ANU students visit centre of forestry excellence

The Hume Region’s reputation as a centre of forestry excellence attracted 52 ANU students for a first-hand look at forests and forestry from 12 to 16 July.

The overall aim of their trip was to look at Australia’s forests and forestry including plantation and native forest management and also such things as ecological restoration, land care, community issues and heritage management.

The group based at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge near Tumbarumba was the largest contingent from ANU in the past eight years.

ANU professor of Forestry and head of the School of Resources, Environment and Society, Peter Kanowski, said about half the group were studying forestry and the other half environmental science.

“It is quite likely that a number of them will end up working in this region. It was interesting to note that we were being hosted by a number of graduates that have done the course in previous years and are now working for Primary Industries Trading, formerly State Forests,” he said.

He said the visit was an introduction for students to forests and forestry in Australia so that they come away with a good over view as the basis for subsequent studies.

“We spent a afternoon with Primary Industries Trading Aboriginal coordinator Ms Alice Williams who is a based at Tumut and that was very interesting,” Professor Kanowski said.

Tumbarumba forest manager Mr Chris Rhynehart gave the students an overall view of management for production and conservation in native forests, while resource and protection forester Mr Tony Nicholson focused on plantation forestry from the nursery through the rotation to the harvesting stage.

“We looked at the various stages of management from site preparation and planting, to weed control, right through to pruning and thinning,” Mr Nicholson said.

He said the forestry students had selected the Hume Region because of the large scale of the forest industry around Tumut, Tumbarumba and Batlow, and the diversity of land management objectives in the area.

The group also looked at the overall management of the Hume and Hovell long distance trails with Mr Warwick Hull and spent a day with Mr Mick Pettit learning about national park management.

On Thursday they viewed plantation harvestings with merchandising forester Ms Julie Lucato and later they looked at native forest management with harvest planning forester Mr Mick Lalor and harvest planning forester Mr Lee Blessing – a recent ANU graduate.

The students visited the Visy pulp and paper mill near Tumut and Mr Tom Stacey’s farm to see farm forestry at work on their last day.

Media contact: Tony Nicholson on (02) 6947 3911. Photos available by contacting (02) 6036 2110.