Activities in forests
State forests are working forests with many different activities taking place every day. It is important all forest users are familiar with and adhere to the signs used in forests.
These signs provide information on forest activities and restrict access to parts of the forest when necessary to ensure public safety.
Over 4.8 million tonnes of timber is harvested from NSW State forests every year. Forestry Corporation of NSW staff and contractors work in the forest. Sometimes worksites are visible like harvesting operations where areas will be closed and signs erected. At other times, workers may be in smaller groups undertaking tasks like surveys for plants and animals and their presence is not as obvious.
Forests are also used by groups and individuals for a wide range of recreational activities. Mountain bike riding, camping, walking, trail bike riding, 4WDing, horse back riding – all these activities take place in State forests. A number of State forests have also been declared for recreational hunting. Not all forests declared for hunting are open to hunters all of the time.
For information on which forests are available for hunting and the rules around hunting in State forests visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
Signs in the forest
There are over 100 designated visitor sites in NSW State forests. These include picnic area, campgrounds and walking trails. These are generally signposted with signs like those shown below.
Forest operations include timber harvesting, site preparation and road construction. A range of signs are used to restrict access to these areas and ensure public and worker safety while operations are underway.
Signs used in the forest which restrict public access include the following:
Signs used in the forest to indicate that additional awareness and safety precautions are required such as driving more slowly as work is being undertaken nearby and where heavy vehicles may be encountered include:
You may also see signs that indicate how you can communicate with other vehicles on forest roads and in the area.
Heavy vehicles can be encountered frequently in working State forests, especially in plantation areas where operations take place at night and on weekends in some areas.
For further information on using forest roads safely including sharing the road with heavy vehicles visit the ‘visiting forests’ section of Forestry Corporation website.
State forests available for recreational hunting will be signposted as follows.
These signs advise the particular forest is available for hunting and reinforce that both a Written Permission and an R-licence are required before entering the forest to hunt.
These signs will be placed at key entry points to each State forest available for hunting. There are a range of other controls in place to ensure recreational hunting takes place in as safe a manner as possible. For information on these visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
Hunting exclusion zones
Sometimes there is a need to exclude an area of a declared State forest from hunting. This may be because Forestry Corporation of NSW staff are working on the site or there is a recreational event taking place.
When an area is excluded, this sign is placed to alert hunters and the general public that the area is excluded from hunting and that other people may be present in the area. The sign will have extra information in the comments section to advise on who to contact or the dates that apply to the exclusion.
A number of sites like camping areas are permanently excluded from hunting in State forests and these are shown on maps provided to hunters as part of their Written Permission. For information on these visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting.
Hunters should also be aware that while major activities or works may be signposted in this way, there are still likely to be other visitors and workers present in the forest at all times. The conditions in the Written Permission issued to R-Licence holders must be followed at all times.