The incomplete history and current practice of unsustainable blackwood mismanagement

Having spent some time in the library I can now add a bit more detail to the chart that summarises the history of the public blackwood and special species timber resource management over the last 25 years.

Between 1995 and 2007 Forestry Tasmania published no data on the annual harvest of blackwood sawlog. The next best available data is the total special species sawlog harvest data. Knowing that blackwood comprises the majority of the special species harvested it is clear that blackwood harvest during this time was well above the sustainable level set in the 1999 blackwood resource review. This has been blatant overcutting of the resource; all of it legal and approved by successive Tasmanian Governments and Parliaments.

The contrast between the recent blackwood sawlog resource review sustainable yield estimate and the 2015-17 Three Year Harvest Plan clearly shows that the overcutting of blackwood will continue.

Tasmania’s iconic blackwood industry is heading for extinction.

Incomplete history 2

Chart notes:

  1. The 1991 Forest and Forest Industry Strategy (FFIS) set a blackwood supply target of 10,000 m3 of blackwood sawlogs per year.
  2. The 1997 Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) reaffirmed the FFIS blackwood sawlog supply target.
  3. The Forestry Tasmania 1999 Review of the sustainable blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) sawlog supply from Tasmanian State forest calculated the Statewide sustainable yield of blackwood sawlog at 8,500 m3 of blackwood sawlogs per year. The figure for just the BMZ was 6,800 m3 of blackwood sawlogs per year, with the remainder coming from the rest of the State.
  4. The Forestry Tasmania 2010 Special Timbers Strategy (STS) continued to reaffirm the supply target of 10,000 m3 of blackwood sawlogs per year until 2019.
  5. The Forestry Tasmania 2013 Review of the Sustainable Sawlog Supply from the Blackwood Management Zone (BMZ) recalculates the blackwood sawlog sustainable yield at 3,000 m3 per year. Production of blackwood sawlog from public forest outside the BMZ is expected to be negligible.
  6. The 2015-2017 Forestry Tasmania Three Year Wood Production Plan shows the harvest of blackwood sawlog will continue at 10,000 m3/year, in blatant disregard for the revised blackwood sawlog sustainable yield.

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