Native wisteria Hardenbergia comptoniana on a karri tree. Photo - Carolyn Thomson-Dans
Native wisteria on a karri tree
Photo © C Thomson-Dans

One of the key roles of the Department of Parks and Wildlife is ecologically sustainable forest management.

This means providing economic, social and cultural benefits from our State forest and timber reserves while, at the same time, conserving biodiversity, maintaining soil and water values, and sustaining the health, vitality and productive capacity of the forest for current and future generations.

Who manages our forests?

  • Conservation and Parks Commission 

    The Conservation and Parks Commission is an independent authority that oversees the administration of Western Australia's national and marine parks, conservation parks, nature reserves, State forests and timber reserves by Parks and Wildlife.

  • Department of Parks and Wildlife

    The department has the lead responsibility for protecting and conserving the State’s environment on behalf of the people of Western Australia. This responsibility includes monitoring activities which may disturb the environment, including timber harvesting.

  • Forest Products Commission

    The Forest Products Commission is responsible for harvesting and regenerating native forest and plantations in State forests and timber reserves, and for the sale of forest products and some associated industry matters.

Legislation, policy and key documents

Management of our forests is regulated by the:

In late 2015 the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 (CALM Act) was amended. It is one of the key pieces of conservation legislation in the State and details how the Department of Parks and Wildlife manages the State’s conservation areas.

One of the recent changes to the CALM Act concerned the administration of State forest and timber reserves. The intent of the changes is to simplify and streamline provisions related to changing the tenure of State forest and timber reserves.

It is now possible for the Minister for Environment, in consultation with the Conservation and Parks Commission and the Minister for Forest Products to excise very minor areas of State forest or timber reserves (less than five hectares) for public utility or road purposes, to amalgamate two or more similar purpose forest areas, to redescribe the internal boundaries of a forest area, or to correct unsurveyed boundaries (provided the change is no more than five per cent). In these circumstances the Minister for Environment is required to advertise the proposed change (see ‘Have your say’ for current proposals) for 30 days before finalising the proposed amendment.

If the proposed change to State forest does not meet these criteria, the amendment can also be completed through an Act of Parliament or by the Governor approving the introduction of the proposal to both Houses of Parliament for 14 sitting days.

Both of these actions are subject to disallowance by the passing of a motion in Parliament. Prior to tabling of a proposal in both Houses of Parliament the Minister for Environment will advertise the proposed change (see ‘Have your say’ for current proposals) for 30 days before seeking the Governor’s approval to introduce the matter to Parliament.

The process to excise land from timber reserves for areas that are greater than 5ha has not changed and these excisions still require the concurrence of the Minster for Forestry and consideration by the Governor and Executive Council.

The Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 also contains provisions to protect nationally-listed threatened species and ecological communities.

The Regional Forest Agreement for the South-West Forest Region of Western Australia is a 20-year agreement between the State and Commonwealth governments on the use and management of the forests of Western Australia's south-west

Other relevant legislation, policies and key documents are listed in the Forest management plan 2014-2023.

Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
A plan for managing our State’s south-west forests Wednesday, 15 February 2017 13:56
Forest inventory Tuesday, 04 November 2014 11:39
Preparing the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 Friday, 10 February 2017 10:31
Silviculture Friday, 10 February 2017 11:48
WA Forest Management System Thursday, 05 March 2020 10:32
WA Regional Forest Agreement Friday, 15 May 2020 14:25
What is ecologically sustainable forest management? Friday, 10 February 2017 12:02