Harvesting/Regeneration Reform - Retaining more trees per hectare
VicForests focuses on variable retention – that is, retaining a significant number of trees in each coupe for current and future habitat for native species – across most of the coupes it harvests.
This is achieved by assessing all coupes for habitat values (that is, native species and in particular threatened species). We then plan for retention, building in threatened species observations.
Protects hollow bearing trees, which are home to many species;
Recruits future hollow-bearing trees, through planning for mid-term and long-term habitat, as well as retaining trees for immediate biodiversity needs;
Connects habitat patches, allowing animals to move between areas in the forest; and
Regenerates forest ecology through a focus on mechanical disturbance and low intensity fires.
This move away from clear-fell harvesting has been delivered since mid-2019, and is best displayed in the diagram below. In some cases and for some landscapes, such as alpine ash, clear-fell harvesting is still undertaken, as it is the most effective for species regeneration.
Harvesting/Regeneration Reform - Consultation and Audit
The development of these documents involved extensive consultation with stakeholders on the proposed suite of forest management practices. Two rounds of consultation occurred following release of the first and second drafts of the documents. The consultation comprised direct consultation with interested stakeholders across industry, environment, government and community sectors. A number of written submissions were received and feedback was also garnered through face to face meetings. All responses, feedback and submissions were reviewed and where possible incorporated into the published versions of the documents.
In addition to the two systems documents, as a result of stakeholder input, VicForests also undertook an HCV assessment across the eastern Forest Management Unit.
All of the above information has been made publicly available and interested stakeholders on VicForests' database have been invited to provide input.
The wider stakeholder group was also invited to be informed, provide input and make comments at a live Webinar undertaken by VicForests to explain its approach under the Systems documents, and their relevance to the forthcoming independent audit of VicForests forest management practices.
A recording of the webinar is provided on this page for further stakeholder reference and comment.
While the Systems documents, and the HCV Assessment, have now been published and are accessible on this page, these documents remain open for input, feedback and comment at any time.
VicForests will periodically (roughly annually) review all input and further comment and consider amendments to practices.
Stakeholders are invited to provide continuous comment and input on any documents contained on this page, or matters related to them, by contacting VicForests via email.
VicForests Webinar on New Systems
VicForests Manager of Biodiversity, Conservation and Research, Tim McBride hosted a one-hour webinar, “Overview of Adaptive Harvesting”.
Tim summarised what has changed in 2019 and how our new forest management practices support biodiversity across VicForests’ operational areas.
Management of High Conservation Values (HCV)s Status Update - May 2020
As a result of the 2019/20 bushfire season and other industry changes, VicForests has updated its Management of High Conservation Values documentation. VicForests has combined the former VicForests’ High Conservation Value Management Systems document and Assessment of High Conservation Values document in a single more practical document.
In addition to the combination of the two documents, the other key changes since the previous update include:
Changes to State government policy around old growth forest protection;
The impact of extensive wildfires in 2019/20;
Progressive implementation of new harvesting and regeneration practices;
Modernisation of the Regional Forest Agreements for Victoria.
This input will help VicForests refine and develop its systems and processes into the future.
If you are interested in providing a submission, please direct it to firstname.lastname@example.org. VicForests is happy to receive comment on any of its public documents at any time and will consider that input in its regular updates.
For more information on any of these systems and assessments, please contact the project team on (03) 9608 9500.
Frequently Asked Questions
VicForests has identified a set of frequently asked questions about its harvesting/regeneration reform project.
A copy of these frequently asked questions can be downloaded here: