Forestry regulation

Forestry legislation is designed to ensure the conservation and sustainable management of forests. The laws cover planning and review, public participation, and the regulation of forest management activities in multiple-use public forests, public nature conservation reserves and private and leasehold forests. For detailed information on this go to the NSW Forest Management Framework V1.1

Briefly, the management and regulatory oversight of forestry operations in NSW is undertaken in accordance with the following legislative and policy framework.

Native forestry for Crown-timber land

Timber harvesting carried out on state forests, timber reserves and other Crown-timber lands (which includes some leasehold tenures) is authorised by the Forestry Corporation of NSW (a state-owned corporation) under the Forestry Act 2012 and Forestry Regulation 2022.  Operations are licensed through Integrated Forest Operations Approvals which are regulated for environmental compliance by NSW Environment Protection Authority.

Native forestry for freehold and leasehold land (other than leases which are Crown-timber lands)

Part 5B of the Local Land Services Act 2016 regulates the harvesting of native vegetation for the purposes of private native forestry on freehold land and on leases that are not Crown-timber leases. Harvesting activities are authorised through private native forestry property vegetation plans which are issued by Local Land Services and independently audited by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

Plantation forestry

Plantation forestry involves the establishment and management of planted forests for environmental purposes and or commercial timber production. Plantation establishment and forestry operations on both Crown Land (including state forests) and freehold land are regulated by the Plantations and Reafforestation Act 1999, and the Plantations and Reafforestation Regulation (Code) 2001. The Department of Primary Industries' Forestry Division has responsibility for authorising plantations, and for auditing plantation establishment and forest operations for compliance.

Find out more about plantation forestry.

For more information, go to the NSW forest management framework.