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The Community Forest Balances the Needs of the Community, Ecosystem Values and Economic Opportunity

Recently we had a question pop up in one of our Instagram posts about harvesting in the Wakefield Creek Watershed from a community member.

We replaced the post and didn't want to lose this question and our response to it as we think it's a question others may have as well.

Check it out!

Q: when you announce a cutblock and the local community replies that as a community they are already using the forest in a number of ways that clearly demonstrate that the forest is more valuable standing than harvested, why do you answer that request with alterations in your plan rather than just NOT cutting it down? You're are the Community Forest, not Community Logging. Shouldn't you be honouring the Community's request for how they wish to interact with their local forest?

A: We engage with many individuals and groups, and received broad support for our proposed harvest plans in this area. The Community was most interested in, and happy to hear about how ecosystem values were prioritized in planning. We were also able to discuss the needs of the recreation community and came up with several things we could help them with.

As a community forest we aim to manage for a balance of values, recognizing that humans are a part of forest ecosystems and that we need to be able to rest and recreate in forests, and also that we live in wood houses.

There are over 500km of unsanctioned trails on the Sunshine Coast, so when we are looking at trails we always consider how popular they are, whether they are well-built with respect to drainage, and what they provide access to. In this case our harvest plans overlap with a 265m stretch of the trail, 60% of which will not be logged over, and there is a parallel trail a short distance away. Following harvesting, the impacted stretch of trail will be restored, the area replanted, and it will again be a trail through a forest, meanwhile approximately 8,000 tonnes of carbon will be stored in wood products and people will have enjoyed sustainable livelihoods through this process.

We realize some people aren't happy with any logging, but that doesn't represent the majority of the community we've heard from and we think we have done a good job striking a balance.


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