3.3.1 Conservation and Land Management Act
The Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (CALM Act 1984) established the Department of Conservation and Land Management and the controlling bodies, the Lands and Forest Commission (LFC) and the National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority (NPNCA).
In relation to forest management one of the principle features of the Act is the provision for management plans.
The LFC and NPNCA are responsible for the preparation of management plans in accord with section 56 of the Act. The objective of the management plans is to achieve or promote the purpose for which the land is vested, as follows:
(a) indigenous State forest or timber reserves, to achieve the purpose, or combination of purposes, of conservation, recreation, timber production on a sustained yield basis, water catchment protection, or another purpose prescribed in regulations;
(b) State forest or timber reserves planted with exotic species, to achieve the optimum yield in production consistent with the satisfaction of long-term social and economic needs;
(c) national parks and conservation parks, to fulfil so much of the demand for recreation by members of the public as is consistent with the proper maintenance and restoration of the natural environment, the protection of indigenous flora and fauna and the preservation of any features of archaeological, historic or scientific interest;
(d) nature reserves, to maintain and restore the natural environment, and to protect, care for, and promote the study of indigenous flora and fauna and to preserve any feature of archaeological, historic or scientific interest; and
(e) in the case of other land referred to in section 5(g), to achieve the purpose for which the land was vested in the controlling body, eg. conservation, recreation and other purposes.
Public participation in the management planning process is provided for, with a minimum two-month period during which written submissions will be considered.
The objective of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 is the protection of indigenous flora and fauna throughout the State.
Administration of this Act, hence the conservation and protection of indigenous flora and fauna, is a statutory function of the Department of CALM.
Where any indigenous flora or fauna are considered to be at some level of risk with respect to their continued survival (ie. they are considered to be threatened), the Minister may declare them as likely to become extinct, or rare, or otherwise in need of special protection.
3.3.3 Mining Act and Mineral-Based Agreement Acts
Mining and exploration can have considerable impact on forest management. At present the major minerals mined on forest land are bauxite, coal, mineral sands, gold and tin.
The Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (CALM Act) does not preclude land managed by the Department from mining or major development projects.
The Agreement Acts are administered by the Minister for Resource Development. The CALM Act does not impose restrictions on mining or development projects subject to the Agreement Act. The requirements for mining and development projects with respect to land managed by CALM are stated in the Mining Act 1978 and the individual Agreement Acts.
Under the Mining Act the concurrence of the Minister of the Environment and in some cases the approval of Parliament must be obtained before mining can proceed on other categories of land managed by CALM. The Department is involved in drawing up conditions for mining on land that it manages.
Timber Production in Western Australia - A Strategy to Take WA's South-West Forests into the 21st Century was published in 1987 with the Forest Regional Management Plans.
The Timber Strategy contained several key points.
Adequate forest areas representative of all major ecosystems will be set aside for conservation and recreation, from which logging is excluded.
The remaining forest areas will be managed to maximise multiple use including water supplies, recreation, sustainable timber production and wildlife conservation.
Every hectare of forest logged will be regrown.
The cost of regrowing, establishing and managing native forest and exotic pine plantations will be paid for by the timber industry.
The yield from timber production will be regulated so it can be sustained indefinitely.
Logs will be processed to get the best value from each log, so that employment and economic benefits for Western Australia will be maximised.
All forest management operations on crown land will be managed by CALM.
The Strategy forecast that more wood will be used for high-quality products, more timber will be extracted from logs using improved techniques, and more wood will be available from increasingly productive hardwood regrowth forests and the States developing pine forests.
3.3.5 Forest Management Plan 1994-2003
During 1991 CALM conducted a comprehensive review of the 1987 Forest Management Plans and proposed a range of outcomes in a Draft Forest Strategy, published in 1992. The review took into account the results of a new inventory of the jarrah forest, a review of the system of road, river and stream zones and an assessment of National Estate values for the Southern Forest Region. The review also took account of recommendations of the Ecologically Sustainable Development Forest Working Group and the Resource Assessment Commission.
The main changes proposed as a result of the review were:
an increase of 120 000 hectares to the nature conservation reserve system to ensure it represented the full range of ecotypes;
expansion of the stream reserve system to ensure all stream environments throughout the forest were protected with a zone of undisturbed vegetation, thereby distributing old growth forest throughout the landscape;
the setting of structural goals to ensure the proportion of forest dominated by old trees does not fall below 40 per cent; and
the introduction of visual resource management to protect high quality scenic areas.
A final Forest Management Plan was published in 1994 following extensive public submissions and consultation and a review under the Environment Protection Act. The Plan included a determination of the annual sustainable timber resource for allocation and a series of ministerial conditions.