Image

Increasing sawlog production from existing forests

5 November 2023

Two new reports have been released by the Tasmania Forestry Hub outlining opportunities to support silvicultural interventions that could deliver additional saw log production in the next 10 years.

Australia faces an ongoing shortage of structural grade timber for use in the construction of houses to meet the requirements of a population which will grow to 40 million by 2050. Longer term policy settings are in place to encourage the establishment of new plantations with the aim of growing more timber to meet those requirements. However, it will be at least thirty years before additional wood is available from new plantations.

There are potential forest management solutions which could be introduced now which could result in increased sawlog production from the existing forest estate. However, in some cases those solutions are not commercially viable. There is a strong rationale for Government intervention, in the form of structured incentives, to help forest owners realise these opportunities.

The analysis undertaken for this report has demonstrated that there are opportunities for Government funded incentives to support short to medium actions which can deliver up to 650,000m3 per year of additional sawlog production by the mid-2030s, which otherwise would not be commercially viable. This represents an increase over current sawlog production of about 7 per cent.

Importantly, the proposed actions (conversion of hardwood plantations from short to long rotation and active silvicultural management of regrowth native forests) will deliver important and tangible environmental benefits for the whole community, including increased accumulation and storage of carbon, improved forest health and improved ecosystem function.

Proposed recommendations in these reports to support the silvicultural intervention programs outlined in this report include:

1. Emissions Reduction Fund rules:

a) Ensure that E. nitens and E.globulus are recognised as eligible long rotation species in Tasmania and Victoria.
b) Ensure that the additionality exclusion for government program funded projects is relaxed for long rotation conversion projects.
c) Ensure that actively managed regrowth native forests are eligible for ERF participation where additional and tangible forest and ecosystem health benefits can be demonstrated.

2. Long rotation plantation forestry fund: Establish a dedicated long rotation conversion fund of up to AU$2.5 million annually for ten years, for eligible plantations with agreed criteria addressing species, productivity, scale and proximity to processing facilities and infrastructure.

3. Forest health restoration fund: Establish a forest health restoration fund of up to AU$4 million annually for ten years to support active silvicultural management of regrowth native forests on private land where additional and tangible forest and ecosystem health benefits can be demonstrated and the activity would not be viable without financial support. Criteria for participation to be determined through the application of an appropriate natural capital accounting method and monitoring.

Both reports can be found on the Tasmania Forestry Hub website.

Source: tffpn

Read More
Image

Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
Read more
Image

Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
Read more
Image

NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
Read more
Image

Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more
Image

Hydrogen powered airships collecting forest data

Kelluu, a Finnish company founded in 2018, offers commercial enterprises and government agencies with data-as-a-service, specialising in monitoring and providing real-time, actionable intelligence on power lines, roads and railways, as well as surveying and monitoring potential environmental issues associated with ...
Read more
Image

Extreme bushfires increasing in number and intensity

Extreme bushfires have more than doubled in frequency and intensity over the past two decades, according to a global study from the University of Tasmania. Published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the research reveals that six of the past seven years have ...
Read more
Image

Forest Flows – key update at Environmental Forestry 2024

The Forest Flows Research Programme shared its data driven results at the Environmental Forestry Conference last week. The programme’s main objectives is to quantify the water use of plants and trees, and the water storage and release in planted forest ...
Read more
Image

Rocket Lab signs record deal for 10 electron launches with Synspective

Rocket Lab USA, a global leader in launch services and space systems, recently announced it has signed the largest Electron launch agreement in the Company’s history; a ten-launch deal with Japanese Earth observation company Synspective. The agreement was announced in ...
Read more