Forests Minister Leon Bignell said ForestrySA would start planting 150 hectares of radiata pine trees in the coming months, following on from 60 hectares of forest which were replanted in 2014.
“The bushfire in January 2013 destroyed 450 hectares of the Bundaleer forest,” Mr Bignell said.
“The region suffered again with the Bangor fire last year which burnt many hectares of agricultural land, forests, conservation and national parks, and commercial plantations in the Wirrabarra forest.”
“This replanting will occur during autumn and winter. Resources will be allocated from within ForestrySA’s existing operational budget.”
Mr Bignell said the decision to replant 150 additional hectares would maintain the State’s forests until decisions are made about the long term future of the Mid North forest plantations.
“At the current rate of supply, we have about five years of logs remaining. Replanting the forests will start to produce commercial-size logs in 22 years’ time at the earliest. Planting larger areas will not change that timeframe.
“That’s why we need to consider a range of options for the future management of the forests. This includes the possibility of the private sector owing the forests.
“The Mid North Forests - Future Strategy has been released to the public and we will consult extensively with the community to determine the best way forward.
“This region’s economic, business, social, environmental, fire management and recreational perspectives must all be taken into consideration.
“It is clear as a result of the bushfires the region needs a diversified and sustainable economy.”
The Government has also released potential land use maps as part of the ongoing public consultation.
“These maps will help local communities come up with new ideas for alternative uses for the Bundaleer and Wirrabara forests.
“We are committed to working with the community to make sure all ideas are discussed. Earlier this month more than 350 people attended public workshops in Jamestown and Wirrabara held by the Northern Forests Community Initiative Group. It was great to see so many people sharing their ideas.
“It’s important anyone who is interested in the future of the Mid North has the chance to have their say, particularly the people who live in the area and know the land intimately” Mr Bignell said.
Download the maps or for further information on the Mid North Forests - Future Strategy.