W.A. draft Forest Management Plan released

Friday 21 Oct 2022

A pledge to end native logging in Western Australia’s southwest is included in a draft Forest Management Plan released for comment by the state government. The move will preserve another 400,000 hectares of forest on top of the 1.6 million hectares already protected from logging, though not mining.

Under the 10-year plan, the only timber to be taken from native forests will come from managed activities designed to improve forest health, such as ecological thinning, or for clearing for approved mining operations, and infrastructure maintenance.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will engage with the Noongar traditional owners to enter formal arrangements to manage the South West conservation estate consistent with the area’s native title settlement.

The government previously announced an AU$80 million investment to support workers, businesses, and communities transitioning out of native logging. It said the forest management plan reaffirmed its commitment to act on climate change and protect biodiversity by reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

The plan also outlined future approaches to bushfire risk management and access to domestic firewood. Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby said the decision to end native logging had not been made lightly but the government had to preserve forests for future generations. “The science showing climate change is having, and will have, a devastating impact on our environment is well-established and cannot be ignored,” he said.

“This does not mean an end to forest management activities but an end to large-scale commercial logging in our native forests,” Mr Kelly said. The public consultation period on the draft plan will continue until 18 December 2022 with community information events to be staged in regional locations.

Read more from the Hon. Reece Whitby, Minister for Environment and Climate Action (WA), The Hon. Dave Kelly, Minister for Forestry (WA), Joint Media Release, 18 October 2022.

View the plan and make a submission at www.dbca.wa.gov.au

Source: SMH, Australian Rural & Regional News

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