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John Deere adds Smooth Boom Control Technology for Tracked Feller Bunchers & Harvesters

International Forest Industries - 2 hours 3 min ago

John Deere announces the release of Smooth Boom Control for its M-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers and MH-Series Tracked Harvesters.

Developed in global collaboration between the John Deere Wheeled Cut-to-Length and Full-Tree Forestry teams, Smooth Boom Control ensures full and responsive hydraulic function actuation, improving overall machine reactiveness and controllability.

Smooth Boom Control is available as a standard feature on new tracked feller bunchers and harvesters or as an upgrade for existing M- and MH-Series machine owners.

Further enhancing the machine operation in demanding forestry applications, John Deere adds its Smooth Boom Control (SBC) technology to its M-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers and MH-Series Tracked Harvesters. Developed in global collaboration between the John Deere Wheeled Cut-to-Length and Full-Tree Forestry teams, the SBC system instantaneously responds to operator input while smoothing out the acceleration and deceleration of hydraulic functions on the machine, improving overall control.

“Machine response is important to efficient machine operation, especially when working in challenging conditions day in and day out,” said Jim O’Halloran, product marketing manager, John Deere. “With SBC, we’re improving machine functionality, making operation easier on both the operator and machine. As a result, operators can control the machine movements more effectively, especially when reversing motions. SBC delivers a smoother experience for the operator and less wear and tear on the machine over time.”

The SBC software further refines the motion of the boom, swing and travel functions using advanced signal control to keep the machine ready to go. This results in a significant improvement in overall joystick and foot pedal response, reducing the signal delay at the start and end of each operator command. “One operator told us during our evaluation, it made a really good machine even better,” said O’Halloran.

The SBC software is now available as a standard feature on new tracked feller bunchers and harvesters or as an upgrade for existing M- and MH-Series machine owners. To learn more about Smooth Boom Control as well as the John Deere lineup of forestry equipment, visit www.JohnDeere.com or your local John Deere dealer.

Contact:
Amy Jones, imre
Email: amyj@imre.com
Phone: 410-821-8220

The post John Deere adds Smooth Boom Control Technology for Tracked Feller Bunchers & Harvesters appeared first on International Forest Industries.

SFI announces new standards focused on solving some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges

International Forest Industries - 3 hours 13 min ago

Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, ON —The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) has developed new standards to support SFI’s leadership in offering solutions to some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. SFI certification is a powerful tool to ensure healthy forests that mitigate climate impacts, are resilient to fire threats, and support a diversity of communities.

“SFI has the scale to make a difference with more than 375 million acres/152 million hectares certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, and tens of millions more certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard,” says Kathy Abusow, SFI’s President and CEO. “Because the standards require independent, third-party audits, organizations that use them are responding to the ESG expectations of investors, customers, and communities.”

Requirements for a new SFI Climate Smart Forestry Objective are one of the highlights of the new standards. Forests play a central role in the carbon cycle and with proper management, can be one of the most effective nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. SFI-certified organizations will now be required to ensure forest management activities address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

“Our hopes to mobilize forests for climate will depend on influencing forest practices across as many acres as possible, helping to infuse them with science-based approaches to achieve resilient carbon sequestration and healthy forests for our future,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests. “Forest certification is the dream device to make this connection with landowners across North America, and SFI has done an outstanding job of assuring that this new SFI standard will help catalyze the climate-smart forestry we need.”

SFI is elevating its role in addressing fire by introducing a new SFI Fire Resilience and Awareness Objective. Forest fires have long played a role in the evolution and function of natural ecosystems, but we are now seeing an increase in catastrophic fires that have dire consequences for our forests, wildlife, and communities. SFI-certified organizations are now required to limit susceptibility of forests to undesirable impacts of wildfire and to raise community awareness of fire benefits, risks, and minimization measures.

An important component of the SFI standards is Objective 8, Recognize and Respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. The SFI standards promote respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, representative institutions, and traditional knowledge, and are aligned with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Specific measures require that SFI-certified organizations are aware of traditional forest-related knowledge, such as known cultural heritage sites, the use of wood in traditional buildings and crafts, and flora that may be used in cultural practices for food, ceremonies, or medicine.

“The SFI standard requires organizations to recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and traditional knowledge,” says Lenny Joe, President, Scw’exmx Tribal Council. “SFI’s programs and certification requirements are unique in that they focus on relationship building that creates trust. This is important to many Indigenous communities like mine and a reason for SFI’s earned respect and growth.”

SFI’s standards are built on mutual trust and engagement. They help SFI-certified organizations meet societal expectations by ensuring that important issues such as civil rights, equal employment opportunities, gender equality, diversity inclusion, and anti-discrimination and anti‑harassment measures are addressed.

SFI revises and updates the SFI standards to incorporate the latest scientific information, respond to emerging issues, and ensure continual improvement. This open and transparent process began in 2019 and included engagement with the conservation community, Indigenous communities, the forest products sector, brand owners, private forest landowners and public forest managers, government agencies, trade associations, landowner associations, academia, and the public. The SFI Board of Directors approved the SFI 2022 Standards and Rules at their April 2021 meeting.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc.

SFI advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, non‑profit organization that leverages four interconnected pillars of work: standards, conservation, community, and education. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments. Collaborating with our network, we leverage SFI-certified forests and products as powerful tools to help solve sustainability challenges such as climate action, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development. Learn more: forests.org.

Media Contact
Daniel Pellegrom
Vice President, Communications
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
202-596-3452 / daniel.pellegrom@forests.org

Standards Contact
Jason Metnick
Senior Vice President, Customer Affairs
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
602-374-6539 / jason.metnick@forests.org

The post SFI announces new standards focused on solving some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Forests extending to 745 hectares on market for £14m

International Forest Industries - 4 hours 8 min ago

Almost 750 hectares of prime commercial forestry in the Scottish Borders has come to the market for offers over £14 million. The sale of the Ramsaygrain East Forests, which extend to 745 hectares or 1,841 acres, are available as a whole or in three lots. The large scale commercial conifer forests are part of the renowned Teviothead Forest Complex.

The mid-rotation forestry comprises 92% Sitka spruce with a mix of age classes thereby offering a regular income.

Additionally, some native broadleaves improve biodiversity and add structural diversity to the landscape.

Goldcrest Land & Forestry Group, which has launched the sale, said the forests were ‘outstanding’.

“[The forests] include second rotation crops planted with improved seed stock, to the market,” said Jon Lambert, partner at the firm. “The results speak for themselves with exceptional growth rates and superb yields. They occupy a prime forestry location, benefitting from an excellent internal forest road network and access to major timber processors via agreed timber transport routes.” 

The launch of the Ramsaygrain East Forests comes at a time of continued buoyancy in the commercial forestry sector. The market continues to perform extremely well with demand far outstripping supply and a seemingly insatiable appetite for timber.

Source: Farming UK
Photo: The launch of the forests comes at a time of continued buoyancy in the commercial forestry sector

The post Forests extending to 745 hectares on market for £14m appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Antti Koulumies appointed as Head of UPM Timber

International Forest Industries - 4 hours 37 min ago

Antti Koulumies has been appointed Senior Vice President, UPM Timber as of June 1st 2021. He will be based in Helsinki reporting to Bernd Eikens, EVP, UPM Biorefining.

Koulumies holds a M.Sc., Industrial Management from Aalto University. He joins UPM from REEL International that acquired Metso Outotec Aluminium business this year. Prior to aluminium business leadership position, Koulumies led the business control, strategy and M&A at Outotec. Before joining Outotec he worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company.

The position as Head of UPM Timber became vacant after Aki Temmes was appointed Senior Vice President, Business Control & Finance Operations at UPM as of 1 January 2021.

UPM Timber produces redwood and whitewood sawn timber for the joinery, packaging, distribution, and construction industries. Their sawmills are powered entirely by renewable energy. They use certified Nordic raw material and the latest sawmilling techniques to produce high-quality sawn timber that fulfills customer requirements. UPM Timber has four sawmills in Finland with a total annual capacity of 1.5 M cubic metres and its own sales network in Europe and Asia. UPM Timber employs around 400 people and has its headquarter in Tampere.

Antti Koulumies has been appointed Senior Vice President, UPM Timber as of June 1st 2021. He will be based in Helsinki reporting to Bernd Eikens, EVP, UPM Biorefining.

Koulumies holds a M.Sc., Industrial Management from Aalto University. He joins UPM from REEL International that acquired Metso Outotec Aluminium business this year. Prior to aluminium business leadership position, Koulumies led the business control, strategy and M&A at Outotec. Before joining Outotec he worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company.

The position as Head of UPM Timber became vacant after Aki Temmes was appointed Senior Vice President, Business Control & Finance Operations at UPM as of 1 January 2021.

UPM Timber produces redwood and whitewood sawn timber for the joinery, packaging, distribution, and construction industries. Their sawmills are powered entirely by renewable energy. They use certified Nordic raw material and the latest sawmilling techniques to produce high-quality sawn timber that fulfills customer requirements. UPM Timber has four sawmills in Finland with a total annual capacity of 1.5 M cubic metres and its own sales network in Europe and Asia. UPM Timber employs around 400 people and has its headquarter in Tampere.

The post Antti Koulumies appointed as Head of UPM Timber appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Forestry England tackle tree disease with specialist helicopter felling technique

International Forest Industries - 5 hours 8 min ago

Forest, within the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, which were affected by the tree disease Phytophthora ramorum. The two-day operation involved an 18-strong Forestry England team and a contract harvesting team working alongside Swiss and Scottish operators, brought in for their expertise in helicopter felling – a forestry technique common in Switzerland but used only once before by the same team in the UK.

A stand of 150 diseased larch trees around Whinlatter Forest’s Wild Play and Go Ape high-wires course needed to be lifted vertically to avoid damaging the play equipment and climbing infrastructure. Helicopter felling was the most cost-effective approach to remove each tree, as conventional felling techniques would have led to extensive damage, costly rebuilding and loss of access for visitors and families wanting to enjoy the area.

The felling operation involved several steps and careful co-ordination between ground and climbing teams, and the helicopter pilot. First, the climbing team assessed the weight of the tree, dividing it into sections weighing no more than two tonnes – the maximum weight that the helicopter could lift – before securing a rope to each section. The specialist KMax heavy lift helicopter hovered overhead, lowering a steel cable to the ground which was attached by rope to a section at a time of each tree and pulled taught as the helicopter rose vertically. A cutter, communicating by radio with the pilot, then cut the tree by chainsaw and the helicopter flew the tree stems away over the forest to an area a kilometre away where another team processed the wood with a harvester. Because the helicopter was faster between lifts than a climber, three climbing teams served the helicopter in turn in a non-stop operation which successfully removed the larch trees and left the play and high-wires infrastructure undamaged and ready for reopening.

Kevin May, Forestry England Forest Management Director for North District, says;

This was a complex forestry operation which needed meticulous planning and co-ordination between ground, climbing and flying teams. It was vital we removed these diseased larch trees to stop the spread of P. ramorum in the forest but we were determined to also protect the facilities which so many visitors enjoy each year. The whole operation had to be COVID secure with special permission needed from the UK and Swiss governments to bring in the specialist team to work alongside us. Fair weather and good visibility in Whinlatter Forest Park– England’s only ‘mountain’ forest – meant the whole job was done seamlessly, felling and extracting approximately 300 tonnes in two days with public safety maintained at all times.

We now have the opportunity to look ahead and ensure Whinlatter Forest is as resilient as possible in future decades supporting our people, nature and economy outcomes. The cleared site will provide a valuable open habitat for many wildlife species in the short term, and we have a detailed replanting plan to replace the felled larches with a mix of species resilient to changing climate conditions and future pests and diseases. The felling operation is the beginning of a new and exciting phase for this wonderful landscape, and we look forward to welcoming visitors back.

You can watch the helicopter felling operation in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VT3XhXTWFY

The post Forestry England tackle tree disease with specialist helicopter felling technique appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Market developments in the light of paper recycling import bans by China

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 30 min ago
Cepi, the European association representing the paper industry, has been closely monitoring market developments in reaction to the material waste import ban by the Chinese authorities including paper for recycling, the redirection of global flows of paper for recycling and structural changes in paper consumption and collection during the Covid-19 crisis. Source: Timberbiz While secondary raw materials markets are volatile by nature, Cepi emphasises that there is a healthy demand for paper for recycling in Europe and worldwide. Even in the light of severe global disruptions, the value of paper for recycling for the circular paper industry enables its collection to remain sustainable with only short-term imbalances in the supply and demand. To sustain this resilience against major external disruptions, the message of the European paper industry remains unchanged and independent of the short-term fluctuations of raw materials markets: separate paper collection at source ensures good quality paper for recycling, which will be met with demand by the European paper industry, who has been committing to increasing paper recycling rates over the last two decades. Cepi welcomes the fact that some countries, where separate collection of paper and board is not yet fully implemented, are now following suit by adopting separate paper and board collection at source, at household level. Cepi is also accompanying structural developments, such as changed consumption patterns regarding publication papers and related impacts on replenishing the recycling loops with fresh fibres. At the same time, more and more consumer products are packed with sustainable fibre-based solutions, which are a valuable contribution to the paper recycling loop  

$1b initiative to purchase carbon credits to reduce deforestation

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 31 min ago
In the context of the US President Biden’s “Leaders’ Summit”, the US, UK and Norway, together with Amazon, announced a 1 billion USD initiative to purchase carbon credits from countries that reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Source: Timberbiz As detailed in a statement by a group of international NGOs, financing forest protection at the national level is welcome, and urgent, but this should not be used to compensate or “offset” fossil fuel emissions. The announcement comes as more and more companies are buying carbon credits from forestry projects. Many companies continue to claim that this cancels their own climate impact, which is not accurate. The credits purchased by the new coalition should not be used to meet emission reduction targets according to the Carbon Market Watch. While the buyer countries in this coalition say that they will not count the reductions towards their own targets, this is less clear for companies. The risk of double counting the reductions, once by the country where they take place and once by the company buying the credits, remains. “We need to channel finance to forest conservation on a large scale, and we cannot use this as an excuse to continue polluting,” Gilles Dufrasne, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, said. “Today’s announcement goes in that direction but doesn’t rule out that companies will abuse the system to claim that they have no ‘net’ impact on the climate. An emission reduction should only be counted once, and the new coalition should more clearly explain how they will ensure this. “Today, too many companies are planning to offset their emissions with reductions that are already being counted by other countries.“ Many private companies have purchased carbon credits from individual forestry projects, which often do not represent real emission reductions. When such small-scale projects issue credits, they often create more credits than they should. Instead of buying credits from small-scale projects, the announced coalition will pay for emissions reductions at a national or regional scale, based on reduced deforestation compared to recent historical deforestation levels. While not a perfect solution, this is an improvement on current practices for creating carbon credits. “We welcome this initiative as increased support to rainforest protection is urgently needed,” Anders Haug Larsen, head of policy at Rainforest Foundation Norway said. “It is important that funding for rainforest protection gives governments financial incentives to improve land-use policies, as this is the best way to achieve forest protection at the scale we need. We also urge rainforest countries to use these new funds to support indigenous peoples and local communities, as they often are the best stewards of the forests.”  

Ligna 2021 off the table

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 31 min ago
Ligna was rescheduled to run this year in September but this will not go ahead due to the continuing high level of COVID 19 infection worldwide, the slow national and international progress on vaccination and the continuing existence of travel restrictions. Instead, the event is now tabled for 15-19 May 2023. Source: Timberbiz Deutsche Messe, together with the VDMA Woodworking Machinery, has taken the decision to cancel the 2021 trade show for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools and focus on the planned 2023 event. “In order to offer the industry a platform for innovations, knowledge exchange and networking, alternatively we will set up a digital networking and content platform that will be launched at the end of September,” Dr Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG said. “We are also planning the Rosenheim LIGNA Conference in early summer 2022. For both event formats, we are incorporating the many new insights and positive experiences from the recently hosted HANNOVER MESSE Digital Edition.” Organisers said that another postponement would make no sense in view of the innovation cycles of companies and in view of the next LIGNA, which was scheduled take place in May 2023.

Forestry Corp feeding koalas in need

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 32 min ago
Forestry Corporation of NSW is halfway through the delivery of 25,000 koala food tree seedlings to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for their annual koala food tree giveaway program. Source: Timberbiz The program will see koala food tree seedlings given to local and community groups wanting to build koala habitat on their land. All up, 25,000 seedlings will be donated to local planting projects to support koala populations, improve connectivity between areas, provide future food and habitat, and improve habitat value. The seedlings were grown at Forestry Corporation’s Grafton nursery and have had an exceptional start with the perfect growing conditions and look extremely healthy and luscious, said Forestry Corporation’s Partnerships Leader, Sandra Madeley. “These seedlings are grown in Forestry Corporation’s Grafton Nursery, a state of the art nursery growing high quality seedlings which will thrive when planted in areas they naturally grow,” Ms Madeley said. “The selection of seedlings in the giveaway are not only grow naturally in the Port Macquarie Hastings area, they are the favourite food of the koala, including Forest Red Gum, Tallowwood, Swamp Mahogany and Grey Gum.” This is the fourth year that the koala hospital has run the seedling giveaway in partnership with Forestry Corporation, said Koala Hospital Conservation Manager, Scott Castle. “That’s 85,000 trees in the ground in areas where there was little or no habitat, and that is a massive positive in my opinion.” While the program has been running since 1 April, the impacts of severe weather and flooding have hampered landholders’ initial efforts to plant seedlings this year. “However, now that the sun has come out, so have the many passionate locals and groups wanting to plant seedlings to support koala populations,” Mr Castle said. Forestry Corporation also provided information and resources to support the planting operations. “Our specialist staff have developed a series of guides to support the crucial steps before and after trees are planted,” Ms Madeley said. “They cover how to select the right species for the right location, when and how to plant, ongoing risks and maintenance — these will help set these young seedlings up with every chance of success.”

Duniam tells Sky News protestor putting child at risk was using it as a political pawn

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 36 min ago
Assistant Minister for Forestry Jonathon Duniam has condemned a protestor who carried a child on her back while chaining herself to an operating header at a logging site in East Gippsland. Source: Timberbiz Reports from the site said the protestor – believed to a member of the Goongerah Environment Centre – leapt from bushes where she hid from forest workers and attached herself to a machine while it was in operation with a baby clinging to her back. Speaking on Sky News this week, Senator Duniam said using the toddler as a “political pawn” for an anti-logging protest showed the parent was more concerned with “political points” than the “welfare” of their own child. “It’s sad to be talking about this in 2021 where you got mums and dads using their kids as political pawns,” he told Sky news host Rita Panahi. “An infant, a toddler, walking around a dangerous worksite where you got big moving machinery, spinning blades, trees falling on the ground; what kind of a parent does that … someone who’s more interested in scoring a political point than the welfare of their own child.” Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said Senator Duniam was correct. “This incident was quite frankly a disgrace,” Mr Hampton said. “It should go without saying that heavy machinery sites, such as forestry harvesting operations, are potentially very dangerous. Although our operators place health and safety as the number one priority, unlawful access is outside their control. Those who do this put their lives at risk and in this case the life of a toddler. “We of course support the right of all Australians to protest about the things they are concerned about, however not in ways which are illegal and put themselves and our operators at risk,” he said. “All the environmental advocacy groups involved in forestry debates should also be seeking to stop this behaviour. It will be a great tragedy if someone is badly injured or killed.” Mr Hampton said the irony of the situation was that Australian native forestry operations are actually the envy of the world in terms of their very high level of environmental standards. All areas harvested were replanted, or regenerated, by law and certified sustainable. “Australian environmental activist groups which continue to try to close this industry in Australia never can answer the question – is it ethical to stop using Australian hardwood timber for our floors, decking and stairs when we know the replacement timber will likely be imported from countries that practice deforestation,” Mr Hampton said.  

Negotiations start with Mt Gambier mills for KIPT burnt timber

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 37 min ago
Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber (KIPT) has completed a successful expo of its timber at a yard near Mt Gambier and is now in negotiations with several mills regarding buying logs from the KIPT pine softwood estate. Source: Timberbiz Logs of different size and varying burn classification were shown to representatives of about 10 mills, including logs from an independent grower on the Island. Buyers were particularly interested in the KIPT wood that had good “resi testing” results, proving its suitability for construction grade lumber. KIPT is now working with the Master Builders Association to try to address the shortage of timber for construction in South Australia. Industry leaders, including KIPT managing director Keith Lamb, met with Primary Industries Minister David Basham last week to discuss potential solutions to the shortage which has left small building companies vulnerable and new home builders facing increased costs and delays. Mr Lamb said there was enough structural timber on the island to build about 10,000 new homes. “We’ve done all the technical specifications on the logs so they know what the quality is like and also the impact of the fire damage,” he said. “Hopefully next week we’ll get a response from them to say they are willing to take the logs and what price, so we’ll negotiate a price, and then we’ll start delivering them.” Mr Lamb said about half of the island’s 1.3 million tonnes of pine had been blackened by fire but the quality of timber remained unaffected. KIPT is investigating various avenues to start moving larger timber from the Island but remains committed to its Smith Bay wharf development proposal which awaits approval from the State Government. “We have very large volumes of timber to move. This is just a start on our 4.2 million tonnes,” Mr Lamb said. The log expo was a joint effort between KIPT, its contracted harvester Harvestco, contracted forester Rob Heathcote, forest manager PF Olsen and seller’s agent Lew Parsons.

Vic Government should support VicForests against unwarranted attacks

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 39 min ago
The Victorian Government must do more to support VicForests and the timber industry, according to Shadow Assistant Minister for Forestry Gary Blackwood. Mr Blackwood said there had been a clear line of attack on VicForests for many years from third-party interest groups which were using unsubstantiated claims to drive a false narrative against VicForests for self-interest and political gain. Source: Timberbiz “The Victorian Office of the Conservation Regulator had dismissed claims by Green activists at a Senate hearing this week that VicForests systematically breached forest laws by logging areas steeper than 30 degrees in slope,” Mr Blackwood said. “While minor breaches were identified in two coupes, the Conservation Regulator in its report found that accusations of widespread, systematic breaches could not be substantiated.” Mr Blackwood said VicForests worked diligently to ensure that their practices were world leading, and that unsubstantiated and vexatious claims were being made to sensationalise the im-pact these minor breaches had on catchment areas. “We continually see a trend in commentary around the Victorian timber industry that it is harming our environment or that these practices are undermining ecological systems, yet time and time again regulators investigating those claims find that we continue to have world leading best practices,” he said. “Claims that these minor breaches in two coupes put catchment drinking water supply at risk are purely designed to create sensational headlines to drive a narrative that timber harvesting is bad for the environment and putting community health at risk is simply not true. “The Andrews Labor Government must do more in this space to clear the air regarding timber harvesting and to support VicForests who are lawfully carrying out activity in these areas. “The Andrews Labor Government’s own regulator has stated they have a direct focus on slope regulation in coupe areas to ensure the highest levels of compliance possible. “It’s time the Andrews Labor Government stepped up, backed its own regulator and VicForests, and did more to expose these vexatious allegations for what they are,” Mr Blackwood said.

ABC says VicForests risks Melbourne water supply but there’s a catch

Australian timber industry news - 11 hours 40 min ago
In its report on 20 April 2021, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) made allegations that VicForests has put Melbourne’s drinking water supply at risk by ‘systemic’ unlawful timber harvesting on steep slopes. VicForests says these allegations are false, misleading and misconceived. Source: Timberbiz The ABC relied on a report authored by two academics from the Fenner School at the Australian National University (ANU). The ANU report refers to research undertaken in 2019 within the Upper Goulburn catchment area. The Upper Goulburn is not within Melbourne’s water catchment area. In 2020 the Government regulator, the Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR), investigated the matters alleged within the ANU report and determined that: The OCR stated: “The overall proposition raised by the [ANU] report that there is systemic and widespread breaching of slope prescriptions could not be substantiated. The allegation was found to be based on modelled data and insufficient in-field sampling to be able to make a valid inference.” [Bold emphasis added – VicForests] It follows that, contrary to the ABC’s allegations, VicForests’ operations have in no way affected Melbourne’s drinking water supply. VicForests notes that there are instances in which harvesting on steep slopes (with more than 30-degree inclines) is permitted by the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014 and the Management Standards and Procedures for timber harvesting operations in Victoria’s State forests 2014. In such instances any potential environmental impacts, such as potential impacts to water quality, are carefully managed. VicForests puts in place a range of protections (such as stream buffers) in its harvesting operations for the protection of water quality in accordance with the rigorous regulatory requirements. VicForests works with the OCR in relation to these matters. All timber harvesting and regeneration operations are conducted in line with Victoria’s strict environmental regulations and the State’s Forest Management Zoning Scheme.

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by Dr. Radut