How well protected are the forests of north-eastern New South Wales? — Analyses of forest environments in relation to formal protection measures, land tenure, and vulnerability to clearing

How well protected are the forests of north-eastern New South Wales? — Analyses of forest... A large data set on the biophysical characteristics of north-eastern New South Wales, a region of 7.6 × 10 6 ha, was analysed to measure the level of protection of the region's forests from extractive uses. A classification of 81 environmental units was derived by subdividing the region according to combinations of mean annual rainfall, mean annual temperature, soil fertility and slope. All environmental units contain forest, although some also contain other vegetation formations. The units were used to separate the region's forests into 81 classes. This approach produced a consistent classification of environments for the entire region that could be applied across all land tenures and uses. Derivation of the classification from physical data also enabled the extent of clearing of each environmental unit to be accurately assessed. The coverage of the environmental units by all formal protection measures was measured. Strict reserves (secure areas with management delicated to nature conservation) are highly biased in their regional distribution, being concentrated in the steep and/or infertile parts of the region. Other protection measures include a variety of tenures, classifications and zonings with different constraints on land use applied by Local, State and Commonwealth Governments. When all protection measures are combined, there is still a strong bias towards the steep, and to some extent the infertile, parts of the region. The reasons for these biases are explained in terms of the history of reservation and the types of land over which other measures have generally been applied. The result of the biases in protection measures is that environmental units most suitable for clearing have been given least protection. The potential for achieving levels of reservation of environmental units required under current Commonwealth Government policy was assessed in relation to tenure and degree of fragmentation of the remaining vegetation. While public land can contribute the required areas of new reserves for many environmental units, adequate reservation of other environments will have to rely heavily on private land and remnants of vegetation. Priorities for reservation were expressed in terms of two factors: (1) the percentage of the remaining vegetation in each environmental unit that will need to be reserved to achieve the policy target; and (2_ the vulnerability of each environmental unit to clearing. Environmental units with high percentages required (few options in space) and high vulnerability (few options in time) have the highest priority for reservation or other effective protection. The vegetation that remains in these environmental units is mainly on private kind. Reservation priorities will change to some extent if conservation goals are changed. Current priorities also need to be complemented by an analysis of the security and effectiveness of protection measures other than strict reservation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Forest Ecology and Management Elsevier

How well protected are the forests of north-eastern New South Wales? — Analyses of forest environments in relation to formal protection measures, land tenure, and vulnerability to clearing

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0378-1127
eISSN
1872-7042
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0378-1127(96)03766-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A large data set on the biophysical characteristics of north-eastern New South Wales, a region of 7.6 × 10 6 ha, was analysed to measure the level of protection of the region's forests from extractive uses. A classification of 81 environmental units was derived by subdividing the region according to combinations of mean annual rainfall, mean annual temperature, soil fertility and slope. All environmental units contain forest, although some also contain other vegetation formations. The units were used to separate the region's forests into 81 classes. This approach produced a consistent classification of environments for the entire region that could be applied across all land tenures and uses. Derivation of the classification from physical data also enabled the extent of clearing of each environmental unit to be accurately assessed. The coverage of the environmental units by all formal protection measures was measured. Strict reserves (secure areas with management delicated to nature conservation) are highly biased in their regional distribution, being concentrated in the steep and/or infertile parts of the region. Other protection measures include a variety of tenures, classifications and zonings with different constraints on land use applied by Local, State and Commonwealth Governments. When all protection measures are combined, there is still a strong bias towards the steep, and to some extent the infertile, parts of the region. The reasons for these biases are explained in terms of the history of reservation and the types of land over which other measures have generally been applied. The result of the biases in protection measures is that environmental units most suitable for clearing have been given least protection. The potential for achieving levels of reservation of environmental units required under current Commonwealth Government policy was assessed in relation to tenure and degree of fragmentation of the remaining vegetation. While public land can contribute the required areas of new reserves for many environmental units, adequate reservation of other environments will have to rely heavily on private land and remnants of vegetation. Priorities for reservation were expressed in terms of two factors: (1) the percentage of the remaining vegetation in each environmental unit that will need to be reserved to achieve the policy target; and (2_ the vulnerability of each environmental unit to clearing. Environmental units with high percentages required (few options in space) and high vulnerability (few options in time) have the highest priority for reservation or other effective protection. The vegetation that remains in these environmental units is mainly on private kind. Reservation priorities will change to some extent if conservation goals are changed. Current priorities also need to be complemented by an analysis of the security and effectiveness of protection measures other than strict reservation.

Journal

Forest Ecology and ManagementElsevier

Published: Sep 1, 1996

References

  • Threatened status, rarity and diversity as alternative selection measures for protected areas: a test using Afrotropical antelopes
    Kershaw, M.; Mace, G.M.; Williams, P.H.
  • Ad hoc reservations: forward or backward steps in developing representative reserve systems?
    Pressey, R.L.

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