Barnett Govt To Regenerate Young Karri Forest Following Bushfire

Barnett Govt To Regenerate Young Karri Forest Following Bushfire

Western Australia Minister for Forestry Mia Davies

Regeneration Of Forest Destroyed In Northcliffe Fires

Victor P Taffa

  • Salvage and regeneration of young burnt karri forests near Northcliffe begins
  • Regeneration costs offset by sale of charred wood to overseas markets

Salvage and regeneration of the young karri forests burnt in the Northcliffe fires has started.

Forestry Minister Mia Davies said about 5,000 ha of young karri regrowth within State forest boundaries was severely burnt in the 2015 Northcliffe fires.

Of this area, 3,000 ha have been assessed as unlikely to recover without any management intervention. A 100 ha area has been identified for a trial to investigate salvage and regeneration methods and ways to minimise the cost of the regeneration process.

 

“Salvaging operations have now begun and the Forest Products Commission (FPC) is exploring innovative options to ensure this valuable State resource is regenerated and the charred timber is used.” Ms. Davies said.

“Sawlog quality has now deteriorated to the point where domestic sales of higher value products are unlikely. In 2015, the commission conducted a tender process to identify new markets to use the damaged timber, however viable markets for the charred logs were not located at that time.”

“As a result, the commission will investigate salvage and regeneration methods and ways to minimise the cost of the regeneration processes.  Some of the costs associated with replanting will then be offset by the sale of the low grade burnt timber to overseas energy markets.”

The Minister said karri was easily damaged or destroyed by intense wildfires and the harvesting and regeneration of the severely fire-damaged forest was a responsible measure that would restore the long-term productivity of the forest. The trial would inform the development of strategies for regenerating forests after fires.

“Unless there is an active regeneration program, these areas will remain degraded and not productive for the foreseeable future.” Ms. Davies said.

The timber being taken from the trial area is all being sourced from logs which have been destroyed or severely damaged by the fire and there are no other local options for their use.