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The Victoria Forest Resource Report and What it Means to You

Ethical timber suppliers across Australia are all affected by the amount of sustainable timber that can be produced in Australia. It can be difficult to always get good numbers in all states or across Australia, but Victoria has provided a great resource: the Victoria Forest Resource Outlook Report, 2017.

The report was released by VicForests, currently headed by CEO Nathan Trushell. According to Mr Trushell, the report uses a wide variety of “systems and processes” to forecast the amount of sustainable timber that Victoria state forests can provide for commercial use.

The basic model begins with the amount of timber that is growing right now in the forests. Then, the rate of growth is added in. Finally, the algorithm estimates the amount of commercial Timber that will be produced when the trees are harvested.

According to Mr Trushell, VicForests have “invested heavily” in making improvements to the forecasting and modeling process, especially in recent years. The most important factors taken into consideration are changes in forest conditions and changes in the timber market, Ultimately, the algorithm can be used to predict how much demand there will be for timber in the near future and then use it to recommend harvest levels.

The timber forecasts are separated into only two categories: Mixed Species and Ash.

According to the forecast, between 100,000 sqm and 115,000 sqm of mixed species sawlogs will be provided by Victoria forests per year for each of the next five years. Ash sawlogs are projected to start at 150,000 sqm each year for 2017-2019 and then drop to 130,000 sqm each year for 2020 and 2021.

The current projections for Ash output are 88,000 sqm per year lower than they were in the 2013 report. This reduction reflects a number of factors affecting Ash supply, including destruction by Leadbeater possums.

Some Other Factors in the Model

When creating the models, VicForests uses a number of other factors. One factor is changes in the appearance of the forests. Also, the structure and age of the forest can be altered by fires and harvesting. Remote sensing can be used to provide information about the mix of species in each Forest and about the structure.

The amount of timber that will possibly be produced is taken into consideration. In addition, policy and regulatory decisions can significantly change the structure of a forest and the amount of timber that will be harvested there.

According to Mr Trushell, a “wide range of scenarios” are considered for their potential impact on long term sustainability, future supply of timber and how much timber can be harvested. They also assess the risk of numerous other factors that could have an effect on the future availability of timber. The forecast is then “adjusted” to project timber sales in the medium term.

The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) assessed this report in April of 2017 and agrees with both the methods and the results of VicForests modeling. According to a VEAC report, the modeling algorithm is sound and the projected sustainable timber output is “reasonable.”

Timber Sales Products

In addition to high-quality saw logs, many other Timber Products are produced when Timber is harvested. These include but are not limited to firewood, pop logs and low-quality saw logs.

Sustainability: What it Means to You

VicForests was created to ensure long-term sustainability in Victoria’s forests. They are currently responsible for the harvest and replanting of 0.04% of Victoria’s forests that are publicly owned every year. While this doesn't sound like much, it is still a lot of trees.

It is important for us to harvest timber in a sustainable manner so we can help sustain the precarious balance of oxygen to CO2 in our atmosphere. Excess CO2 makes our air harder to breathe and contributes to climate change.

Ultimately, we must harvest our forests in a sustainable manner to leave a liveable world for future generations.

Call the Best Timber Suppliers in Queensland and New South Wales

To learn more or for all of your timber needs, call Narangba Timbers today 1300 477 024.