The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-01-29T01:01:12Z Time’s up for bees 2020-01-29T01:01:12Z time-s-up-for-bees Continued and expanded access to public lands was identified in June as the number one concern across Australia by professional beekeepers and there is no more time for decision makers to delay. Peter McDonald, Chair of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said, ‘The bee industry, like so many others, has been devastated by the fires and while I’m pretty sure that decision makers know the extent of the damage they don’t necessarily understand the implications for our almond and avocado growers - even those that have not been burned out. ‘No bees, means no pollination. ‘Where honey-bees have escaped the blazes, they will starve before Spring unless urgent action by both industry and government is taken to save them,’ said Peter. Two things need to happen, in order: 1.        Hives need sugar syrup and pollen patties. These simulate pollen and can be used in the short-term to keep bees alive. They are expensive and Government subsidies would help.  The NSW Department of Primary Industries has already provided a short-term food source of sugar supplements for bees in the affected fire areas. Even with supplements some mortality is expected because of the extended period. Pollen patties contain pollen or a substitute. It should be noted that crops such as almond and avocado will provide pollen for some bees but only for the short period of flowering, not for the rest of the year. 2.        Alternative nectar and pollen sources must be found and for this, access to National Park areas that have not been burned is vital. This is not a 12-month panacea, it will be an ongoing requirement for years to come as the natural bush regenerates. Peter said, ‘The AHBIC is seeking urgent action from the Federal Government to coordinate State Government land managers in providing immediate and ongoing access to unburned public land such as National Parks and State Conservation areas over autumn and winter. ‘This is a national problem which threatens food crop production and will also lead to shortages of Australian honey,’ said Peter. Individuals and corporations can also help struggling beekeepers, sometimes referred to as Australia’s “Forgotten Farmers”. Hive Aid is a drought and bushfire relief campaign managed by Rural Aid, one of Australia’s largest rural charities, Hive Aid contributes financial assistance and practical support to professional beekeepers impacted by the ongoing drought and bushfires and donations can be made at https://www.ruralaid.org.au/donate/?supporter_id=14254 The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) aims to ensure the long term economic viability, security and prosperity of the Australian Honey Bee industry in Australia. Access Denied – State Governments force Beekeepers out 2019-07-05T03:36:15Z access-denied-state-governments-force-beekeepers-out Continued and expanded access to public lands has been identified as the number one concern across Australia by Australian professional beekeepers. Peter McDonald, Chair of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said, ‘Leaders from all states within Australia met in Launceston, Tasmania travelling to discuss sustainable use of floral resources on Australian public lands as part of the AHBIC Resource Access Workshop. ‘While policies in each State don’t always benefit the beekeeping industry, the immediate concern is Queensland. ‘With the expected changes in Queensland through Provision 184 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992, beekeepers in Queensland will be forced out of beekeeping sites.  The Australian beekeeping industry is concerned that the policy, either deliberately or inadvertently, removes commercial beekeeping industries from public lands in Queensland. ‘The honey bee industry is a vital component of our food production and few people understand that the beekeeping industry provides vital pollination services for global food security. ‘Linked to the effectiveness of pollination services is honey bee health which requires not just access but access to healthy Australian native flora. ‘Well managed multi-use forests involving forestry, beekeeping, and recreation will always deliver the best conservation, economic and social outcomes’, said Peter. The meeting of Australian beekeeping leaders agreed that there is a need to acknowledge the role of honey bees in global food security and associated benefits to the economy. Issues identified in the national beekeeping workshop included: . the lack of access to some land tenures across Australia . the impact of hot controlled burns by the various agencies (low intensity, mosaic, cool burns practised by our traditional owners was suggested as an option for improvement to current practices) Central West communities snubbed by Victorian Government 2019-07-05T03:26:15Z central-west-communities-snubbed-by-victorian-government The Institute of Foresters of Australia calls on Minister d’Ambrosio to direct the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) to follow its legislated charter which requires VEAC to adhere to the principles of ‘ecologically sustainable development’. Institute spokesman, Mark Poynter, said: ‘VEAC’s advice to the Minister is a clear breach of the VEAC Act (2001) which requires VEAC to “enhance individual and community well-being”, yet VEAC’s recommendation to slash the State Forest area by 90 per cent is opposed by a substantial majority of local people living in and around State forests. ‘These communities rely on the forests for a range of public services and life-style activities.  ‘The recently released final report of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) into the future of forested public land in Central West Victoria shows that the agency has not listened to local communities.  They have ignored the great work done to care and look after the environment by Landcare, farmers, foresters and people living in bushland settings. ‘The notion promoted by VEAC that only national parks and reserves can ‘protect’ the environment, is plainly incorrect. ‘The IFA strongly supports biodiversity conservation, and we believe that the existing mix of dedicated parks, other reserves and State Forests already conserves biodiversity while allowing people to undertake activities such as horse-riding, free camping, hunting, dog-walking, and domestic firewood collection. ‘VEAC has not explained why the current mix of public land categories is unacceptable and what threats to biodiversity, if any, will be alleviated by the land tenure changes that it is recommending. ‘The critical threats to biodiversity, such as fire, pest plants, feral carnivores, and climate change do not respect land tenure boundaries. Conservation requires active forest management and simply changing the land category from State Forest to parks and conservation reserves will not address these key threats. VEAC’s recommendations are inappropriate for a government agency responsible for creating a balance between conservation and uses that satisfy all stakeholders. ‘If adopted, VEAC’s final recommendations for the Central-West forests would provide only an illusion of environmental protection, while permanently shutting-out a range of legitimate community uses,’ said Mark.          Healthy forests, healthy bees, healthy people 2019-04-02T20:31:50Z healthy-forests-healthy-bees-healthy-people The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council has expressed concern over the misrepresentation of its views about sustainable forest management, which benefits the community at large. Peter McDonald, Chair of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said, ‘Despite reports in The Guardian, the beekeeping industry wishes to work collaboratively with the forestry industry and state governments to ensure access to resources in state forests.  ALL values and uses of the forests need to be recognised throughout Australia. ‘We intend to educate members of various state governments that access to multi age and mixed species in well managed forests is vital for both honey production and bee health before the pollination season, which varies from crop to crop, where bees are essential for productive crops and food security. ‘The beekeeping industry is open to discussion about ways to improve the management of forests for the benefit of all forest uses, including both forestry and beekeeping. ‘Policy makers need to understand that about 70 per cent of our honey is produced from native eucalypts in our forests. ‘The beekeeping industry appreciates being able to use current forestry infrastructure such as roads to access beekeeping sites. ‘We support the comments made by Minister Littleproud in response to the misrepresentation by The Guardian and understand he has re-iterated the importance of the beekeeping industry being a part of the Regional Forest Agreement process.  All values and uses need to be recognised in perpetuity through the RFA process. ‘If you want a glimpse of the disaster that awaits our beekeeping industry and Australia’s food security as a consequence, we only have to look at Queensland which is facing the potential loss of about 1,180 bee sites by 2024 as a result of excluding our legitimate forest use. This number will be far greater with further planned forestry conversion into National Parks. Poor access and massive fuel loads to feed wildfires are unfortunately the hallmarks of unmanaged forests and none of these issues are conducive to healthy beekeeping. ‘Well managed multi-use forests involving forestry, beekeeping, and recreation will always deliver the best conservation, economic and social outcomes’, said Peter. Andrews Government needs to explain its role in timber industry crisis 2019-02-27T23:17:36Z andrews-government-needs-to-explain-its-role-in-timber-industry-crisis The Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) has called on the Victorian Government to fully explain why it is refusing to release pre-designated wood production forest to the timber industry. Mark Poynter, a Fellow of the IFA in Victoria said, ‘Victorian Premier Andrews’ explanation that the delay in releasing this timber is due to the importance of “following the process to get the planning right” is hard to fathom, given that the Timber Release Plan has been ready for signing since before last November’s state election. ‘Furthermore, the Government already has another long-term process underway – the RFA Modernisation Project – which is meant to be assessing the future management of Victoria’s native forest timber production. ‘Under these circumstances, we would expect timber production to continue while this review was conducted. Stopping an industry dead in its tracks while formulating a strategy for its future is unprecedented and guaranteed to create an employment crisis for regions and rural communities. ‘In the absence of any explanation, it can only be assumed that the Andrews Government is happy to effectively cripple the livelihoods of several thousand rural Victorians to appease trendy, ideological opposition to forestry that has been shaped by decades of misinformation. The Andrews’ Government’s actions are at odds with the Premier’s claim that "The Government's position is not to be playing politics with these industries, these jobs and these communities’”, said Mark. If this continues, the forced closure of Victoria’s native forest timber industry will have far-reaching consequences beyond the devastating loss of rural jobs. The industry’s experienced bush workforce and their equipment have, for generations, been integral to managing the threat to Victorian forests posed by severe bushfires. Only weeks ago, forestry and timber industry workforces combined with government agencies to extinguish a major fire in the Thomson catchment which had potential to seriously damage Melbourne’s water supply. Native forest timber production is clearly a vexed issue for the Andrews Government which appears to be beholden to eco-activist claims that are at best dubious or wrong. In fact, for every dry tonne of timber produced, 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere. This carbon remains ‘locked up’ for the life of the wood, even when it is used for building products or furniture, helping to offset global greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, timber production is highly regulated and limited to a minor 6% portion of the state’s public forests. If this was more widely recognised, the IFA believes that most Victorians would support our native forest timber industry, especially given the continuing strong demand for hardwood products.   An Eye for the Future: 2018 NSW Tree Farmer of the Year 2018-11-20T06:37:36Z an-eye-for-the-future-2018-nsw-tree-farmer-of-the-year An Eye for the Future: 2018 NSW Tree Farmer of the Year Tony Kenway of Coorabell NSW is the winner of the 2018 Australian Forest Growers NSW Tree Farmer of the Year award for his mixed plantations of sub-tropical cabinet timber species throughout the Big Scrub area of the North Coast. The Big Scrub is an area of 75,000 hectares between Byron Bay, Lismore and Ballina. The plantation has created quite a lot of interest and Tony’s company Building Forest Designs is now responsible for about 220 ha of cabinet timber reforestation across five sites within the Big Scrub area. These plantings demonstrate excellence in farm planning, the adoption of farm forestry principles, innovation and leadership - all of which are critical considerations for the award. Foresters will generally select trees of good form, rapid growth, with small branches and gentle taper. As an internationally recognised cabinet maker, Tony, was keen to ensure that the species selected would yield high-quality cabinet timbers. He also consulted widely with many foresters and timber workers to finalise his list. It was decided that the planting would be with a species mixture. Tony said, ‘There is little information on how to design a mixed species planting as most large plantations are established as monocultures”. ‘There is a valid reason for this as all management and records can be limited to one species. However, when two or more species are used, challenges arise as to how to treat each individual species in relation to adjacent trees and other species’ ’Each species will have different growth rates, canopy shapes, and water and nutrient requirements and there will be differences in their tolerance to competing trees and weeds. ’It is also likely that management operations such as pruning and thinning will be different for each species. So it is easy to say let us have a mixed species plantation but there will be many managerial challenges ahead that few will have encountered before. ’I am so pleased to be awarded the NSW AFG Tree Farmer of the Year and to assist with the promotion of agroforestry. I’d like to thank Australian Forest Growers for the award and the Forestry Corporation of NSW for sponsoring the competition’, said Tony. The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry winner announced 2018-09-05T01:29:11Z the-prince-of-wales-award-for-sustainable-forestry-winner-announced The Institute of Foresters of Australia is delighted to announce that the winner of The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry for 2018 is Erin Hodgson. Vice-President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia Mr Rob de Fégely said; ‘His Royal Highness has a well-known passion for forests and natural production systems, a passion he shares with this year’s winner, Erin Hodgson’. Erin Hodgson B. Hort, M. ForEcosysSc completed a Bachelor of Horticulture at the University of Melbourne in 2009 and later completed a Masters of Forest Ecosystem Science degree also at the University of Melbourne. As part of her studies, Erin travelled to Europe for a 6-month exchange to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences where she learned about European silvicultural systems and management. Since completing her Master’s degree, Erin has been working as a Projects Forester. Erin is Chair of the IFA’s Future Foresters Initiative and a Director on the Board of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. Mr de Fégely said; ‘Erin has already made outstanding contributions to forest professionalism most particularly through her leadership and participation in the Future Foresters’ Initiative which provides support to students and early career professionals through mentoring, training, networking and other social and professional development activities. ‘His Royal Highness wants to encourage greater awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the world’s forests and training and creating a network of young foresters who will manage them professionally. ‘It is critically important that we continue to train professional forest managers who have the broad range of skills that early foresters were trained for to manage our forests for production or conservation purposes. To rely on people with only specialist skills such as ecologists or botanists would be like trying to manage our health system without General Practitioners’, said Mr de Fégely.  Image: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9q52vbnk7a43blq/20180905_104543.jpg?dl=  Diversity in speakers at Canberra Forest Conference 2018-06-25T02:13:01Z diversity-in-speakers-at-canberra-forest-conference Landscape architecture, marketing, carbon and plantations are just some of the topics that will be canvassed in the 2018 IFA/AFG Conference – Forests for healthy cities, farms and people being held in Canberra from 2-5 September. The variety of speakers and views will appeal not only to professional foresters, but to anyone involved in understanding the links between healthy tree-scapes and healthy people. Conference chair Professor Peter Kanowski said, ‘There is a growing understanding across the world of how important urban forests are to our growing cities in a changing climate. ‘The diversity of speakers at the conference means that land managers, urban planners, farm foresters and policymakers will all find something of interest at this conference.’ A full list of speakers, with biographies, is available from the IFA website at https://forestry.org.au/ifa/conference-speakers-2018 In addition to speakers already announced such as Fiona Simson, President of the National Farmers Federation, and Kenneth Er, CEO National Parks Board of Singapore, other confirmed speakers include: ·        Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources ·         James Bulinski, Managing Director of CO2 Australia ·         Lyndall Bull, Principal of Lynea Advisory ·         Gordon Davis, President of Greening Australia ·         Gary Dunning, Executive Director of the Forests Dialogue, Yale University ·         Adrian Gray, Victorian President of Australian Institute of Landscape Architects ·         Greg McCormack, President of the Australian Forest Products Association  ‘The Conference has very broad appeal and the breadth of professionals already registered will add significant depth to the panel discussions’, said Peter. Registration information at: https://forestry.org.au/ifa/register-now Earlybird registration has been extended to 30 June. Nominations open for the Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry 2018-05-29T06:05:32Z nominations-open-for-the-prince-of-wales-award-for-sustainable-forestry The Institute of Foresters of Australia is calling for nominations for, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales Sustainable Forestry Award for 2018. ‘It is about forests and foresters’, said Mr Rob de Fégely, Vice-President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and Director responsible for international relations. ‘His Royal Highness has a well-known passion for forests and natural production systems. In recent years, he has provided support to the professional forestry institutes in Australia and New Zealand and prior to that in Canada and United Kingdom. ‘His Royal Highness wants to encourage greater awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the world’s forests and training and creating a network of young foresters who will manage them professionally. ‘Forestry is about long term thinking and planning and the stability of his leadership should inspire many younger members of our profession to join his quest to sustainably managing the worlds’ forests. ‘We are fortunate to have such a prominent person as the Prince of Wales encouraging our profession and taking such a keen interest in forest management. ‘It is critically important that we continue to train professional forest managers who have the broad range of skills that early foresters were trained for to manage our forests for production or conservation purposes. To rely on people with only specialist skills such as ecologists or botanists would be like trying to manage our health system without the General Practitioners’, said Mr de Fégely. The Australian and New Zealand winners of the Prince of Wales awards in 2017, Jesse Mahoney and Alfred Duval met with His Royal Highness at the IFA roundtable. (see image) Mr de Fégely said, ‘This Prince of Wales award for sustainable forestry is to encourage engagement in and dedication to, the principles of sustainable forest management including policy, planning and practice and sound science-based land stewardship’. Awardees must be committed to public outreach and knowledge exchange, focusing on the wise use and conservation of forests and the ecosystems that they encompass. Eligible recipients must either be a student or recent graduate and up to 30 years of age from a forestry, natural resources or environmental science university or college program, who have made outstanding contributions to their school and program, and to forest professionalism in general, within their community.  Recipients must be members in good standing of their respective Institutes, thus demonstrating their personal commitment to lifelong continuing education and professional development, and their support of forest professionalism. Nominations close 30 June 2018 - www.forestry.org.au/honours-awards-scholarships/220-prince-of-wales-award-for-sustainable-forestry Image:  Major drawcard announced for Canberra Forest Conference 2018-04-24T06:17:37Z major-drawcard-announced-for-canberra-forest-conference   Canberra, 24 April 2018 - An exciting line-up of speakers has been announced for the 2018 Joint IFA-AFG Conference - Forests for healthy cities, farms and people. Speakers will address the major conference themes which include: ·        the increasing importance of urban forests in our growing cities, ·        the continuing importance of trees on farms for productive and sustainable rural landscapes, and ·         our increasing understanding of the links between healthy tree-scapes and healthy people.     1.     Senator, the Honourable Anne Ruston Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.     2.     Jacki Schirmer Associate Professor at the University of Canberra. 3.     Prof. Kate Auty ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment.  4.     Fiona Simson President of the National Farmers' Federation. 5.     Kenneth Er Chief Executive Officer of Singapore National Parks Board. 6.     Kathryn Williams Associate Professor in environmental psychology at the University of Melbourne. 7.      Dr Graham Farquhar Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University and 2018 Senior Australian of the Year         Pictures and more information at: https://forestry.org.au/ifa/conference-speakers-2018 Conference registration:  https://forestry.org.au/events IFA hosts Forestry Roundtable with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales 2018-04-11T03:46:34Z ifa-hosts-forestry-roundtable-with-his-royal-highness-the-prince-of-wales The Institute of Foresters of Australia hosted a roundtable on forestry with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest last Sunday. Rob de Fégely, Vice-President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia said: 'It was a once in a lifetime meeting and I believe a meeting of minds about the challenges we face in managing forests not only in Australia but around the world.' Roundtable attendees included Senator the Hon Anne Ruston Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries the Hon Mark Furner MP. The Roundtable commenced with a welcome to country and smoking ceremony undertaken by Kuku Yalanji elder Mr Roy Gibson. His Royal Highness then took a guided walk on the BaralMarrjanga elevated boardwalk in the rainforest with Mr Brett Stallbaum the Cape York manager for Qld Parks and Wildlife Service along with Rob de Fégely and Geraint Richards the Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall. His Royal Highness has a well-known passion for forests and the natural world. In recent years, he has provided support to the professional forestry institutes in Australia and New Zealand and prior to that in Canada and United Kingdom. Forest researchers have the International Union of Forest Research Organisation (IUFRO) to unite them but practising forest managers currently have no international forum. The Institutes are in the process of establishing an International Network of Professional Forestry Associations and the Institute of Foresters of Australia is the initial secretariat. The industry is also struggling to recruit young foresters to manage our forests for conservation and production. It has lots of specialists but recognises a need for the broad practical skills of foresters to ensure all the values of forests are protected. Managing forests without foresters would be like a health system without GPs Mr de Fégely said. To assist this process His Royal Highness has supported two awards for young foresters, The Prince of Wales Sustainable Forestry Award and The Prince of Wales Leadership Award. The latter being an exchange opportunity to work in forest management in another country. The two recent recipients of the Prince of Wales Sustainable Forestry Awards, Mr Jesse Mahoney from Australia and Mr Alfred Duval from New Zealand were present at the Roundtable. Both expressed their thanks to His Royal Highness stating how much the award and recognition meant them. In concluding the Roundtable Mr de Fégely thanked His Royal Highness for taking the time to meet and for his continued support.   Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2p45ycsxn1oxge7/AABltbmXo25cG5lBXnc3zDaNa?dl=0  How cities benefit from a healthy forest 2018-03-26T00:13:59Z how-cities-benefit-from-a-healthy-forest Reviewing a recent FOI request in WA for a 2013 document gave an insight into how the Institute has, for some time, been driving governments to adopt forest management practices that lead to better environmental outcomes. National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, Mr Bob Gordon said, ‘In 2013 the Institute recommended a program to thin some 65 000 hectares of high-rainfall jarrah catchment forest, a recommendation which was subsequently included in the Conservation Commission's draft Forest Management Plan 2014-2023. ‘However, the proposal - available on the Institute’s website - to thin forest (silviculture for water production) is unfunded. ‘Considerable thinning has been done on a trial basis, with promising results, and while the science is sound, practicalities of how and when the thinning occurs will affect the water yield outcomes - but the positive impact is obvious. ‘Improved forest management will enhance biodiversity and improve stream and forest health, and potentially save the State several million dollars each year. ‘While water - particularly affordable water – has long been a contentious issue in Perth; climate change is likely to make this issue even more prominent. ‘Solutions such as desalination and waste water recovery have their part to play, but actively managing catchments reaps the biggest dividend in biodiversity, forest health and cheap, clean drinking water. ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’ was the theme for International Forests Day in 2018 and later this year, the Institute of Foresters of Australia and the Australian Forest Growers are holding a combined conference in Canberra called: Forests for healthy cities, farms and people. ‘From 2-5 September international and local experts will speak about the increasing importance of catchments and urban forests to our growing cities, the continuing importance of trees on farms, and the links between healthy tree-scapes and healthy people‘, said Bob. More information about the conference is at https://forestry.org.au/ifa/about-the-conference Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0yram8ae0pmi2ra/AACO8qwcSTfNRJEkHAHE7W0pa?dl=0  Forests and Sustainable Cities - International Forests Day 2018-03-20T06:09:40Z forests-and-sustainable-cities-international-forests-day 21 March has been celebrated worldwide as International Forests Day since it was first declared in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The theme for 2018 is Forests and Sustainable Cities. National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, Mr Bob Gordon said, ‘Trends in urban planning and architecture are bringing more and more trees into our cities causing reduction in energy use by improving the local climate, storing atmospheric carbon, reducing fine particulates in the air and reducing noise pollution. ‘Members of the Institute of Foresters of Australia are intimately involved in advising local governments across the country on how to incorporate trees, particularly native species into urban environments. ‘We also understand that sustainably managed forests around urban areas can also benefit biodiversity and habitat while providing the fuel and fibre needed in today’s society. ‘It is often said that the 21st Century is the century of wood with its benefits as a construction material now being realised worldwide and the Institute looks forward to a time when timber buildings dot our skyline with trees growing freely between them,’ said Bob Later this year, the Institute of Foresters of Australia and the Australian Forest Growers are holding a combined conference in Canberra called: Forests for healthy cities, farms and people. ‘This builds on the UN theme for International Forests Day and from 2-5 September international and local experts will speak about the increasing importance of urban forests in our growing cities, the continuing importance of trees on farms, and the links between healthy tree-scapes and healthy people. Happy International Forests Day – celebrate by hugging a tree,‘ said Bob. More information about the conference is at https://forestry.org.au/ifa/about-the-conference Three foresters recognised in Australia Day Honours 2018-01-29T00:46:33Z three-foresters-recognised-in-australia-day-honours Three prominent foresters have been named Members in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for 2018, and are now entitled to the post nominal AM. Dr Johannes (Hans) Hendrik Drielsma For significant service to the commercial forestry industry, to sustainable management practices and certification programs, and to professional bodies. Hans is a former Director of the Institute and a recipient, in 2015, of the Institute’s highest award, the Norman W Jolly Medal. Mr Gary William Morgan AFSM For significant service to the community through emergency response organisations, and to forest and fire research and management. Gary is the Chair of the Forest Fire Committee of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. Mr Roger John Underwood For significant service to the community of Western Australia through forestry and bushfire management, and as an historian and writer. Roger is a former member of the Institute and a recipient, in 2008, of the Institute’s highest award, the Norman W Jolly Medal. National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, Mr Bob Gordon said, ‘Congratulations to Hans, Gary and Roger who have all made enormous contributions to the body of scientific knowledge about Australia’s forests over many years. ‘The Institute is over 80 years old now and has a history of being a trusted source of reliable, scientifically robust information about Australia’s forests and that is a tradition which is well served by current members, ‘ said Bob. Ends… Scientists say NSW Forestry Bill will not achieve positive outcome for farmers or the environment 2017-10-16T20:43:36Z scientists-say-nsw-forestry-bill-will-not-achieve-positive-outcome-for-farmers-or-the-environment The Institute of Foresters of Australia has joined the chorus of concerns from all sectors of the scientific community with a scathing assessment of the NSW Government’s Draft Native Forestry Bill 2017. In a letter to the Hon Paul Toole MP, Minister for Lands and Forests, the IFA has noted that recommendations from an Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel commissioned by your Government have been ignored and the exposure draft of the Bill gave only a week for forestry experts to make comment. National President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia Mr Bob Gordon said, ‘Our members work across the full spectrum of forestry from parks and conservation management to timber production and processing as well as research and academia and as such, we can provide authoritative and independent advice on forest science and management – if we are given the opportunity. ‘On this occasion, when we were given the time our comments were ignored and when we should have had the opportunity to review the draft Bill, our members were not even consulted. ‘The Institute has serious concerns about the Bill which includes discretionary clauses such as “…if the regulatory authority considers…” and “…for any reason the regulatory authority thinks appropriate…” and terms such as “material”, defined only as “not trivial”. ‘The NSW Government has stated support for a sustainable native forest timber industry and flagged the importance of a viable private native forest resource in the future of that industry, but this draft Bill will achieve the exact opposite by laying red tape upon red tape backed up by thinly veiled threats of punitive fines to landholders. ‘We strongly make the point that any legislation covering private native forestry should treat it as a sustainable land use contributing to the environmental, social and economic wellbeing of both the rural and broader environment and community. The current draft treats forestry as land clearing and the proposed penalties reflect this. ‘This approach can only lead to further mistrust, undesirable land use practices and the avoidance of authorised forestry undertakings‘, said Bob.