Australia – Tumut begins export program for fire-affected timber

Tumut – Salvage operations in softwood plantations impacted by this season’s fires are well underway, with local crews working at a significantly higher rate of production than normal, planting programs ramping up to restock plantations and preparations underway for some export operations.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Regional Manager Dean Anderson said Forestry Corporation is placing all the burnt wood it possibly can with local customers to allow as much as possible of the unburnt plantation to continue to grow to be there for the future.

“Unfortunately burnt wood does not last forever and some of the trees burnt are either too small or too young for the local sawmills. Some of these logs exceed what Visy can take, so they will be exported so we can clean the sites up ready for replanting as soon as possible,” Mr Anderson said.

“While timber from older trees is suitable to be processed into house frames, furniture and other essential renewable wood products, trees between 12-24 years old are generally not large enough for sawlog processing. “Our local industry cannot process this timber, but there is an opportunity to export it to offset some of the cost of the operations required to remove trees from fire-affected sites and prepare them for replanting”.

“Everything that can be processed locally will go to our local industry, and the surplus that is not suitable for domestic markets will be transported by truck to the Port of Melbourne for export. There is a significant task ahead of us, we will be looking to harvest about twice what we would normally harvest in a year from the full region just from the Green Hills area in less than 12 months”.

“With all this extra activity concentrated around Green Hills between Wondalga and Tumbarumba, we are asking the community to keep an eye out for trucks and please be patient, as there will be new drivers in the area taking our hills very carefully.”

Source: Forestry Corporation of NSW