The Conservation Commission’s Forest Management Plan draft went under the microscope at a public information session at Manjimup last Thursday.
About 30 people were at the Community Centre to find out what was in the document which will determine how the forests are managed for the next 10 years.
Last month the commission released the draft, which presents several varied scenarios where logging quotas could be reduced or increased.
Smithbrook’s Michael Gill, who owns a 56.7ha karri block, said he thought the session was a worthwhile exercise for the community.
‘‘The Government has decided to come to the people for them to ask questions, which can only be a good thing as far I’m concerned,’’ he said.
‘‘My only concern is will they listen or will they just go and do something different?
‘‘Nevertheless, I suppose this is a good start.’’
Manjimup shire councillor Ray Curo said the information session had proved beneficial for him.
‘‘I’ve found out things today which will be useful when I come to make my submission to the Conservation Commission,’’ he said.
‘‘The information is all laid out clearly and you can ask questions, which is what this is all about.’’
Commission director Gordon Graham said the Manjimup session had achieved its goals.
‘‘This is part of the process of people putting pen to paper and letting us know what they think of the draft forest management plan,’’ he said.
‘‘Hopefully it will be evidencebased rather than on emotion, but that’s difficult when the nature of forest management is so emotional and there are passionate people on both sides.’’
While much of the public debate has focused on logging quotas, the forest management plan deals with many areas including recreational use, the impact of climate change and the management of diseases such as dieback.
There have been 241 submissions made to the commission so far, although many more are expected in the coming weeks.The draft is available online at www.conservation.wa.gov.au for people to view and make submissions until November 7.
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