Old growth forest and rainforest

Old growth forest and rainforest are rare ecosystems and provide important habitat for many threatened species. Logging is not permitted in old growth forest and rainforest on both private and public land in NSW.

Page under review

On 25 August 2017, new legislative arrangements commenced for private native forestry. It should be noted that some references on the EPA's website and any publications may now be outdated. These documents will be progressively updated by the EPA to ensure current legislative arrangements are reflected. More detail about changes can be found here.

Old-growth forests (PDF 392KB) are ecologically mature forests. They often have a diverse structure and mix of species, with relatively large old trees which may contain hollows. The protection and management of old growth forests is extremely important in maintaining biodiversity.

The rainforests (1.9MB) of NSW range from lush, subtropical forests to dry vine thickets. Rainforest can vary in structure, species composition, climate and soils.

Mapped old growth and rainforest

If you believe the maps of old growth forest or rainforest supplied with your approved private native forestry plan (PNF plan) are not accurate, you can contact the EPA to have the mapping reviewed.

A public register (XLS 86KB) is maintained of each rainforest and old growth forest assessment. An updated version will be available later in 2017.

The Protocol for re-evaluating old growth forest on private property (PDF 147KB) explains ways in which the EPA identifies and verifies old growth forest on private land.

The Protocol for re-evaluating rainforest on private property (128KB) explains ways in which the EPA identifies and verifies rainforest on private land.

Review of old growth forest and rainforest protocols

An independent review of the protocols for the identification of rainforests and old growth forests was released in 2010. The review outlined recommendations to improve the rigor of the assessment process, including the use of good quality imagery and significantly increased fieldwork to validate the work of the aerial photo interpreters. The EPA and OEH have made considerable progress in implementing the recommendations of the Review.

A copy of the report can be downloaded using the links below

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