Reef Catchments has been involved with trial sites in plantation forestry throughout our region, as part of the 5-year Queensland Government Natural Resource Management Investment Program funding for sustainable forestry.
Plantation forestry has risks and we have seen less than ideal results due to the nature of growing in a cyclone prone region.
Our Forestry Working group met recently to discuss the outcomes of the program to date and discuss ongoing opportunities.
The consensus was that native forests tend to withstand these conditions better than plantations in our trials and suggested we focus more attention on native forestry. Harvesting native timbers can be an additional income stream for landholders currently operating grazing, horticulture or sugarcane operations. However, landholders should be aware, there are a number of legislative requirements. With the right advice and planning, you can make use of native vegetation as an asset to your property. Native timber provide ecosystem services and a potential dual income from well managed selective native forestry. There are three operational mills in our region and local silviculture experts to assist you in deciding when and which trees to maintain and harvest.
- rainfall inception – change droplet size and velocity hitting the soil surface in our seasonal heavy rainfall area
- cycle nutrient – utilise deep roots to bring nutrients up and deposit them on the surface when their leaves fall, where grasses can access them
- biological activity – areas under trees usually have higher levels of biological activity than open pasture
Best practice and legislation
For more information on the legislation and best practice, you can access a number of resources online including “Managing Native Forest Practice: A self-assessable vegetation clearing code” and the relevant legislation for forestry operations including:
- Planning Act 2016 (Qld)
- Vegetation Management Act (1999)
- Nature Conservation Act (1992)
- Work Health and Safety Act (2011)
- Environmental Protection Act (1994)
- Biosecurity Act (QLD) 2014