The Mid North Forests Future Strategy began in 2015 to find a way forward after over 2,000 hectares of plantation forest were lost in the bushfires of 2013 and 2014.
The Bangor bushfire burnt 1,776 hectares of commercial plantations at Wirrabara in January 2014. This fire followed the February 2013 Bundaleer fire, when 427 hectares of commercial plantations were lost.
Consultation with the community and an expression of interest process led to 38 proposals being received and evaluated. The successful proposals will continue to provide economic, social and environmental outcomes for the region.
These proposals represent diverse land uses, including continued commercial forestry, cropping, grazing, apiculture, horticulture, mixed agriculture, biochar production, firewood cutting, and the transfer of the Bundaleer forest sports grounds to the Bundaleer Sport and Recreation Association.
Among the new and expanded enterprises are:
- Manuka honey production trial in Wirrabara State Forest – A licence agreement between Forestry SA and Spring Gully Foods for a 10 hectare plantation will allow the company to trial the suitability of Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka) shrubs. The trial is supported by a joint research agreement between Spring Gully Foods, PIRSA through its research division SARDI, and Forestry SA.
- Agriculture and tourism at Yarcowie - David Fudge will utilise this forest for agriculture, tourism and bio-char production, which is a carbon-rich charcoal that will be used in agricultural cropping systems.
- Agriculture and forestry at Leighton - Stephen Redden will use this forest for agriculture and forestry by sustainably harvesting a small portion each year to enable regrowth.
- Livestock production at Bundaleer Forest - an expansion of an existing business on lands no longer suitable for commercial forestry. The land will be traversed by long distance walking and cycling trails and there is potential for the lessee to provide additional amenities for users.
- Livestock production at Wirrabara Forest - an expansion of an existing business on lands no longer suitable for commercial forestry. The land will be rehabilitated and turned into productive agricultural land.
- Mixed use agriculture in Bundaleer Forest - areas no longer suitable for commercial forestry will be utilised for livestock production, cropping and honey production.
- Commercial forestry and agriculture in Bundaleer Forest - a joint venture of local families will utilise much of the forest for commercial forestry to support local jobs. Large areas will be revitalised for agriculture and livestock production.
- Forestry and livestock production in Bundaleer Forest - a small area will be utilised for firewood and grazing.
- Commercial forestry and agriculture in Wirrabara Forest - commercial forestry and other agricultural uses will be re-established over a substantial area. The area will include standing pine plantations and lands burnt during the Bangor fires.
- Livestock production in Wirrabara Forest - continuation of grazing in parts of Wirrabara Forest, including the reinstatement and improvement of farm infrastructure following the bushfires. Ongoing employment will be created for livestock management roles. The land will include opportunities for scenic walking trails.
- Recreation in Bundaleer Forest - transfer of the sports grounds and recreation areas to the Bundaleer Sport and Recreation Association.
- Horticulture in Wirrabara Forest - Rosanne McInnes will re-establish former orchards incorporating grazing for fire mitigation, and the potential for future accommodation, that will complement adjacent native vegetation.
- Mid North Forests - Future Strategy ()
- Mid North Forests future land uses map ()
- Bundaleer Forest maps
- Wirrabara Forest maps
Mid North Forests Future Strategy newsletter
- Government protects precious native vegetation in the Mid North - 29 September 2017
- New businesses boost for Mid North - 3 April 2017
- Final purchase negotiations begin on Mid North Forests - 28 September 2016
- More than 150 hectares replanted in Bundaleer Forest - 7 July 2016
- Request for Proposals for the Mid North Forest Region - 27 January 2016
- Next stage in Mid North Forest strategy to commence in January 2016 - 23 December 2015
- Wide range of options proposed for Mid North Forests - 8 September 2015
- Mid North Forests Expression of Interest released - 4 August 2015
- Further replanting to take place at Bundaleer Forest - 25 March 2015
- Focus on management of SA's Mid North forests - 23 January 2015
- Mid North Forest Productivity Maps now available - 17 December 2014
Mr Rob Robinson, Director, Forestry, PIRSA