Western Forests

Subject: Western Forests
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 19:57:39 +1100
Irene asks me:

1.  Definition of "western NSW" (and perhaps even listed the forests)
        * the Commonwealth Government established a Resource Assessment Process 
over the native 
forests of the Eastern seaboard and similar forests in other States in order to 
resolve conflict 
between conservationists and the timber industry. This process is getting close 
to fruition but the 
promised assessment of other "western" forests is about to start. There is no 
definition. The best way 
to state this is to say that all forests west of the Great Divide are to be 
assessed to determine 
which are needed for a "comprehensice, representative and adequate" reserve 
system. This is not 
strictly true as some of the Southern forests in the Tumut region were 
assessed, kind of, in the first 
round. However all forests West of the Divide is a good definition.
        * We are not yet in a position to state what the NPWS and DLaWC intend 
in the RACAC process in 
this section. After numerous meetings we are still not clear if this process 
will include all forests 
or only those now managed by State Forests. Nor are we sure if the definition 
of forests will include 
all woody plants or a more formal definition of a "tree". For the purposes of 
this exercise I am 
asking for information on State Forests only. The list is irrelevant as in the 
end all will need to be 
assessed. Bird lists are only one type of information we will need.
2.  What date you would like a response by?
        * Again unclear. If we, as the ngo responsible for the environmental 
movement, are to be in a 
place to influence the direction of the debate we need to have good information 
and the earlier the 
better. We have a project officer collecting information on the West already 
and have collected much 
already but the more the better and even better if it is in electronic form as 
we can then use it more 
3.  If people "flooded you" with bird lists, is that really the point and could 
you handle the volume 
(presuming a good response!).  Should people submitting the bird lists also 
point out which birds on 
the list are "special" or require protection in a reserve (and why).
        * Yes! We can handle this information, especially in electronic form. 
Apart from the person in 
place for two days per week we are putting an extra person on board for a 
further three days per week. 
If any person who sends information in would like to suggest those forests 
considered valuable and 
have other information of value we would be more than willing to receive it. 
Plant lists, animal 
lists, etc. And we are already using a network of contacts in various Field 
Naturalist Societies.

Thanks for your interest Irene and I look forward to the "flood" of 
information. This round of debates 
might be the best opportunity we will all have to ensure a good reserve system 
in the west of NSW.
Brian Everingham

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