforest and old growth forests, wetlands and riparian zones, threatened ecological communities, ridge and headwater habitat and rocky outcrops are permanently protected and an average of 40 per cent of each harvest area is left untouched to maintain habitat throughout the forest.
Watch the video below for a summary of the planning process and visit our Plan Portal to view a 12-month plan of operations indicating the areas where planning is underway and to access detailed harvest plans. You can subscribe to any plans that you are interested in to be updated on progress.
Our qualified and experienced ecologists and forest technicians conduct extensive surveys throughout every harvest area to specifically search for and protect wildlife and their habiatat. There are comprehensive rules in place detailing the types of surveys that must take place and the features that must be protected when certain species or their habitat are present. These conditions were developed by expert scientific panels.
Kiwarrak State Forest is known to have a strong population of koalas and specific rules are in place to protect their habitat during operations. Koala habitat has been mapped across the landscape and Forestry Corporation observes strict rules that specify the number and type of koala feed trees to be protected in each area depending on the quality of the habitat. This means that preferred koala feed and habitat trees are protected in all forestry operations. In addition, targeted ecology surveys and broad area habitat searches must be carried out before every harvesting operation and operators must inspect trees before felling and immediately apply a temporary stop to operations if a koala is detected within a harvest area. Long-term independent research has shown these prescriptions provide a high level of protection for koalas. Koalas have been recorded living in and around areas of state forest where harvesting has occurred both recently and historically at the same rate as unharvested areas. More about koalas on the north coast.
The videos below explain our koala management and research.
Planning process - hardwood timber plantations
Plantations are planted specifically for timber production and are generally a single species. The video below describes how plantations and native forests are managed side-by-side.
Many State forests contain a mix of native forests and plantations, and it is essential that these areas are correctly identified and managed appropriately. A detailed and robust process is followed to correctly map timber plantations in NSW before they are independently authorised by the Department of Primary Industries. Read more about hardwood timber plantations.
Hardwood plantations were established specifically for timber production many years ago on State forest, typically on previously cleared land. Forestry Corporation also puts protections in place in hardwood timber plantations, including carrying out detailed planning and preserving habitat throughout the plantation area to maintain landscape connectivity.
Visit our Plan Portal to view a 12-month plan of operations indicating the areas where planning is underway as well as detailed harvest plans. You can subscribe to any plans that you are interested in to be updated on progress.
Engaging with the community and forest users
There will be some temporary closures during operations, and neighbours and forest users may notice an increase in trucks and noise while we are working. Forestry Corporation has been engaging with the local community and forest users during the planning process to minimise these impacts.