New areas of old growth forest in the Diamond karri forest have been identified and protected as a result of the close working relationship between the Forest Products Commission, members of the public and environment agencies.
A recent re-assessment by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) of a 22 hectare area east of Pemberton has found 5.5 hectares which may be old growth.
FPC Manager Native Forests, Chaz Newman said it was an example of collaboration, diligence and direct community engagement to ensure all old growth forest is secure and FPC’s harvesting operations are within sustainable State forest.
“The FPC had commenced harvesting operations within the Diamond karri forest following planning work that had included a Conservation Commission survey to assess areas of possible old growth.
“A member of the public raised the prospect of more old growth forest in the area being harvested, prompting FPC to suspend operations and request DEC staff to undertake a survey.”
“We sought a full assessment over the area that contained scattered stumps from previous logging, and a draft report from DEC indicates a further 5.5 hectares may meet old growth criteria. Once the report is finalised, we expect this will be protected from disturbance and added to the corporate data.”
In the last five years the FPC – the statutory body responsible for harvest and sale of timber products - has triggered the discovery and protection of at least 230 hectares of previously unmapped old growth karri and jarrah forest within State forests.
“Foresters check for the absence of stumps and other disturbance that points to the potential for certain stands of forest to be candidates for more detailed assessment by staff from DEC or the Conservation Commission,” he said.
“Since 2004, FPC has triggered the confirmed addition of 166 hectares of jarrah old growth and 65 hectares of karri old growth in eight coupes.
“We expect more areas to be identified including an area of approximately 100 hectares at Warrup, near the Kingston Conservation Forest. This area is programmed to be harvested in late 2009 and we have asked DEC to undertake survey work.”