Draft Forest Practices Code 2019 - AAT Letter
20 Sept 2019
Forest Practices Authority
30 Patrick Street
DRAFT FOREST PRACTICES CODE 2019
Anglers Alliance Tasmania as the peak body representing some 25,000 freshwater anglers welcomes the new Draft Forest Practices Code 2019 and the opportunity to comment. Predictably AAT’s primary concern is with water quality which can be severely impacted by forestry operations as the effects of erosion, siltation, chemical application and increased water temperature from poor riparian management all modify aquatic health.
The Draft Code appears to recognise these concerns and it is encouraging to see an increased emphasis on natural values, protection of the environment, soil care, erodibility, the importance of riparian values , water quality and watercourse management.
The Forestry Practices Code “prescribes the manner in which the forest practices shall be conducted in accordance with section 31 of the Forest Practices Act 1985.” Unfortunately as stated by the Forest Practices Authority “comments relating more broadly to the forest practices system as a whole will not be evaluated during this process” . This means that plantations planted prior to the implementation of the Forest Practices Code 1987, that did not require streamside reserves, remain outside the Code and are non- compliant with the current Forestry Code in respect to riparian management and setbacks from streams. This situation occurs on the Tyenna River in the vicinity of Maydena where Norske Skog pine plantations abut the river without the benefit of the 40m setback as required for Class 1 rivers in the contemporary codes.
AAT finds this historical nonconforming anomaly unacceptable; it has resulted in complaints from anglers of severe streamside erosion and remnant native trees falling into the river creating log jams that during heavy flows result in scouring, undercutting of banks, siltation and turbidity (see photos) -- the very concerns that an increased emphasis on natural values, protection of the environment, soil care, erodibility, importance of riparian values , water quality and watercourse management that the Draft Code is seeking to strengthen.
Immediate restoration and stabilisation should be undertaken on the affected areas of the Tyenna River and AAT suggests that Streamside Reserves on class 1-4 streams should be applied retrospectively to plantations established prior to the introduction of the Forest Practices Code.
AAT appreciates the opportunity to comment and while we realise some content is outside the scope of the amendment process it seems an appropriate time to review this anomaly.
Executive Officer Anglers Alliance Tasmania
GPO Box 963, Hobart TAS 7001