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Decision support tools profiled for Australian foresters

As well as the very latest data collection, mapping and inventory tools that have already been detailed in a previous update, forest management and estate planning have also been added to this year’s ForestTECH 2011 series. Like remote sensing, foresters involved in the design of this year’s technology series have very deliberately opted for a strong practical focus. Forestry companies who have adopted and are using some of the new forest information management and decision support tools that have just been rolled out will be presenting. Australian, New Zealand and North American forestry companies will be outlining how the systems are being used within their company for forest modelling, tactical planning, and resource allocation and scheduling purposes.
With the optimization theme, a section on harvest optimization has also been included this year with presentations on results from New Zealand and Australian in-forest trials. Sonics have been added to tree processing heads during harvesting and have been tested in three New Zealand and Australian forests, the use of on-board computers in forest harvesting is covered along with some innovative GPS tracking that has been developed in tools to improve worker safety out in the forest.
For the Albury ForestTECH 2011 event, David Harris, Commissioner of the NSW Office of Water has also been confirmed as the after dinner presenter on the evening of Thursday 1 December. After an extended period of drought over a decade or so, planning is underway to secure the long-term ecological health of the Murray Darling Basin which cuts through five States. The suggested plan entails cutting existing water allocations and increasing environmental flows.
In June this year, a federal parliamentary committee delivered its report to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and its recommendations on water cutbacks in the basin. Based on the heated meetings within the region, it’s certainly controversial and the implications to forestry are substantial. Foresters will hear first-hand how the draft plan could impact on fire protection for the high catchments, whether plantation growers will be expected to pay for their water, what will be the impact of allocations and flows on downstream processing operations and will be given a chance to discuss some of the science behind some of the planned decisions.
ForestTECH 2011 has been designed again to provide that independent platform for Australasian foresters to evaluate a range of new technologies that will improve their forest planning and operation. The technology event runs in Albury on 1-2 December. Programme details can be viewed on