Conservation is critical for plantation forestry and we work hard to protect native vegetation and the animals that live there.
Forests are a hive of activity for flora and fauna, with native species living in harmony with pine plantations.
OneFortyOne manages its operations to protect or enhance conservation values of native vegetation on or adjacent to its estate to protect rare and endangered species. Within the Green Triangle pine plantation estate there is approximately 2,700 hectares of protected remnant vegetation, wetlands and caves which are termed ‘inliers’. These inliers provide a home for more than 80 different threatened species some of which are transient users of the pine plantations. Managing forests sustainably, and restoring them when needed, is crucial for people, biodiversity and climate.
Whilst inliers on OneFortyOne’s estate are often less than a hectare in size and isolated from native forest reserves, existing in a matrix of pine forest provides greater connectivity to reserves than cleared farmland. This additional connectivity can help protect threatened species.
OneFortyOne has a planning and compliance team which helps the company to coordinate its conservation efforts. As part of OneFortyOne’s Summer Student program Polly Marks has worked in this team for the past two years during university holidays.
Originally from the South East, Polly has been studying environmental science at the University of South Australia.
During her time at OneFortyOne, Polly has been working on three projects, one of which is to review the listing of threatened species in OneFortyOne’s estate.
Records of threatened flora and fauna living in estates are kept and managed through OneFortyOne’s land resource manager system, which ensures inliers are protected during forestry operations.
These records appear on operations maps and OneFortyOne locates sites in-field and puts control measures in place to ensure operations meet legal, plantation lease agreement and Responsible Wood certification requirements. Threatened species, as well as wetlands and woodlands that have a condition description of high or better, are what OneFortyOne considers as ‘significant biodiversity values’ within its estate.
In addition to this project, Polly has been working on bringing the latest digital technology to inlier assessments.
While OneFortyOne has a number of approaches to its conservation efforts, a significant portion of its work is in partnership with Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT), an environmental not-for-profit organisation.
NGT runs initial inlier assessments of flora and fauna activity, which has – to date – been sent to OneFortyOne as a spreadsheet. However, Polly thought there was a more efficient way to do this and proposed a project to create an app.
The app is GPS-based so when NGT goes to an inlier and runs an initial assessment pre-harvesting, the app provides a list of threatened species for that site. The app will provide a range of existing information so that the team can record data such as condition of inliers and recommendations for weed removal. At the click of a button, NGT can notify OneFortyOne of any sightings of threatened species. Control measures to protect these species and conservation features are included in Operations Plans for harvest and silviculture operations. During operations, supervising Foresters and contractors comply with these measures and notify of any additional occurrence.
Once a plantation is harvested, inliers are rechecked. The same app is used in this process, with all information from the initial assessment available, allowing the user to determine whether the initial recommendation has been met or not, while also having the option of recording new species. This provides crucial information to prioritise areas for restoration and weeds control programs completed by OFO as per our Forest Management Plan.
The app is an innovative way of showing over time how inliers have been managed while also tracking threatened species and demonstrating OneFortyOne’s commitment to caring for them.
OneFortyOne will be celebrating International Day of Forests on Saturday 21 March. As part of celebrations, the company will host school groups at Mt Burr to showcase the importance of conservation in sustainable forestry.