River red gum forests assessment
The NSW Government asked the Natural Resources Commission (the Commission) to assess the river red gum and woodland forests in the Riverina bioregion (see Terms of Reference).
The Commission's assessment and recommendations provided information to Government about how the river red gum forests should be managed into the future, and allowed the Government to make decisions and put in place a forest agreement.
In response to our recommendations, the Government put in place the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval for Riverina Red Gum (commenced on 1 January 2011) under the National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010.
The final assessment report is available in full or as separate chapters and appendices. The supporting map book provides additional mapping detail, compared to the A4 maps provided within the final assessment report, to help the reader rapidly distinguish features of interest.
|Full report (15 MB)|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4|
|Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7||Chapter 8|
|Chapter 9||Chapter 10||Chapter 11||Appendices|
|Supporting map book (7 MB)|
|Socio-economic impact assessment (by Arche Consulting Pty Ltd)|
The final assessment report presented estimates of long term sustainable yields from the main river red gum forests of the Central Murray Management Area. To help inform its response to our recommendations, the Government asked for a more precise estimate of the timber yield for each forest group in the Riverina bioregion.
We consulted with the former Forests NSW (now Forestry Corporation of NSW) and provided further advice on estimates of long term (100 year) sustainable yields of quota sawlogs, and Forests NSW estimates of standing stock of quota sawlogs.
This advice did not change any of the findings or recommendations contained in our assessment and recommendations reports.
Further advice on long term sustainable wood yields (February 2010)
Letter to the Premier (February 2010)
As part of its overall recommendations on river red gum and woodland forests, the Commission recommended large-scale trials of ecological thinning across all main river red gum forest groups.
We suggested the trials should be instigated promptly, applying the forest management principles in our final assessment report. We also suggested the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Australian Governments should work towards establishing collaborative and adaptive management arrangements on relevant red gum forests along the Murray.
Since these recommendations, the NSW Government has commenced planning including associated environmental approvals to implement a trial in the Murray Valley National Park (Millewa forests) to determine the effectiveness of ecological thinning to promote conservation outcomes in river red gum forests.
More information is available on the ecological thinning trial on the Office of Environment and Heritage website.
The National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010 includes provisions to adjust reserve boundaries, if necessary.
In 2012, the Minister for the Environment sought our advice on adjustments to boundaries of the red gum reserves, proposed by the Office of the Environment and Heritage.
Based on our advice, the NSW Government has since approved a scientifically monitored grazing trial in some river red gum reserves.
We received 5,534 submissions from organisations and individuals, of which 259 were unique and the remainder were form letters or emails. We reviewed and considered every submission during the preparation of our assessment report and the recommendations report.
These submissions were on our preliminary assessment report and the Government's terms of reference.
Submissions on preliminary assessment report
Submissions on Terms of Reference