More Than Half Of Tasmania Covered By Native Forest And Woodland

More Than Half Of Tasmania Covered By Native Forest And Woodland

Tasmania Minister for Resources Paul Harriss

Protecting Native Forest

Victor P Taffa

The State Government is working with the Federal Government to renew the commitment to protect Tasmania’s native forests, Minister for Resources Paul Harriss said.

“Tasmania has an outstanding record of native forest protection. More than half of our island is covered by native forest and woodland. More than 2 Million ha of these forests, including just over 1 Million ha or 86 % of our old growth forests, are protected in our reserve system.”

“Our Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy is one of the pillars of our ecologically sustainable forest management system. A key goal of the policy is the retention of a minimum 95 % of native forest cover mapped in 1996 as part of the development of the Regional Forest Agreement.” Mr. Harriss said.

Under the policy, broad scale clearing of public native forest ended in 2010 and a similar ban was due to apply to native forest on private land from January 2015. This was deferred for 12 months to allow for a full review of the policy.

The third five-yearly review of the Regional Forest Agreement, tabled in Federal Parliament only this month, raised matters which the Independent Reviewer recommended should be considered in the Permanent Native Forest Policy review and incorporated into the proposed 20-year extension of the RFA.

“To enable that to happen I have further extended the timeline for completion of the PNFEP review and implementation of the additional private land clearing restrictions to 1 July 2016. This will enable both the PNFEP and RFA reviews to be completed concurrently and the findings reinforced across both.”

“It is important to note that the minimum retention of 95 % of the 1996 level of native forest cover will continue to apply. The current policy allows private landowners a maximum clearance of 40 ha of native forest per year as long as it does not breach the 1996 benchmark.” Mr. Harriss said.