We take our responsibility of sustainably harvesting coupes within our state forests for today and future generations seriously. That’s why during our planning process we survey coupes to ensure they meet the timber harvesting and biodiversity requirements under Victoria’s strict environmental regulatory system.
Each area planned for harvesting is subject to a thorough multi-layered planning process – including numerous computer and field based assessments and surveys.
Through this process our trained and experienced foresters identify and manage values present in each coupe, such as biodiversity, social, historical, cultural, soil and water values that require management and consideration during harvest planning and operation.
Here at VicForests, we use computer-based assessments throughout our planning processes - from identifying potential areas to harvest right through to our final checks prior to harvesting.
Using spatial data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, our foresters identify values that have been previously mapped, including streams, gullies, historical or cultural sites, flora and fauna species, threatened habitats such as for the Leadbeater’s possum, and other important environmental, historical and recreational features.
Computer-based assessments help inform our targeted approach to field assessments and surveys.
Learn how we use spatial systems to plan, survey, harvest, regenerate and monitor Victorian state forests in the below video.
Our planners and foresters conduct a series of field-based assessments and surveys that complement and feed back into the computer-based assessments.
Multiple field assessments are conducted prior to harvesting. These may include initial assessments to help identify potentially suitable areas to harvest, field verification of values identified in the computer-based assessments or via other sources, and detailed transects and surveys to identify other values that may not be mapped.
Using transects and surveys, field-based assessments provide information that assists planning in areas such as:
biodiversity values – including threatened flora and fauna and important habitat and habitat elements
confirmation of tree species and composition
cultural and historical sites
confirmation of available harvest area and excluded areas as per our regulatory requirements
Information collected during field assessments is stored in our land management database and used to develop a comprehensive plan for each coupe.