As we all know, it is now over thirty years since Chenrezig Institute was first conceived of and
established on this property (September 1974). In all that time nature has not been idle for a
moment, as all the forest regrowth attests to.
Each year around this time when the bush fire danger ratings start to rise and rise, and we see and
hear of so many happening all around us, we who are resident or working here at Chenrezig once
again start to consider and worry about the state of our forest, which has fortunately and amazingly
never had a bush fire come through the property.....so far. This naturally means that the
accumulated fuel load lying around on the property is substantial and would seriously aggravate the
intensity and degree of any bush fire that were to occur on site.
With all of this in the foreground of our concerns, we recently requested our local bush fire brigade
as well as two other people who work in this field to give us their assessment of Chenrezig's 160
acres. Their unanimous appraisal was, that should a bush fire occur with the current fuel load and
condition of our forest, it would be of such ferocity there would be little or nothing to do about it
but evacuate as quickly as possible to the clear high ground above Geshe-la's house. The local bush
fire brigade's 1st officer said they would not even risk man nor machinery to go any further into the
property than about the Enlightenment Gardens! (This was around the same day evacuations were
happening in Pelican Waters, Caloundra).
This has prompted us to embark upon a forestry management programme and for some time now I
have been working in conjunction with Ken Matthews of Private Forestry Southern Qld Inc (see
attached brief). An organisation whose philosophy and approach to forestry (See attached brief) is
easily aligned with our fundamental Buddhist principles. They are absolutely not into clear felling
or purely profiteering, rather creating strong, robust and beautiful forests and wildlife habitats!
The purpose and outcomes of this forestry management programme will be -
● a safer forest - for both those on Chenrezig as well as our neighbours – this will be achieved by
first of all doing a systematic and controlled burn to reduce the current debris and fuel load,
then a selective and judicious thinning of a number of trees.
● a healthier and more resplendent forest – in it's present condition many of our trees are not
and will not reach their full growth potential, nor are they functioning to their maximum ability
in photosynthesising due to cluster growth patterns. Which means each tree is fighting with
several others in close proximity for water, nutrients and sunlight. By selectively and
judiciously thinning we will be creating a much better environment for the best trees to become
magnificent specimens in the not to distant future (maybe not in my time!)
● fire break trails – that will serve as aids in any future bush fire control requirements, will be
created in order for the men and machinery required for this operation to happen.
● an added and recurring income source &/or cost savings - from the sale or milling of those
trees selectively and judiciously culled. This can be an ongoing process every seven – ten
years. Milling of trees has been done before just prior to our twentieth anniversary, with
Rinpoche's approval and after the recommended and requisite pujas had been done, both here
and overseas. Lama Zopa house (now housing Geshe Jamyang), the Sangha House extension
(on the side of LZR house,) the large prayer wheel house roof framing and the Dam Huts
ablution block, all constructed from timber cut from our own trees.
All associated costs for this forestry management programme will come from the sale of trees and
not impact on Chenrezig's current finances, except in a positive manner.
As nature hates a vacuum, some funds from the sale of trees will be earmarked for a weed
management control programme.
A post harvesting controlled burn off, or possibly mulching (if cost effective) will be conducted to
dispense of the tree heads from those trees harvested.
A Field Day was conducted here on site by Ken Matthews of Private Forestry Sth Qld Inc. on
Saturday 16th June. This was attended by representatives from Environmental Protection Agency,
Maroochy Waterwatch Inc, Ergon Energy, various other related groups and interested landholders.
Unfortunately since the timing of this Field Day overlapped with most of us being away seeing His
Holiness, Chenrezig community was more or less unrepresented. Therefore Ken has kindly and
generously offered to conduct another information session, specifically for the Chenrezig
community. Ken has proposed a information session for Monday the 16th of July 2007, 1.00 pm -
The vision for this project is that in another thirty, forty, fifty years onwards we will have a forest
(possibly and probably quite rare and unique by then, if not already) of such magnificence, it will be
truly inspiring and uplifting to walk in. Something to compare and rival the great forests of a
On behalf of the Executive,
Southern Queensland Inc.
ABN 77 312 628 488
224 Mary Street, Gympie, QLD 4570
Ph: 0754 836 535
Fax: 0754 838 996
Private Forestry Southern Queensland (PFSQ) is an incorporated association whose primary function is
to assist in the development of the private forest industry in southern Queensland.
PFSQ’s Objectives are:
Promotion of private forestry opportunities:
Income and investment options
Natural resource, catchment and regional economic benefits
Provision of information and services:
Technical advice (Based on currently accepted best management practices)
Development of information products.
Newsletters and publications (Including, Queensland Forestry Network News)
Web-based services (www.privateforestrysthqld.com.au)
Workshops and Field days
Assistance with policy development:
Input to Federal, State and Local Government processes
Ensuring policies and regulations support private forestry
Interpreting policy to member groups and forest owners
Developing partner projects with industry to address natural resource management issues
Promoting available industry support services
Investigation and expansion of market opportunities
One of the functions of the association is performed as a Private Forestry Development Committee
(PFDC) to work closely with local and regional stakeholders, industry and government to assist forest
industry development at a regional level. This program was instigated as a joint venture between Qld
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and the Australian Government Department of
Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. There are 21 PFDC’s nationwide.
PFSQ also receives funding from a number of Natural Resource Management groups to address sections
of their regional strategic plans. The funding covers extension and training programs in Native Forest
Management to assist landholders to improve the productive and environmental outcomes of the private
native forest resource as well as promotion of plantation establishment and management.
Through work undertaken to date by PFSQ it is clear that the majority of the private native forest
resource in our region are in a very poor state both from an environmental and productivity perspective.
PFSQ believes a forest management change can only be achieved by an extensive program of training
and capacity building for landholders. Management processes need to be demonstrated in the field to
substantiate best practice and to encourage a change in forest owner management practices.
Mr. Sean Ryan (Executive Officer)
Private Forestry Southern Queensland (Inc) has a clear objective of promoting sustainable forest
management practices on freehold land. PFSQ are not timber cutters, nor are we owners or
managers of sawmills or a harvesting business. Our role as a representative for landholders is to
facilitate the very best possible outcome for the forest as a result of forest management.
PFSQ’s forest management objective is to leave any managed forest in an improved state of
productivity and health. This is achieved by:
o Tree marking the very best trees suitable for retention (Not to be harvested) at a spacing that
optimises tree growth and health.
o Retention of habitat trees, diversity of species, buffer zones (No-logging zones) and filter
zones (Conditional logging zones) adjacent to watercourses.
o Protection of retained trees during harvest operations, by skilled directional felling.
o Management of marketing and sale of forest product in order to achieve the very highest
possible return for products removed from the forest. (Within the constraints of timber
quality and accessibility of markets)
o Protection of human assets and the maintenance of safety procedures
o Appropriate location and installation of post harvest drainage.
o Well timed and managed post-harvest fire management to encourage regeneration and fuel
o Many other management actions too numerous to be listed within this document.