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Forest NSW Annual Report 2012

> Healthy Forests NSW worked to maintain healthy State forests – forests that can sustain themselves ecologically and provide community uses, products and benefits. Increased rainfall resulted in a benign fire season and provided an opportunity to focus on fire training. Plantation health was good and we continued to improve performance in managing biodiversity and natural resources. Fire management out of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s estate was fuel reduced by leased grazing, 2009 bushfires. To apply these lessons to a total of 307 468 hectares. Forests NSW is responsible for sustainably managing both fire sensitive pine plantations Environmental prescriptionsfirefighting in State forests, four incidentmanagement exercises held in Wauchope, and native forest ecosystems that have evolved with fire. Both require a range of different Batemans Bay, Coffs Harbour and Grafton Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals fire regimes and protection to maintain their tested the capability of regional incident contain rules that direct Forests NSW health, diversity and vitality. management teams, resources and facilities. in assessing and managing risks to the A revised fire management policy was issued environment during forestry activities in nativeExercises will continue to be rolled out to the to staff that recognised the need for a risk forests, including risks to threatened species,remaining regions. based approach to fire management in Again in 2011–12, widespread heavy rainfall soil resources and water quality (aquatic cooperation with the community and other greatly reduced the number and severity of habitat). These protection measures are known NSW fire authorities. Fire specific standard wildfires. Only 2270 hectares or 0.1 per cent of as environmental prescriptions. operating procedures, guidelines and other the State forest estate was burnt by wildfire. Threatened species prescriptions are based on information was also developed for use by all Despite wet conditions, 28 451 hectares was current scientific knowledge about the habitat Forests NSW fire fighters. treated with hazard reduction burning. This requirements of the species and individuals Forests NSW staff undertook a wide range of was considerably greater than our annual State discovered during pre-harvest surveys. Typical fire training programs (see case story page 32), hazard reduction target of 16 605 hectares. In prescriptions include harvesting exclusion some provided by or held in collaboration addition to this, a significant area of the forest zones in and around threatened species with other firefighting agencies such as the Wildfires and prescribed burns trend as percentage of Forests NSW estate NSW RFS and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The focus was on ensuring 8 employees were trained to national fire competency standards. 7 Leadership and teamwork within incident 6 management teams were key issues to come 5 Percentage of area 4 3 2 1 0 11–12 10–11 09–10 08–09 07–08 06–07 05–06 04–05 03–04 02–03 01–02 00–01 99–00 98–99 97–98 96–97 95–96 94–95 93–94 92–93 Wildfire as percentage Linear – wildfire as Prescribed burning as Linear – prescribed burning Photo: Howard Spencer of total area percentage of total area percentage of total area as percentage of total area 30 Forests NSW Annual Report 2011–12 Social, Environmental and Economic Performance


Forest NSW Annual Report 2012
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