6.2 NORTHERN STUDY AREA

6.2.1 Negotiation region N1

This negotiation region includes Urbenville and Murwillumbah MAs. Negotiation region N1 covers 6 020 sq km of diverse landforms adjacent to the Queensland border. Public lands are largely confined to the plateau and slope remnants of the former Mount Warning and Mt Barney Shield volcanoes, including the Tweed, Richmond and Border ranges. The Lost World Warrazambil Identified Wilderness covers 173 sq km largely located within the Border Ranges National Park.

Negotiation region N1 is important to biodiversity conservation, containing 24 forest types with 100% reservation targets. Eight of the total forest types are common and extensive on private property.

The region contains extensive rainforest, the majority of which is protected in existing world heritage listed reserves. Particularly important areas include the Koreelah and Tooloom Ranges (Koreelah, Yabbra & Beaury SFs) which contain many Queensland species at their southern limit, contain unusual occurrences of associations and important transitions between dry and moist rainforest types.

Negotiation region N1 is also an important timber producing area. State forest within the region is predominantly regrowth forest and has a long history of timber production. Silvicultural treatment has been extensively applied to the forests and there is also over 2 000 ha of hardwood plantation. High value and high demand products such as sawlogs, veneer logs and poles are a feature of the blackbutt forests and other drier forest types in this region.

6.2.1.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base Supply

The base supply level for N1 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) represents 60 % of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model and was not affected by identified wilderness exclusions as these areas were in steep unloggable terrain.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

The outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 18% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model with 55 106 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Wood Supply Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 29% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 42 669 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 50% Wood Supply Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 47% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 23 328 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

The outcome provides for partial deferment of logging in a number of compartments to protect some rainforest and old growth values.

Approximate 70% Wood Supply Outcome

The 70% allocation was not able to be achieved in N1.

The base level supply of 60% (excluding wilderness areas) of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation was used for this outcome and corresponds to 4 363 ha of State forest being unavailable for logging.

6.2.2. Negotiation region N2

This negotiation region includes Casino, Coffs Harbour Grafton and Dorrigo MAs. Negotiation Region N2 covers 12 150 sq km extending west from the coastal plains north of Coffs Harbour to include the forested escarpment and eastern fringe of the New England Plateau.

The region includes 1 200 sq km of identified wilderness including large portions of the Washpool, Bindery and Guy Fawkes River Wilderness areas. While the Washpool is dominated by tall open forest and rainforest, the Bindery and Guy Fawkes River Wilderness areas are dominated by open forest and woodland ridge systems.

The southern part of N2 contains a forested expanse which extends from river gorges in Guy Fawkes River NP, through tableland forests in Chaelundi SF and eastern slopes and escarpment forests in Wild Cattle Creek and Orara West SFs, to coastal forest in Lower Bucca and Orara East SF.

The region is one of the largest negotiation areas and is a rich and diverse area encompassing in total 91 forest types. These often occur in complex mosaics and are distributed according to topographic and climatic gradients. Forty-nine forest types have been identified for 100% reservation. The region is also significant in terms of the large areas of under-reserved coastal spotted gum forests, a type which has been extensively cleared on private land.

The region is also significant for the area of candidate old growth forest remaining. The most extensive stands of old growth occur in both dry and moist forest types on the escarpment. Some old growth also remains close to the coast in both commercial and non-commercial forest types.

The N2 negotiation region currently supports a large industry that supplies value-added products to the domestic and export markets. Of particular importance to this region are the drier forest types containing durable species (eg spotted gum) that are in great demand for specialty purposes and value-adding products. Spotted gum forest type 72 is common and extensive on private property with about 24 000 ha occurring. There are also large areas of blackbutt forest existing on private property within the region. Eleven forest types are common and extensive on private property.

6.2.2.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base Supply

The base supply level for N2 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) is 62 % of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model. This figure assumes that all State forest outside identified wilderness would be available for harvesting.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

The outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 29% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 190 134 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Wood Supply Outcome

The Conservation Criteria Outcome was adopted as the outcome representing approximately 30% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations. The outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 29% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 190 134 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 50% Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 48% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations with 100 059 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Spotted gum forest types, while under-reserved at the base position, are significant commercial species and an important basis for value-adding products. In recognition of this and its common and extensive occurrence, a proportion of spotted gum forest types was not deferred for this option.

Approximate 70% Outcome

The 70% allocation was not able to be achieved in N2. Achievement of this outcome would require the release for harvesting of a number of compartments currently protected in identified wilderness.

The base level supply of 62% (excluding wilderness areas) of the 1995 quota sawlog allocations was used for this outcome and corresponds to 38 086 ha of State forest being unavailable for logging.

The Industry, (with the support of the Union), prepared and made available to all stakeholders, a submission on achievement of the 70% Outcome which proposes logging in 67 compartments in identified wilderness.

6.2.3. Negotiation region N3

This negotiation region includes Coopernook, Kempsey, Kendall, Marsh, Taree, Urunga, Wauchope and Wingham MAs. Negotiation region N3 is the largest negotiation region in northern NSW and embraces 13 790 sq km of the coastal plain from Coffs Harbour south to Taree and extends west including the escarpment and eastern fringe of the New England Tablelands. The New England and Werrikimbe Identified Wilderness areas lie within the region as does much of the Macleay Gorges Identified Wilderness.

The New England and Werrikimbe wilderness areas are dominated by tall open forest and rainforest, while the Macleay Gorges are dominated by ridges of open forest and woodland with patches of dry rainforest. State forests in the northern part of this region contains a rainforest and moist hardwood link from the escarpment in New England National Park to Tuckers Nob SF near the coast.

In the north, the coast and escarpment forests are predominantly dry blackbutt, while moist and dry blackbutt forests are generally limited to the near coastal forests in the south with the escarpment dominated by tallowwood/blue gum forest type. Brushbox is an important and widespread forest type in this area with dissected distribution along gullies throughout the region. The region contains 37 forest types with 100% reservation targets.

Fifteen (15) forest types are common and extensive on private property.

The region also contains major value adding timber industries based at Thora, Kempsey, Wauchope, Herons Creek and Wingham as well as a number of other sawmills. The majority of sawlogs are from intensively managed regrowth forests with a long history of disturbance (both logging and timber stand improvement) with species including blackbutt, flooded gum, Sydney bluegum, tallowwood and brushbox being most important. In N3, almost 17 000 ha of hardwood plantation exists with the main species being flooded gum and blackbutt.

Sawlogs from this region are also taken to centres in other regions for value adding.

6.2.3.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base Supply

The base supply level for N3 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) represents 86 % of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model. This figure assumes that all State forest outside identified wilderness would be available for harvesting.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 56% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 129 998 ha unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Outcome

The Conservation Criteria Outcome was adopted as the outcome representing approximately 30% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations. The outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 56% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 129 998 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 50% Outcome

The Conservation Criteria Outcome was also adopted as the outcome for the approximate 50% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations outcome.

Approximate 70% Outcome

This outcome provides for 72% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 83 889 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

6.2.4. Negotiation region N4

This region includes Bulahdelah, Chichester, Gloucester and Mt. Royal MAs.

The N4 negotiation region covers 10 720 sq km north from the Hunter Valley from the coastal plain to the Barrington Tops. The Barrington Tops Identified Wilderness area extends over 612 sq km high elevation plateau and escarpment.

Coastal forests are characterised by dry forest on the ridges with most gully types including flooded gum in between. The escarpment and plateau areas contain stands of tallowwood, bluegum and extensive stands of New England hardwood types (163, 167, 168) which are interspersed with forest types from the snow gum and brown barrel messmate leagues. The region contains 25 forest types requiring 100% reservation targets.

Thirteen (13) forest types are common and extensive on private property.

Significant timber industries are centred on Bulahdelah and Gloucester. The eastern section of N4 has a long history of disturbance (both logging and timber stand improvement) with sawlogs coming from intensively managed regrowth forests. Important timber species include blackbutt, tallowwood, brushbox, flooded gum and various tableland species. Almost 4 500 ha of hardwood plantation occurs in N4 (mainly silvertop stringybark, blackbutt and flooded gum).

Sawn timber from outside the region is also brought here for additional value adding.

6.2.4.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base Supply

The base supply level for N4 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) represents 50% of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model. This figure assumes that all State forest outside identified wilderness would be available for harvesting.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 19% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 96 075 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 32% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations with 66 684 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 50% Outcome

This outcome is equivalent to the base level supply of 50% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 26 106 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 70% Outcome

The 70% allocation option was not able to be achieved for N4.

The base level supply of 50% (excluding wilderness areas) was used and corresponds to 26 106 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

The Industry, (with the support of the Union), prepared and made available to all stakeholders, a submission on achievement of the 70% Outcome which proposes logging in identified wilderness.

6.2.5. Negotiation region N5

This sub-region includes Glen Innes and Tenterfield MAs. Negotiation region N5 extends south from the Queensland border adjacent to N1, covering 672 sq km of the eastern New England tableland and escarpment. Parts of the Washpool, Bindery and Guy Fawkes Identified Wilderness Areas occupy 726 sq km within the region embracing small sections of tableland and the predominantly drier and more topographically dissected escarpment.

This region has predominantly tableland forests adjoining wilderness areas which encompass similar forest types on lower site quality, rugged terrain. Such forest types include New England Blackbutt and types from the Brown Barrel Messmate leagues. There are 33 forest types in the region with 100% reservation targets.

N5 contains large stands of candidate old growth (proportionally more extant on crown land than any other negotiation region). These are present as large contiguous stands along the Western rim of the Great Dividing Range, as well as examples of drier tableland environments which have been extensively cleared on freehold land.

The timber available to industry in negotiation region N5 has been significantly reduced by excluding logging in identified wilderness areas. Many forest types are well reserved in these areas and other protected land tenures (for example Types 47, 62, 64, 93, 163, 168). Seven (7) forest types are common and extensive on private property. The timber industry supplies local, Sydney and interstate markets with structural timber including dried and dressed products.

6.2.5.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base Supply

The base supply level for N5 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) represents 50% of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model. This figure assumes that all State forests outside identified wilderness would be available for harvesting.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 18% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations based on the Wood Resources Model with 68 543 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 32% of 1995 allocation with 50 447 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 50% Outcome

This outcome is equivalent to the base level supply of 50% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 41 723 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

The Industry (with the support of the Union) made available a submission on the supply of 50% of quota sawlog allocations, taking into account resource design and distribution by exclusion of some wilderness compartments.

Approximate 70% Outcome

The 70% allocation outcome was not able to be achieved in N5.

The base level supply of 50% (excluding wilderness areas) was used and corresponds to 41 723 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

The Industry, (with the support of the Union), prepared and made available to all stakeholders, a submission on achievement of the 70% Outcome which proposes logging in identified wilderness.

6.2.6. Negotiation region N6

This region includes Walcha-Nundle and Styx River MAs. Negotiation Region N6 covers 10 010 sq km of the eastern New England plateau and escarpment stretching from east of Guyra to east of Tamworth. It contains the majority of the Macleay Gorges and part of the Guy Fawkes River Identified Wilderness areas including much of the headwaters of the Macleay and Guy Fawkes river nestled within deep gorges.

The rainshadow affected gorges are predominantly vegetated with open to scattered woodland with dry rainforest occurring in isolated patches of sheltered habitat.

State forests in the northern part of the region provides a link from Guy Fawkes River Wilderness through Cathedral Rocks NP, Yooroona and Styx River SFs to the Macleay Gorges and New England Wilderness areas. The southern part contains areas of highly productive tableland forests on basalt soils which have been extensively cleared on the tablelands. The region contains 29 forest types with 100% reservation targets.

Large expanses of the current reserves in the region are characterised by low productivity soils associated with granite geologies (ie. Cathedral Rocks National Park) or steep slopes associated with gorges (eg. Oxley Wild Rivers National Park).

The major commercial forest types in the N6 Negotiation Region are New England Blackbutt and Brown Barrel Messmate. These types are extensively represented on private property in the region (65 000 ha and 2 300 ha respectively). Fifteen forest types are common and extensive on private property.

The timber industry in this region mainly produces framing timber for construction purposes. Kiln drying processes are used to add value to these products.

6.2.6.1. Negotiation outcomes

Base supply

The base level supply for N6 (see Column 3 of Table 6.1) represents 55 % of the 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model. This figure assumes that all State forests outside identified wilderness would be available for harvesting.

Conservation Criteria Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 28% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation based on the Wood Resources Model with 62 399 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 30% Outcome

The Conservation Criteria Outcome was adopted as the outcome for approximately 30% of 1995 quota sawlog allocations.

It was noted by union, industry and State Forests that in adopting the Conservation Criteria outcome as also being the 30% outcome, it was not necessarily the optimum 30% strategy for timber resources.

Approximate 50% Outcome

This outcome provides for a sustained yield capable of supplying 52% of 1995 quota sawlog allocation with 9 656 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.

Approximate 70% Outcome

The 70% allocation was not able to be achieved in N6.

The base level supply of 55% (excluding wilderness areas) was used and corresponds to 9 428 ha of State forest unavailable for logging.


Back to the table of contents