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									  Southern Tablelands
Farm Forestry Network
                                                     Southern Tablelands Farm Forestry Network
Newsletter                                               PO Box 3656, Weston Creek ACT 2611
                                                                                P. 0412 195 499
Spring 2004                                                          

 ACT Forests link up with Greening Australia
  to replant a better post-fire forest system

Looks like replanting ACT Forests burnt out Volunteers planting and watering native trees at a Sun-
pine estate is also involving support from day community tree planting day in ACT Forests land
Greening Australia ACT & SE NSW. Greening near the Cotter. This site, adjacent to a creek is par-
Australia along with the help from heaps of vol- ticularly fragile and was in urgent need for replanting.
unteers are playing a big role in the revegetation
of strategic areas around Mt Stromlo, Uriarra Greening Australia is lucky to have the regions
and the Cotter.                                    big gun riparian rehabilitation expert in Lori
                                                   Gould. Lori, together with Greening Australia
Plantation planning for ACT Forests now in- staff and the ACT Forest team are ensuring that
volves revegetating riparian zones and other new plantation establishment in the Territory will
fragile areas with Australian native trees and reach multiple catchment objectives. Maintaining
shrubs. The majority of the area of course is water quality and enhancing biodiversity along
still being planted out to Pinus radiata, al- creeks within the pine estate are amongst the out-
though no new areas where planted this year comes that the new partnership is forging to-
due to the drought. Revegetation work though wards.
with natives is Greening Australia’s bread and
butter, who practically jumped at the opportu- To get involved in volunteer tree planting events
nity to get involved. There’s big expectation this spring to revegetate fragile areas of the Ter-
now that the Capital Territories commercial for- ritories plantation forest estate, call Greening
ests estate will become a model of sustainable Australia ACT & SE NSW on (02) 6253 3035.
forest planning.
    Even young radiata on the menu for                                             State Govt.
                                                                                plantation legis-
            hungry bunnies...                                                    lation gossip
As most of the Southern Tablelands is still in drought, rabbits and other       Always with one
herbivorous vermin are hammering many young tree plantings, even Ra-            ear to the ground,
diata Pine. These dry times though is prime season for making a big im-         it is evident that
pact on vertebrate pest populations, especially rabbits.                        NSW State Gov-
                                                                                ernment is cur-
Green pick for rabbits is still non existent on most farms in the Southern      rently undertaking
Tablelands. Pine seedlings which have been planted this year and last are       a review of the
more unusually on the menu for these hungry bunnies. An opportunity             Plantations and
                                                                                Reafforestation Act
can be made of this problem though by taking advantage of the desperate
                                                                                1999. DIPNR and
state of local vermin populations. Hitting rabbit populations now with          the former DLWC
integrated control techniques, such as ripping warrens, poisoning and the       have had some
occasional hunt, can hit rabbit populations hard.                               critical feed-back
                                                                                relating to the act
Rabbits numbers wont increase when there’s no green pick and probably           over the years and
haven’t for some time on most farms on the Tablelands. You can bet              hopefully      new
your bottom dollar though that if you haven’t reduced bunny populations         changes will en-
by more than 80% pre drought, by when it starts raining again it will           courage rather than
only take one year before rabbit numbers return to normal. It’s just so         discourage private
important to use the season to your advantage and make the most of              forestry invest-
these times to control problematic herbivorous vermin.                          ment.
                                                                                In the past, a num-
Warren ripping is one of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction          ber of NSW farm
for the war against rabbits. Where possible, a ‘criss-cross’ ripping pattern    foresters      have
over warrens extending out a few meters from warren perimeters will             commented, saying
really hit where it hurts. Some survivors may return to the site and re-dig     the     Plantations
new homes, so follow-up ripping is also a good idea.                            and Reafforesta-
                                                                                tion Act 1999 is an
Prior to the destruction of rabbit homes, carefully laid poison, such as        example of ‘over
1080 oats can make a good impact on rabbit populations. For best re-            legislation’, with
sults, cut a couple of parallel shallow furrows using a disk like imple-        too many restric-
ment at a generous distance around warrens. Over a week or so, spread           tions. It is consid-
non-poisoned oats in furrows at least twice so that even shy feeding rab-       ered that because
                                                                                of this, private in-
bits start becoming interested. Then hit them with poisoned oats, but be
                                                                                vestment into farm
sure to follow applicable guidelines, especially adequate signage prior         forestry practices
and after poisoning. The Rural Lands Protection Board advise on the             in NSW over more
use, as well as acquiring 1080 oats. They have a number of offices in the       recent times has
Southern Tablelands or check out their web site at             not been in the
                                                                                same league as
In difficult to get at areas such as in rocky, steep terrain it may be diffi-   some other states.
cult to conduct warren ripping or even poisoning. Manually slamming             You can be sure
rocks into warren entrances with a crow bar is one option. As the soil is       though that STFFN
often hard in these dry conditions, bunnies may not be able to dig them-        will be putting our
selves out. Be sure to find all the hidden warren entrances to make sure        2Bobs worth in
the job was worth it. Smoking up warrens to locate hidden entrances is          throughout       the
possible by starting small fires in entrances using dry and green matter.       stakeholder com-
                                                                                ment process.
                                        Down to the rabbit……Good Luck!
 New free information CD Rom on
hardwood farm forestry for SE NSW
Greening Australia ACT & SE NSW has just released a great new, freely avail-
able CD Rom with a magnitude of information packed into it about hardwood
farm forestry for SE NSW. It’s effectively a collection of fact sheets on all top-
ics relating to multiple benefits farm forestry, which can be easily printed out on
a home computer. Farmers looking to complement their agricultural practices
with trees will be well worth getting a copy. Call Greening Australia on
(02) 6253 3035 to be mailed out your free copy.

Multiple Benefits Farm Forestry CD Rom information topics include;
    Case studies of successful multiple
benefit farm foresters.
    All the issues relating to planning
for farm forestry, from strategic place-
ment of plantations, building access
tracks and fire management.
    Establishment and plantation man-
agement techniques such as species
selection, planting styles, direct seed-
ing, weed control as well as thinning
and pruning is well covered.
    Private native forestry is also fea-
tured in considerable detail, including
the manipulation of dry eucalypt for-
ests for commercial and ecological
benefits, stand dynamics and regenera-
tion strategies.
    A selection of information relating
to on-farm wood processing tech-
niques, including safe tree felling, port-
able sawmill use, seasoning lumber
and new firewood extraction technol-
    Detailed information on measuring
the volume of wood in standing farm
forests is included.
    Also with the relevant legislative
protocol and operational procedures set           Call Greening Australia on
by State and Federal Government au-          (02) 6253 3035 for your free copy
Portable sawmill technology update
There is a growing number of portable sawmills
on the market at the moment, many with some
unique new features. People considering the
acquisition of a new mill have a number of op-
tions these days. A bit of a snap-shot of what’s
currently available goes like this;

1. The Australian made Lucas mills are defi-
nitely the more commonly used portable saw-
mill in SE NSW. These handy little units are
relatively easy to operate, whilst being fast to              Photo 2. The twin-saw, fully hydraulic Peterson saw on display
erect and pull apart. The entire mill unit breaks                       at the AusTimber Expo, earlier this year
down to fit in an average trailer or ute tray. The
mill is based on a swing-saw design, meaning                  3. The New Zealand portable sawmilling manu-
that a single circular blade conducts the vertical            facturer, Rimu produce both swing and twin-saw
and horizontal cuts. A manual leaver is used to               mills as well. Rimu’s range begins with mills
rotate the saw in position and at least two passes            much like the Lucas, working up to more highly
is required to cut a board from a log. Slabbing               powered, fully hydraulic operated twin-saw mod-
bar attachments can also be acquired for these                els. These saws are quite competitively priced
mills. The Lucas is highly flexible and portable,             with the Australian models.
but is a fairly labour intensive option, with quite
a slow processing rate.

  Photo 1. A contract portable sawmill operator showing his
         skill with a Lucas mill at a STFFN field day           Photo 3. A swing-saw model of portable sawmill produced
                                                                          by Rimu, also on display at AusTimber

2. Peterson is another Australian portable saw-
mill manufacturer and have a number of mill
models in their range. They produce swing-
saws much like the Lucas, as well as twin-saw
models with full hydraulic control. The twin-
saw models effectively use two cutting circular
saws, one cutting horizontally, the other verti-
cally, thus cutting boards out of logs in one
pass. The hydraulic controls enables the mill
operator to stay stationary at the top of the mill,
rather than continuously working up and down
the log like that of swing-saw models. The                            Photo 4. The twin-saw model design is used
twin-saw, full hydraulic controlled Peterson                           by a number of portable sawmill manufac-
mill starts at around $50,000.00.                                          tures. This one is on a Mahoe saw
Portable sawmill technology update cont.
4. Mahoe, also from New Zealand produce a
number of portable and semi stationary saw-
mills, based on twin-saw, hydraulic operated
milling technology. The outstanding feature of
Mahoe’s small scale models is the rigid, trian-
gular shaped beam which supports the milling
head in use. This beam seems to have a support
advantage over the other mills which rely on
supporting the mill head on parallel rails. The
Mahoe is also a cost effective option with mills                     Photo 6. The Serra bandsaw with log deck
such as that shown in below photo starting at
around $32,000.00.
                                                             6. Logosol from Sweden market a portable tim-
                                                             ber jig sawmilling system, which involves a light
                                                             weight frame, supporting a large size, profes-
                                                             sional grade chainsaw. The Logosol M7 is ex-
                                                             tremely flexible in field use and is effective in
                                                             cutting log lengths into slabs. This is a great tool
                                                             for farm scale use, where landholders from time
                                                             to time cut timber sourced on-farm for fencing
                                                             and construction purposes. This tool could also
                                                             be useful for the hobby timber salvager/end user.

  Photo 5. The twin-saw Mahoe sawmill was a stand out fea-
             ture at AusTimber earlier this year

5. The Serra portable bandsawmill from Den-
mark is a trailer fixed mill, that also has full
hydraulic operation and an adjustable log deck.
It is unique to the circular saws in that it in-
volves the use of a narrow, revolving band saw
blade. This technology is amongst the most effi-
cient in use, but is best served to break down
logs into slabs, then re-sawn later with use of a
small bench saw. This equipment is definitely a
                                                                      Photo 7. Logosol’s M7 timber jig sawmill
tool for the serious portable sawmiller.

                       *Big thanks to Sophie Clayton*
          Big thanks to Sophie Clayton from all of us here at STFFN for the great job she
          does with the STFFN website. As many of you may remember, Sophie was our
          first coordinator and now volunteers to manage the STFFN website, amongst her
          already busy schedule. If you haven’t checked out the website lately and seen that
          now all the STFFN fact sheets can be downloaded online, then go to
 Thanks a bunch Sophie.
 Westbourne                        New “Trees and
  Woods free
 guided walks
                                  Biodiversity” book
Every second Sunday of
each month, the ‘Friends of
Westbourne Woods’ provide
a free guided tour of the his-
toric arboretum at the Royal
Canberra Golf Club in Yar-
ralumla. The arboretum is a
collection of trees from all
over the world as well as
many from here in Austra-
lia. First plantings began in
1914 by Charles Weston and
continued on later by
Lindsey Pryor. The arbore-
tum now features some of
the oldest and largest trees
planted in Canberra. Since
1981 the friends, who are
made up of some of the re-
gions leading foresters and
tree enthusiasts have been
holding these free monthly
tours religiously.

Farm foresters in the South-
ern Tablelands can get a lot     “Trees and Biodiversity: A guide for Australian farm for-
out of attending a West-         estry” is an excellent new book available from the Rural
bourne Woods tour, as many       Industries Research and Development Corporation. It’s
of the trees have significant    the most comprehensive single piece of literature yet,
forestry purposes. The arbo-
                                 that deals with maximising biodiversity in commercial
retum is essentially an ex-
ample of what has and has        plantations.
not grown well in Canberra.
There are definitely some        Enhancing habitat opportunities in plantation forests has
interesting forestry species     many complexities and site specific issues vary greatly
options amongst the trees at     throughout Australia. “Trees for Biodiversity”, without
Westbourne Woods. Tours          prescribing precise formulas does however provide sim-
are held at 9:30 every sec-      ple to apply principals, as well as showing how principals
ond Sunday morning of each       can be put into practice. The book is an all you need to
month. Participants meet at      know, comprehensive and easy to read publication that is
the top of Bentham Street        a must for any farm forester’s library. Order your copy
Yarralumla, next to the en-      online at or call (02) 6272 4819.
trance to the Royal Canberra
Golf Club.
                                 STFFN is proud to have contributed to some of the con-
See you there...                 tent in the book, as well as providing feedback through
                                 reviewing earlier drafts.
  CMAs are up and running
   although PVP operating
  protocol is slow to follow                         Advertise in
If you ring up your local DIPNR office these
days you may be welcomed by someone repre-
senting your local Catchment Management Au-
                                                     the STFFN
thority (CMA). The move has finally been
made and CMAs are beginning operations, al-          Newsletter
though there has been no finalisation on proto-
col relating to the preparation of Property
Vegetation Plans (PVPs). In fact, any applica-       •     Are you selling plants
tion relating to the establishment of large areas
                                                           or seed?
of farm forests or for proposals relating to the
sustainable management of remnant private            •     Are you a contract tree
native forest are just not being processed at a            planter or pruner?
State Government level at present. Agency is
effectively in limbo until PVP operating proto-      •     Are you a contract
col has been finalised.                                    weed sprayer?
There are a bunch of landholders out there who       •     Are you a contract
are waiting to get started in preparing the nec-           portable sawmiller?
essary vegetation plans for their properties.
There are a number of farmers with a range of
existing plantations that are eager to follow the
newly emerging protocol to guarantee the fu-
                                                         Then advertise in the
ture harvesting of their forests. There are also a       STFFN newsletter...
number of landholders waiting to prepare ecol-
ogically sustainable forest management plans,
so they can begin sensible, yet commercial ex-       The STFFN Newsletter
traction of wood products from their remnant
native forest estates. The slow development of       goes out to more that 650
the formal PVP processes is effectively putting      members throughout the
private native forestry investment on the back
burner.                                              Southern Tablelands. The
                                                     newsletter is read by many
Unfortunately the beginning of new change
relating to the preparation of PVPs and all          interested tree growers
other plans relating to the use of trees on pri-     and wood users. Advertis-
vate property is not foreseeable in the very
near future. Landholders eager to get started        ing is cheap so call Ian on
are a bit stuck at the moment and just have to       0412 195 499 for more in-
sit tight. Exactly how the PVP process will be
conducted is still unsure, but STFFN is demon-       formation. The STFFN
strating to CMAs in SE NSW that we can play          Newsletter is a great way
a key role, especially where trees are planned
for commercial use.                                  to advertise your business.
   Plantation forests vs. stream flow
In recent times concerns have been raised regarding the impact plantations forests have on catch-
ment water yield, especially in the Murray/Darling Basin. Remarks by some individuals go to the
tune of, “Plantations are marching all over the landscape sucking up precious water resources”. This
is just not true, as only about 2% of private farm land in Australia at present is covered by commer-
cial plantations.

Tree cover does reduce stream flow as compared with grassy covered catchments, but the impact
can vary depending on where in the catchment plantations are grown. According to the National
Forest Inventory at BRS, stream flow reduction effects will be greatest where plantations are estab-
lished adjacent to water courses. Interception plantings near creeks is of course a good option in
catchments that yield high salt loads, such as a large area of the Yass Valley.

To minimize the effect a plantation can have in reducing stream flow, plant well away from creeks
and drainage areas. Planting hill tops and higher slopes is considered to have only a small net effect
on changing flow patterns. Some evidence suggests though that planting hill tops will help lower
ground water tables and therefore could lessen the effect of dryland salinity down slope. Of course,
the poorer tree growing sites are generally found on the hills and slopes, so the growing capacity
and therefore commercial potential of these sites is often much less than the lower slopes and areas
adjacent to streams.

The National Forest Inventory also considers that catchment water yield will only change where
significantly large impacts to the catchment take place. These impacts effectively include a range of
landuse change, from rural/residential development (increased dams), more intensive forms of crop-
ping or possibly a broadscale shift into plantation establishment. If water yield is an issue in your
catchment, then broadscale landuse change may not be desirable, where small strategically placed
plantations that complement existing farm practices will very doubtfully impact net stream flow at

                                                                               To contact us:

                                                                          STFFN Coordinator
                                                                              Ian McArthur
                                                             PO Box 3656, Weston Creek ACT 2611
                                                                                  P. 0412 195 499

                                                                            STFFN Contractor
                                                                                 James Gray
                                                                  PO Box 1067, Dickson ACT 2602
                                                                                P. (02) 6242 1960

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