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Branchline Feb 11, 2011

We are making changes

When Tasmanians opened up their paper this morning, they would have seen an insert explaining our latest efforts to further reduce smoke nuisance from our annual regeneration burns and to improve our communication with the community. Regeneration burns are an important part of the life cycle of wet eucalypt forests, and our burning program is designed to emulate a natural wildfire event: a hot fire with seedlings sown on a still-warm mineral soil seedbed. As responsible forest managers, we must conduct these burns, but we do understand the smoke they create can be a nuisance, and that's why we go to so much trouble to keep the smoke away from population centres.

This year, we are trying to extend the length of the burning season, so that we can reduce the number of burns on any given day, and to accommodate no burning on days when smoke dispersal is poor. If you missed the insert, you can read it here, and while you are at it, have a look at a very informative fact sheet put together by our Division of Forest Research and Development.

The International Year of Forests was launched on 2nd February 2011 at the General Assembly Hall in New York City. The launch included the premiere of the short film 'Forest' directed by Mr Yann Arthus-Bertrand and film clips from the winning entries of the International Forest Film Festival. <read more> FT continues to build its calendar of events for the International Year of Forests and this weekend our team from Island Specialty Timbers will be showcasing Tasmania's fabulous array of timbers at the Wooden Boat Festival. Make sure you drop by and say hi and take the opportunity to pick up a complimentary A1 poster of the Eagles Eyrie.<read more>
For the diary - An informative forestry talk will be presented by Dr Sue Baker, formerly a conservation biologist with FT and now a Research Fellow at the School of Plant Science. Sue will discuss how Canada, USA and Tasmania are world leaders in variable retention forestry - a harvesting approach that retains habitat and species from older forests. Sue will share findings from her recent fellowship at the World Forestry Institute, Portland, Oregon at 1 pm next Wednesday in the National Forest Learning Centre, Hobart. <read more>
Our iconic tourism venture at Tahune celebrates the arrival of the AirWalk Lodge on-site today and while a few weeks away from opening, an overnight stay in the Huon will become an even more appealing option for visitors to southern Tasmania's premiere tourism destination. The 25-bed AirWalk Lodge is ideal for all visitors including families, school groups and backpackers, to more fully experience the attractions of the AirWalk site and it's also ideally situated as a base for a visit to the newly refurbished Geeveston Forest and Heritage Centre with its fascinating insights into the forests of southern Tasmania. <read more>

Don't forget to tune in to episode two of Going Bush on Saturday (12:30pm in regional Vic, NSW & Qld - 5pm Tas). This week, hosts Nick and Andrew visit the areas destroyed in the Victoria's devastating black Saturday bushfires, there is also a feature on Tasmania's magnificent blackwoods and you won't want to miss the segment on Australia's most unique lunch served up at FT's Eagles Eyrie in Maydena <read more>. Our Going Bush competition continues with chances to win great prizes from our tourist attractions and a return trip for the whole family on the Spirit of Tasmania (for interstate viewers) plus two Adventure Forests statewide tour packages.<read more>
Next week I'll bring you up to date on some exciting discoveries our planners have made in the north west of the state, the Tasmanian Mountain Bike State Championships and an update on more great stories from episode three of Going Bush.
Until next time,
Ken Jeffreys
Forestry Tasmania
GM Corporate Relations and Tourism


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