Five million hectares in NSW have been burnt, including more than 890,000 hectares of native State Forests. This is approximately half of the coastal and tablelands native State Forests in NSW.
The EPA has been working with other NSW Government agencies and the Forestry Corporation of NSW to understand the impact of the fires on the environment and wildlife, local communities and the forestry industry. Forestry operations will be permitted in selected areas to assist in bushfire recovery efforts for fire-affected regional communities.
Forestry Corporation of NSW will be granted regulatory approval on a case by case basis to harvest in some fire-affected State Forests where it can be determined that the environmental risk associated with harvesting operations can be reasonably mitigated. The Forestry Corporation of NSW has been provided a set of site-specific conditions to be applied in addition to the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals.
These site-specific operating conditions are being tailored to apply to individual fire-damaged sites. They are designed to reduce further to soils, waterways, plants animals and their habitats.
Site-specific operating condition requirements
The Coastal Integrated Forestry Operation Approvals (IFOA) was not designed to moderate the environmental risks associated with harvesting in landscapes that have been so extensively and severely impacted by fire. This has required the EPA to issue additional site-specific conditions that tailor protections for the specific circumstances of these burnt forests.
The rules for timber harvesting in fire-affected areas include
- A new requirement which requires the retention of unburned or lightly burned forest in these sites to ensure they can provide ongoing refuge and food for animals that persisted during the fires.
- Increased protections around landscape features like rainforest, rocky outcrops and heathy vegetation as these areas often provide important shelter and food resources for animals, and the right environmental conditions for the regeneration of unique native plants.
- Increased protections for hollow-bearing trees and important feed trees to ensure more nesting and food resources are retained and protected.
- Intensive harvesting will not be permitted in burnt areas to lessen erosion risks and biodiversity impacts.
- Increased requirements to prevent or minimise erosion and water pollution in local creeks and rivers given the fires have removed most of the ground cover and destabilised soils. These requirements include
- the significant expansion of protections around streams
- stricter limits to reduce the distance water can flow on road, tracks and log dumps
- requirements to stabilised exposed soils during and after harvesting operations.
The NSW EPA will be monitoring forestry activities during and after the forestry operations to ensure the site-specific conditions are effective, and that these additional rules are being complied with.
Site-specific operating conditions for bushfire affected forests
Approvals are issued on a case by case basis, and only where it is considered that the environmental risk associated with harvesting operations in bushfire affected forests can be reasonably mitigated.
- Bagawa State Forest compartment BGW028
Bagawa State Forest site-specific operating conditions (PDF 335KB)
- Bago State Forest compartments 10A, 46A, 47A, 48A and 75A
Bago State Forest site-specific operating conditions (PDF 300KB)
Fire severity maps: compartment 10A (PDF 1,449KB); compartments 46A, 47A (PDF 2,327KB); compartment 48A (PDF 1,448KB); compartment 75A (PDF 1,906KB); FESM (ZIP 9KB)
Ash types tile pack (ZIP 299KB)
Harvest status (ZIP 6,934 KB)
- Bungawalbin State Forest compartments BWN001, BWN002, BWN003, BWN004 and BWN005
Bungawalbin State Forest site-specific operating conditions (PDF 348KB)
- Collombatti State Forest compartments COL009, COL010, COL011 and COL012
Collombatti State Forest site-specific operating conditions (PDF 338KB)
- Doubleduke State Forest compartments DOU001, DOU002, DOU003, DOU004, DOU005, DOU006, DOU007 and DOU008
Doubleduke site-specific operating conditions (PDF 349KB)
- Girard State Forest compartments GRD008 and GRD009
Girard State Forest site-specific operating conditions (PDF 350KB)
- Mogo State Forest compartment 174A
Mogo site-specific operating conditions (PDF 824KB)
Fire severity maps (PDF 2592KB), tile pack (ZIP 38KB)
- Myrtle State Forest compartments MYR010, MYR011, MYR012, MYR014, MYR015 and MYR016
Myrtle site-specific operating conditions (PDF 316KB)
- Riamukka State Forest compartments RIA014, RIA015, RIA022, RIA025, RIA026, RIA028 and RIA029
Riamukka site-specific specific operating conditions (PDF 35KB)
- South Brooman State Forest compartment 60A
South Brooman site-specific operating conditions (PDF 735KB)
Fire severity maps (PDF 3621KB), tile pack (ZIP 131KB)
- Styx River State Forest compartments STX010 and STXo11
Styx River site-specific operating conditions (PDF 314KB)
Fire severity maps (PDF 3185KB ), tile pack (ZIP 314KB)