Coastal IFOA monitoring - Research and evaluation

Forest health
Water quality
Research and evaluation
Wood supply
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The Coastal IFOA research and evaluation program provides the monitoring program the opportunity to respond to changes to environmental conditions, policy, knowledge or technology and provide a program to investigate best practice forest management and monitoring.

Research program

The proposed suite of research projects will highlight risks and find better ways the conditions and protocols of the Coastal IFOA can achieve their outcomes. The initial research questions the program seeks to answer are:

  • How are koalas responding to conditions, including changes in tree retention rates, species, distribution and size?
  • Can technology improve the probability of detection for a range of species and habitats in forestry operations?
  • What are the implications of changing fire intensity and regimes on the achievement of the Coastal IFOA’s objectives and outcomes?

Independent evaluation of forestry practices

The proposed suite of evaluations will determine the effectiveness of the practices used in coastal native hardwood state forest in NSW.

Drainage feature crossings and roading

The program will adapt existing methods for assessing the effectiveness of road networks in forestry operations as, for example, outlined in Croke and Mockler (2001). This method uses remote imagery and car-based survey to assess the hydrological connectivity of the road and stream networks. Alluvium and the NSW Soil Conservation Services have been engaged to assist the Commission with this evaluation.

Pre- and post-harvest burning

The program will evaluate the effectiveness of the burn plan approval conditions, such as, seasonal timing, fire return interval, control lines, burn prescriptions, in maintaining environmentally significant areas, habitat clumps and retained hollow-bearing trees so they continue to provide short-term refuge to forest-dependent fauna species.

Species and habitat survey and modelling conditions and practices

The program will evaluate the effectiveness of species and habitat survey and modelling conditions and practices used in the Coastal IFOA. Specifically, this evaluation will establish if the current methods are adequate to mitigate the impacts of forestry operations on flora and fauna species and their habitat.