Karri forest. Photo by Bron Anderson/DBCA
Karri forest. Photo by Bron Anderson/DBCA

This service is responsible for developing and implementing programs that provide for economic, social and cultural benefits from State forest and timber reserves while conserving biodiversity, maintaining soil and water values and sustaining the health, vitality and productive capacity of the forest for current and future generations. 

This service is also responsible for developing and implementing programs that provide works and services that directly support commercial forest production activities on State forests and timber reserves.

Performance summary

Table 6: Service 8 performance summary


2020–21 target

2020–21 actual


Expenses by service




Key efficiency indicator


Average cost per hectare of forest




Key effectiveness indicator


Cumulative removal of jarrah and karri sawlogs by approved
harvesting operations compared to limits in the Forest Management Plan 




Note: Removal of jarrah and karri sawlogs under the Forest Management Plan 2014–2023 is reconciled on a calendar-year basis and further adjustments to actual removals will be reported through monitoring processes in the end-of-term performance review of the Forest Management Plan 2014–2023

More information on these indicators can be found in the Disclosures and Legal Compliance section under Key Performance Indicators. 

Performance highlights

Major plans 

  • The Forest Management Plan 2014–2023 (FMP) continued to be implemented. The FMP provides the policy framework for managing south-west native forests.  
  • The first Annual Meeting of Officials was held for the extended WA Regional Forest Agreement in March 2020. 
  • As a member of the Montreal Process Implementation Group for Australia, DBCA contributed to the ongoing international development of the Montreal Process criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. This included preliminary work toward Australia’s next State of the Forests report due in 2023. 
  • DBCA provided technical advice and information support to help deliver an interagency initiative for operational trials of ecological thinning in the jarrah forests under the Djarlma Plan for the Western Australian Forestry Industry. The trials will assess reduction in water use in dense, highly stocked stands of jarrah to promote forest health and resilience in a drying climate and to reduce potential for intense bushfires by reducing woody fuel loads. 
  • Information on science projects supporting implementation of the FMP can be found in Service 6: Conserving Habitats, Species and Ecological Communities within this report. 

Forest management 

  • DBCA provided specialist advice on the implications for ecologically sustainable forest management of proposed developments and planned operations, including mining, utilities (for example water pipelines) and infrastructure work. 
  • DBCA provided technical support, on-ground works and advice to the Forest Products Commission (FPC) for implementation of annual harvest and coupe plans, fire management and forest regeneration activities. 
  • DBCA prepared projections of native forest timber resources available under the FMP to inform market development options for the forest products industry. 
  • Training on the Disturbance Approvals System (DAS) to operational, planning and management personnel continued across DBCA. At 30 June 2021, the DAS contained 361 proposals for disturbances ranging from timber harvesting to recreation site development, including operations submitted by external parties, including local government authorities, Telstra, Water Corporation, DWER, Main Roads WA and the FPC. 
  • Salvage operations in the 2016 Waroona–Yarloop bushfire area continued. This is part of forest restoration to promote natural regeneration at a ‘patch’ level. 

Forest planning and monitoring 

  • Planning on the next three-year indicative timber harvest plans (2021–23) for the south-west forest regions was completed. This is a rolling plan prepared every one to two years to provide a forward schedule of coupes for harvesting. 
  • A total of 236 disturbance operations covering approximately 8820 hectares of State forest and timber reserves were evaluated and monitored for compliance with the environmental outcomes sought in the FMP. This included 40 soil disturbance and erosion surveys across 32 active native forest coupes (covering 516 hectares and 174km of log extraction track), and 30 tree marking assessments in 11 forest coupes covering 6822 hectares with 515 hectares assessed. 
  • In 2020, detection and mapping of Phytophthora dieback was undertaken on 28,440 hectares of land managed by DBCA to help plan and manage disturbance operations and the prioritisation of disease management treatments. 
  • All mapped old-growth forest on lands managed by DBCA is protected from timber harvesting and associated disturbance. DBCA administers a process to assess areas nominated by the public or identified during planning of operations for any unmapped old-growth forest. Changes to extent of mapped old-growth forest includes 101 hectares of jarrah old-growth forest, and 25 hectares of wandoo old-growth forest. 
  • In accordance with the FMP, DBCA analysed the potential location of nine new fauna (animal) habitat zones and finalised eight of these (comprising a gross area of 1657 hectares). Fauna habitat zones in State forests are created to help maintain biodiversity values in areas subject to timber harvesting. The total number of fauna habitat zones finalised to date is 149, comprising a gross area of 37,851 hectares.  
  • High-resolution, digital aerial imagery was gathered across 167,000 hectares of forest and plantations to monitor and measure areas for timber harvest operations, silvicultural outcomes, bushfire recovery and prescribed fire outcomes.  
  • Programs of strategic-level timber inventory within regrowth karri, regrowth jarrah and mixed-age jarrah forests available for timber production were commenced to inform development of the next FMP, due in 2023. 
Page reviewed 20 Sep 2021