fmp cover photos
Enjoying a walk in the forest -
Photo © Parks and Wildlife

A forest management plan covers lands vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission within the State's south-west forests. The focus of forest management plans is on managing State forest and timber reserves because it is primarily on these land categories that disturbance activities are permitted.

A forest management plan is a 10-year plan developed in consultation with the community. It is the key policy framework for managing forests as these plans identify goals and performance targets and propose management activities to achieve these goals.

The Forest management plan 2004-2013 was the first plan prepared since the management of forests was separated from commercial timber operations in 2000.

Under this plan old-growth forest was excluded from timber harvesting and the conservation reserve system was extended creating 29 national parks, conservation parks and nature reserves. Approximately 500,000 hectares was added to the conservation reserve system.

Forest management plan 2014-2023

Forest Management Plan 2014-2023
Forest management plan 2014-2023

The Forest management plan 2014-2023 provides the policy framework for managing south-west native forests until 2023. The Minister released the Forest management plan 2014-2023 on 6 December 2013.

Covering 2.5 million hectares from Lancelin, north of Perth, to Denmark on the south coast, nearly 62 per cent of this total land area is in existing or proposed conservation reserves or otherwise protected areas. The plan aims to strike a balance between conservation and other activities. It incorporates a number of management activities to help conserve biological diversity, provide for recreation and a sustainable native forest products industry, and to protect water catchments.Initiatives and key features of the plan include:

pdfForest management plan 2014-20238.03 MB

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Why we need a forest management plan

  • Our south-west forests are valued for many reasons:

    • as the catchment area for most of the state's population's water supply

    • as the source of our main native timber industries

    • as a major recreation and tourism drawcard

    • for their rich cultural and historic heritage.

  • The plan sets out management activities to protect forest values and balance the many ways the forests are used.

  • The forests need to be healthy—strong enough to withstand the changing climate evident in the declining rainfall, streamflows and groundwater levels recorded since the 1970s.

Key goals of a forest management plan:

  • the conservation of biodiversity
  • the recognition and protection of Aboriginal and other Australian cultural heritage
  • sustaining the health, vitality and productive capacity of ecosystems
  • the protection of soil and water resources
  • sustaining the contribution to global carbon cycles
  • managing the wide range of social, cultural and economic benefits valued by the community in line with the principles of ecologically sustainable forest management.

Key initiatives of the Forest management plan 2014-2023 include:

  • proposing to add 4,000 hectares to Whicher National Park (unofficial name), near Busselton, to protect biodiversity in the separate forest ecosystem on the Whicher Scarp
  • changes to silviculture that will better protect the habitats of a variety of species, including threatened black cockatoos and numbats.

The consultation process

The plan was prepared with wide-ranging consultation with key stakeholders across industry and conservation groups, within government and local government, and the community.

The community was able to comment on the plan during a 12-week review period in accordance with the relevant legislation, and there was also an appeals process.


Development of the plan was supported by a number of evaluations. You can learn more about how the plan was prepared by going to: Preparing the Forest management plan 2014-2023.