Active and adaptive management of cypress forests
In 2005, the NSW Government established the Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Area, following regional forest assessments of the Brigalow Belt South and Nandewar bioregions, undertaken by the NSW Resource and Conservation Assessment Council.
In 2010, we assessed south-western cypress state forests and made recommendations on their sustainable management. Amongst a range of recommendations, we advised that cypress forests across private and all public tenures should be actively managed to support a variety of environmental, social, cultural and economic values.
In 2014, through a Terms of Reference, the NSW Premier asked us to investigate active and adaptive management of cypress forests in the State Conservation Areas of the Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Area in the north west of NSW.
In September 2014, we provided a final report to the Government. In summary, we found that while small patches of dense vegetation provided habitat for native flora and fauna within a landscape mosaic, large areas of dense vegetation were likely to have negative impacts on a range of ecological values, including biodiversity. We recommended that Government actively manage large stands of increasingly dense vegetation where it has potential to impact ecological values in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas. Further, we advised that the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas be adaptively managed under new management plans, and that Government identify and apply alternative funding, cost sharing and cost recovery models for active and adaptive management in these areas.
The final report was informed by 175 public submissions in response to the draft report, regional meetings with stakeholders and 36 submissions in response to the Terms of Reference.
Profile and maps of the state conservation areas supported our final advice.