University Of Tasmania
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Evaluating management effectiveness of private forest reserve sites within the NRM South Region of Tasmania

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posted on 2023-05-27, 07:21 authored by Hilsendager, K
Compared to the other Australian states, Tasmania has a high proportion of land reserved in protected areas. Despite this, many ecosystems are poorly represented in the public reserve system, due to the fact that they were some of the first areas to be come under private ownership and utilized for grazing and agricultural purposes. In order to meet Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) reservation targets in Tasmania, protection of land within these privately owned areas is vital. There are many Private Forest Reserve Program (PFRP) sites throughout Tasmania that were established to help address this issue. However, little research evaluating management effectiveness within the program has been done up to this point. This research evaluates management effectiveness for IUCN (The World Conservation Union) category VI sites within the PFRP. It attempts to assess how well IUCN category VI objectives are being met within the program. It also evaluates whether land uses within PFRP sites are consistent with IUCN category VI management prescriptions. In addition to this, suggestions are made as to how management could be improved within the program. Four techniques were utilized to collect data for the evaluation. Firstly, a review of the operations plans and terms of covenant documents was done to assess how well plans accounted for specific management issues. Next, a questionnaire was distributed to landowners with questions focusing on ecosystem management and sustainable production. Interviews were then carried out with landowners. The interview questions were also related to ecosystem conservation and sustainable production. However, landowners were given an opportunity to go into more depth than the questionnaires. Site visits were also conducted in order to gain first hand knowledge about management issues and practice. Overall, the study found that the sites included in this investigation were managed effectively, according to IUCN management objectives. Highlights include extensive management documents and long-term protection for each site. Many landowners within the program also seemed to be fairly knowledgeable about techniques for maintaining healthy native bush. However, there were areas where improvements could be made. There were areas where management prescriptions in operations plans could have contained more detail. Additional support from DPIW could also improve management capacity in some areas, most notable exotic plant and feral animal management. Better communication between landowners and DPIW could help to ensure that management and production activities are conducted in a way that maintains natural values within each reserve.


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