The NFPS recognises the need for management of public native forests outside the reserve system to complement the objectives of nature conservation reserve management. Governments have agreed to develop a set of principles of forest practices to ensure the objective of ecologically sustainable management is met.
Codes of practice will be revised, or developed, to conform with these national principles. Monitoring and compliance mechanisms will be a major consideration in achieving off-reserve management.
An independent monitoring unit has been established in the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy to implement new monitoring arrangements for woodchip export licence conditions. The unit will work in close cooperation with the State in the development and implementation of monitoring programs.
4. ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE DEFERRED FOREST ASSESSMENT
The aim of the Deferred Forest Assessment process was to ensure sufficient options for completion of a CAR reserve system by identifying the likely areas that may be required through a broad preliminary analysis. The Deferred Forest Assessment involved a preliminary conservation assessment of forested areas in the south west forest region against the reservation benchmarks of the Commonwealth and JANIS criteria described in Sections 3.2.1 & 3.1.3.
The forest values assessed were wilderness, old growth and biodiversity (both forest vegetation types and rare and threatened species). National Estate values and places were considered during the synthesis of information.
The preliminary assessments undertaken for the Deferred Forest Assessment form a first step towards the development of CRAs during which a far broader range of forest values will be examined. CRAs will develop methodologies to apply and provide outcomes for all the criteria proposed by the Commonwealth that will lead to a Regional Forest Agreement. It is intended that issues raised by stakeholders during the Deferred Forest Assessment process that are outside the scope of these preliminary assessments will be addressed in the Deferred Forest Assessment and CRA/RFA process.
Socio-economic considerations were based on knowledge of the industry and estimates of volume in the possible DFA areas. Further details on the preliminary socio-economic assessments are provided in Section 10 of this report. As for the conservation assessments, more detailed and extensive studies of socio-economic issues will be undertaken as part of the CRA/RFA process.
4.2 Region Boundary
The boundary of the study area for the DFA is a boundary which includes all of CALM's three administrative regions (Swan, Central Forest and Southern Forest) in the south-west of Western Australia (See Map 2). This boundary encompasses 93 per cent of the jarrah forest (as mapped by Beard, 1981) and 98 per cent of the karri forest (as mapped by Bradshaw and Lush, 1981). The eastern outliers of the karri forest at the Porongorups and Mt Manypeaks are not included in the study area, however, all of the State forest available for timber production, is included.
The region is known as the 'south-west forest region'.
The region boundary may be reviewed for the Regional Forest Agreement.
The system of classification, reservation and vesting which applies to lands, including forest lands, and waters managed by the Department of Conservation and Land Management is described in detail in Appendix 1.
The CALM Act as amended in 1991 lists seven categories of land to which the legislation applies. These are:
(i) State Forest
(ii) Timber Reserve
(iii) National Park
(iv) Conservation Park
(v) Nature Reserve
(vi) 5(g) Reserve
(vii) Miscellaneous Reserve
In addition, the Department also manages land held freehold in the name of the Executive Director.
4.4 Information availability
The data sets used in the analysis of forest values in the Deferred Forest Assessment were the best available information at the State wide level in the time frame set for the Deferred Forest Assessment. Digital information was sourced from CALM and Australian Heritage Commission datasets. These datasets have different resolutions of accuracy. In interpreting results of overlaying the datasets using the GIS, account needs to be taken of the resolution of the component data.
The application of the Commonwealth criteria to examine conservation options for species and populations, with particular reference to fauna, were beyond the scope of the DFA. Before the criteria can be employed in a regional assessment of forests it is essential that detailed quantitative procedures are specified and that these are scientifically based, explicitly defined and formally agreed to by all relevant parties.
The key issues restricting the inclusion of fauna aside from rare and threatened species in the DFA were:
the time-frame and preliminary nature of the DFA assessments;
agreed methodologies to operationalise the Commonwealth biodiversity criteria;
agreed decision rules for allocating priority species for assessment; and
the adequacy of existing data to provide a consistent approach to assessment across all study areas.
4.5 1 DFA Technical Working Group
The technical assessment work on which this report is based was carried out jointly by Commonwealth and Western Australian agencies during the period July 1995 to September 1995.
The following agencies participated in the assessment.
Australian Nature Conservation Agency (ANCA)
Australian Heritage Commission (AHC)
Bureau of Resource Sciences (BRS)
Department of Primary Industries and Energy (DPIE)
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (DEST)
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE)
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM)
The technical data management and presentation work was mostly undertaken by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management.
The technical work was directed by a joint Steering Committee which included representatives of those agencies listed above which participated in the technical assessment.