The planning stage of any VicForests operation is a detailed one, VicForests’ Foresters concentrate their work on mapping, threatened species identification, protection of special environmental values and forest management.
How much is harvested
Not all coupes in the plan will be harvested as detailed surveys may find some areas to be unsuitable. Of those coupes found to be suitable, generally only part will be harvested, sometimes as little as 20%.
Decisions about where, when and how to harvest are based on timber type and quality, area access, and identified protected flora and fauna.
From the total 7.1 million ha of Victorian National and State Parks, State Forests and reserves, the area allocated to VicForests by the Allocation Order 2019 is about 1.8 million ha, selected from 3.1 million ha of State Forest.
Victoria’s most environmentally important forest areas are protected in the 4 million ha of Victorian National Park that can never be harvested.
In a typical year VicForests harvests 2500ha to 3000ha – about 0.17% of the area allocated to it, or 0.04% of the total forests estate, which is equivalent to 4 trees in 10,000.
How VicForests takes into account Government Policy
VicForests will not be harvesting old growth forest. Based on current models, there is approximately 90,000 hectares of old growth forest in areas remaining available for timber harvesting.
The old growth indicated in the DELWP spatial layer is based on modelled old growth, not surveyed and identified old growth forests, and therefore is indicative only. VicForests will identify old growth forest through field surveys and protect old growth forest stands from harvesting.
The Chief Conservation Regulator (CCR) has released its old growth field identification procedure for public consultation, and is available to view here. VicForests will apply the CCR draft field procedure to new coupe planning.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will continue to update mapped old growth models using LiDAR Data.
No new coupes are proposed for harvesting in Immediate Protection Areas.
In planning and conducting timber harvesting operations, VicForests will comply with the conservation measures and actions in the Greater Glider Action Statement.