Forestry Corporation of NSW is recommencing timber harvesting on the South Coast and Eden with additional environmental safeguards. We restate our commitment to ecologically sustainable forest management which ensures good environmental outcomes.
During the past year, the majority of operations on the north coast have moved to timber plantations to reduce operations in native forests.
On the south coast, where there are no hardwood timber plantations, Forestry Corporation has been working constructively with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to implement additional protections that balance timber production with the changed environmental landscape following the fires.
The recovery and health of forests and wildlife following the 2019-20 fires is paramount, which is why renewable timber production is so carefully managed, particularly in the post-fire landscape. Forestry Corporation has carried out an environmental assessment on biodiversity, soil and water values and implications for managing ongoing timber harvesting operations in native State forests. We have determined that the rules of the CIFOA can now be met in this areas and have identified additional environmental safeguards to augment this robust existing ruleset.
These additional measures intend to address the same risks as the site specific operating conditions previously issued by the EPA.
- Greater numbers of habitat trees retained in each operation
- Large areas excluded from harvesting at both the Local Landscape Area and Operational Area levels
- Additional ecology surveys
- Additional buffers on all riverbank and environmental protection zones which are already excluded from harvesting.
To find out about the forests where operations will take place visit our Plan Portal.
Framework for native forest operations
Forestry operations are regulated by the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (CIFOA), which is a robust set of prescriptions to balance timber production in areas of forest designated for that purpose with environmental safeguards. Forestry Corporation’s operations are independently audited by the Environment Protection Authority to assure compliance with these regulations.
The CIFOA contains hundreds of conditions that must be complied with on forestry operations, including detailed protections for wildlife, soil and water and to ensure timber produced is sustainable and the trees regrown. This ruleset was developed with the input of expert scientific panels and following community consultation and continues to deliver robust environmental protection during timber harvesting operations.
The CIFOA allows for site specific operating conditions to be issued when, like immediately following the bushfires, the usual conditions of the CIFOA cannot be met.
Context of native forest operations in NSW
State forests are managed sustainably for a range of values including environmental conservation, tourism, recreation and renewable timber production, both complementing and contributing to NSW’s world-class conservation network of national parks.
In NSW, the majority of public forest is permanently set aside to protect wildlife habitat and less than one per cent of the public forest is harvested for renewable timber products in a normal year.
Forestry Corporation must balance a range of considerations, including environmental, social and economic to supply renewable timber from the small proportion of public forest designated for timber production.
Timber from State forests is harvested and processed by a range of local businesses into important structural timber products including poles, bridge decking, floorboards, decking, fencing, landscaping timbers, pallets, and a range of other products that communities use and need, creating ongoing employment in the region.
Timber is the most renewable building product available; it stores carbon for the life of the products harvested, has a lower carbon footprint than alternatives such as concrete or steel and each tree harvested is regrown for the future.