Time to review the Forest Management Plan

Greens (WA) forestry spokesperson Diane Evers has urged the public to read the findings of the draft mid-term review of the Forest Management Plan’s performance, and make submissions for possible improvements.

The plan is developed in consultation with the community. It is the key policy framework for managing forests, helping identify goals and performance targets and proposing management activities to achieve these goals.

“The FMP for 2004-2013 was the first plan prepared since the management of forests was separated from commercial timber operations in 2000,” Ms Evers said. The current plan expires in 2023.

Under the plan, old-growth forest was excluded from timber harvesting and the conservation reserve system was extended creating 29 national parks, conservation parks and nature reserves. About 500,000 hectares was added to the conservation reserve system.

A mid-term review of each plan is held to determine which parts of the FMP are proceeding well, and which areas need advancement.

Ms Evers said the review of the current FMP, based on 24 Key Performance Indicators, has just been released for public scrutiny.

“Much has changed since 2013 when this plan was originally written, and we will have to wait till 2023 to make substantial changes,” she said.

“In the meantime, it is important that this review is considered and commented on by a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that improvements are implemented.

“The FMP, as it stands, predominantly values the forest for the revenue that can be derived from the timber in the trees. A true plan to manage the forest would have greater recognition of other values provided by the forest, climate change mitigation, honey collection, tourism, carbon storage, oxygen, rainfall generation, habitat, biodiversity, and so on.”

The review is available for public submissions over a six-week period, ending in mid-October.

It will also be discussed at the Focused on Forests workshop to be held at Margaret River on September 29.

To find out more on the FMP review:

https://www.conservation.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/Draft%20mid-term%20review%20of%20performance%20of%20the%20Forest%20Management%20Plan%202014-2023.pdf

To find out more about the Focused on Forests workshop:

https://www.dianeevers.com.au/focused-on-forests-educate-activate-protect/