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Old Forests New Management Conference

During February 2008, Forestry Tasmania organised an international scientific conference together with the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry and the International Union of Forest Research Organisations.

A Forestry Talk was conducted by Forestry Tasmania's Chief Scientist, Dr Steve Read on highlights from the conference. A free DVD of the talk is available click here to order a copy.

Old-growth forests in temperate and boreal regions are places of great beauty and importance to people. These forests are often managed for conservation and biodiversity values and as an important resource for timber production, so their management has inevitably become subject to a range of societal pressures. Current management practices for old-growth forests are increasingly informed by an understanding of the disturbance events that trigger forest regeneration. Research from several long-term experimental sites now alllows a fresh look at ecologically based silviculture in forests managed for wood production.

The conference brought together researchers from a range of disciplines focussed upon achieving ecologically sustainable management and use of old-growth forests. It included a visit to the Warra Long-Term Ecological Research site in southern Tasmania, which is partly in a World Heritage Area and also contains a silvicultural systems trial that has explored alternatives to clearfelling of old-growth forests. The visit providee an excellent opportunity to view tall old-growth eucalypt forests and discuss alternative silvicultural systems for wood production and biodiversity management.

Conference Themes

* Social and historical importance of old-growth forests
* Biology of old-growth forests
* Long-term, multi-disciplinary experiments
* Conservation and reserve management
* Towards ecological silviculture
* Shaping old-growth forest management regimes

Speakers included

* Professor Sally Aitken (University of British Columbia, Canada)
* Dr Juan Armesto (Catholic University of Chile, Chile)
* Professor Jurgen Bauhus (University of Freiburg, Germany)
* Mr Bill Beese (Western Forest Products, Canada)
* Professor David Bowman (University of Tasmania, Australia)
* Dr Mick Brown (Consultant Ecologist, Australia)
* Assoc Professor Benjamin Cashore (Yale University, USA)
* Professor Jerry Franklin (University of Washington, USA)
* Professor Lena Gustafsson (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)
* Professor Robert Hill (University of Adelaide, Australia)
* Professor Peter Kanowski (Australian National University, Australia)
* Professor Antonio Lara (University Austral de Chile, Chile)
* Professor David Lindenmayer (Australian National University, Australia)
* Professor Thomas Spies (USDA Forest Service & Oregon State University, USA)
* Professor Fred Swanson (USDA Forest Service & Oregon State University, USA)
* Professor Ivan Tomaselli (Federal University of Parana and STCP, Brazil)
* Mr Graham Wilkinson (Forest Practices Authority of Tasmania, Australia)
* Professor Tom Whitham (Northern Arizona University, USA)

17-21 February 2008
Hotel Grand Chancellor

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