Informal Reserves on Commonwealth land total 6,200 hectares and are identified on Map 1(B).
The Commonwealth agrees to manage those areas of Commonwealth owned land identified in the Singleton Army Training Area as CAR Informal Reserves for the protection of identified CAR values, on the following conditions:
Condition 1. That the reserve does not exclude Defence activities that would not compromise the maintenance of the CAR values. Necessary Unexploded Ordinance management will not be impeded by any Informal Reserve declaration or this agreement.
Condition 2. That the establishment of the reserve is based on existing Defence management arrangements as prescribed in the Singleton Area Environmental Management Plan (1998) rather than any modification of existing tenures which may be detrimental to Defence’s usage of the training areas.
Condition 3. That Defence is the sole approving agency for the Defence Environmental Management Plans that prescribe the management regime for the reserve. Defence will however consult with relevant State and Commonwealth agencies on the appropriateness of the management regimes.
Condition 4. Consultation on management by Defence of Defence activities in the training areas will be achieved in the consultation process with the State and Local authorities and other stakeholders in the review of the Environmental Management Plan for the Singleton Army Training Area.
Condition 5. Public comment on changes to the reserve boundary will occur except in circumstances proscribed by national defence protocols.
Condition 6. The reserve boundary will delineate the actual CAR values. Defence will establish all operational and environmental management buffer zones around the reserve based on particular land use activities that may occur adjacent to the reserves. The buffers will be identified in the Defence Environmental Management Plans.
The Department of Defence will identify this CAR Informal Reserve on Commonwealth land on operational and planning maps.
The CAR Informal Reserves on Commonwealth land will be included in future Environmental Management Plans prepared for the area.
Forest Management Zoning
New South Wales will, by 30 June 2000, produce a Regional ESFM Plan for the Lower North East region that includes Forest Management Zoning within State forests as described in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, (SFNSW 1999). Of particular significance for the conservation of Forest Ecosystems and Old Growth forest are the:
Special Protection Zone (FMZ 1). These areas are dedicated and managed to maximise the protection of natural and cultural values. Timber harvesting, removal of Forest Products and materials, grazing by domestic stock, gravel/hard rock quarrying and mineral and petroleum exploration are not generally permitted within this zone.
Special Management Zone (FMZ 2). These areas are established following public comment and are gazetted and managed for the protection of natural and cultural conservation values where it is not possible or practicable to include them in the Special Protection Zone. Activities not permitted in this zone are similar to the Special Protection Zone except that mineral and petroleum exploration are permitted. Any mining proposal following from exploration will require standard environmental impact assessment and development approval processes.
Harvesting Exclusions Zone (FMZ 3A). These are areas where harvesting is excluded but other management and production activities preclude zoning as Special Protection Zone or Special Management Zone. These may be:
i) Dedicated leasehold where lease conditions permit activities such as grazing and timber supply for lease fencing etc, and in some cases residency, or
ii) Areas identified as important by the Department of Mineral Resources where there are current or imminent petroleum and mineral exploration and/ or mining activities, or
iii) Other areas which are excluded from harvesting (eg. Net Harvestable Area (NHA) exclusions) but size, boundaries or management practicabilities preclude designation as FMZ 1 or FMZ 2.
Special Prescription Zone (FMZ 3B). These areas are established for the protection and management of identified values whilst also allowing other management and production activities. These activities (which in some cases includes timber, Forest Product and materials extraction) are minimised in their design and implementation to maintain or enhance the values that the area is zoned to protect. A case by case assessment of these areas will be undertaken to determine which forestry activities can occur. The decision is dependent on the specific values involved.
New South Wales agrees to establish all Dedicated Reserve and Informal Reserve components of the CAR Reserve System within six months of signing this Agreement.
Integrated Forestry Operations Approval
The Integrated Forestry Operations Approval covering the Lower North East region is the principal vehicle by which Environment and Heritage Values that are impracticable to include in reserves can be conserved. The JANIS Reserve Criteria provide for the management of such values through prescriptions. The Integrated Forestry Operations Approval takes account of the extent of reserved habitat, whether the prescriptions are operationally feasible, and the relative conservation status of each species.
Informal Reserves; as described in Clause 4 of this Attachment,
Prescription; includes the areas within the Harvesting Exclusions Zone (Zone 3A), and those areas of the Special Management Zone (Zone 2) that, due to the size or shape, do not meet the Informal Reserve category outlined above.
It should be noted that the Special Prescription Zone (Zone 3B) and the IFOA afford additional protection over that included in the table.
Table 1. Percentage reservation status of Forest and Non-Forest Ecosystems in the CAR Reserve System in the Lower North East region based on vegetation modelling to establish the pre-1750 extent of Forest Ecosystems in the regiona