The State's environmental watchdog has cast doubt on the future of native forest logging in WA, raising concerns over the impact of declining rainfall and the spread of disease.
The Environmental Protection Authority released a key report on the 2004-2013 forest management plan this morning.
EPA chairman Paul Vogel said there were serious doubts that continued logging in the low rainfall zone and adjoining medium rainfall zone in the eastern portion of South-West forests was sustainable.
The EPA has recommended no change to the current management plan, but has warned declining rainfall and climate change is set to result in lower log yields from WA forests.
Mr Vogel said declining rainfall and disease needed to be taken into account in the next forest management plan.
"In the current audit, lower actual yields of jarrah sawlogs than forecast is, as the Conservation Commission states, likely to be subject to a number of factors," he said.
"However declining long term rainfall throughout the South-West will have a deleterious effect on tree growth."
Mr Vogel said there should be a separate review of logging in low rainfall zones, including the eastern jarrah forests.
"However a 10-year plan may contain levels of inflexibility that are undesirable given the uncertainties," he said.
Mr Vogel said he was also concerned about the affect of dieback and other diseases in WA forests.The Department of Environment had also failed to establish final guidelines for special fauna habitat zones, which were key component of the current management plan, he said.
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