ANU students visit region of forestry excellence

Forestry Corporation Hume Region’s reputation as a centre of forestry excellence attracted 40 or more Australian National University (ANU) students for a first-hand look at forests and forestry from 11 to 15 July.

The overall aim for the group based at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge near Tumbarumba was to look at plantation and native forest management and also such things as ecological restoration, land care, community issues and heritage management.

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 comprised 15 forestry students, 15 environmental science students and 10 arts students, plus six mentors and a number of international students.

ANU professor of forestry and head of the School of Resources, Environment and Society, Peter Kanowski accompanied the students.

Forestry Corporation resource and protection officer Ms Julie Lucato said it was quite likely that a number of the ANU students would work in the region after they completed their studies.

On their first morning the students travelled to Kosciuszko National Park where Mick Pettitt from National Parks and Wildlife Service spoke to them about heritage management at Kiandra and ecological restoration at Jounama.

On Tuesday Peter Kanowski and Forestry Corporation Tumbarumba forest manager Chris Rhynehart gave the students an overall view of management for production and conservation in native forests. The students later visited the Laurel Hill sawmill.

In the afternoon the group looked at the overall management of the Hume and Hovell Track with Department of Lands Warwick Hull and Aboriginal heritage and cultural issues with Forestry Corporation Aboriginal coordinator Alice Williams.

On Tuesday evening Forestry Corporation Hume Regional manager Bob Germantse was involved in a panel discussion welcoming the group to the region and giving them a background of forestry around Tumut, Batlow and Tumbarumba.

On Wednesday morning the students went to Forestry Corporation Blowering Nursery where they met with nursery manager Dean Page and Forestry Corporation research scientist tree improvement program Dr Hans Porada.

In the afternoon they participated in a planting and quality control exercise in Green Hills State Forest with assistance from Forestry Corporation Jim and Doug Alston, Gordon Guihot and John Hartnett as demonstrators.

“We discussed the whole plantation cycle from the nursery to harvesting including site preparation, weed control, planting, et cetera. Despite the occasional rain shower, the students enjoyed the planting and quality control exercise, and were surprised at the skillinvolved in planting,” Ms Lucato said.

On Wednesday night Martin Tennant from Wilmott Forests was a guest speaker on private plantation forestry.

On Thursday morning Forestry Corporation forest assistant Trevor Masters gave the students a look at a first thinning harvesting operation and a clearfall so the students could compare thethe relative size and yields of each operation.

“We watched the harvesting machines work, spoke to some of the operators and discusseddifferent log products, the chain of supply from forest to mill, and environmental requirements,” Ms Lucato said.

On Friday the students visited the Visy mill near Tumut and Tom and Sharon Stacey’s farm to see farm forestry at work on their last day.

Media contact: Julie Lucato on (02) 6947 3911. Photos available on (02) 6036 2110.