Mixed species forest in the Midlands following low-intensity community forestry operation (2015).
Community forestry operations are generally small scale, low intensity harvesting operations that provide local businesses (licensees) with access to local forest resources to support regional communities.
Most of these operations are single tree selection or thinning operations that remove a minor portion of standing trees and have strict rules about the size of trees that may be taken.
Some community forestry operations focus on areas that have been affected by severe storm damage, such as in the Wombat State Forest, where the activities are focused on the fallen trees.
Most of the forest produce supplied through community forestry operations is firewood which is collected by commercial firewood operators who then supply it to local communities.
Some community forestry operations produce sawlogs that are used in high value products such as furniture and musical instrument manufacture. There is also a suite of various other products such as fence posts, poles and rails.
Timber Utilisation Plan (TUP)
Community forestry businesses operate under Forest Product Licenses and are able to continue until the licences expire on 30 June 2024.[i]
Generally, holders of Forest Product Licenses operate within designated areas within VicForests’ Timber Utilisation Plan. Most of these operations are conducted in western Victoria.
VicForests periodically prepares a Timber Utilisation Plan, identifying areas, called coupes, where we propose to conduct timber harvesting operations on areas not covered by the Allocation Order.
The TUP documentation displays all coupes on the approved TUP irrespective of their harvesting status. Coupes may be at different stages of the harvesting cycle.
Not all coupes on the TUP will be harvested and coupes may stay on the TUP for a number of years.