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Campus eucalypts to challenge forestry experts


20 March 2002
What: World Forestry Day celebration

When: Thursday, 21 March 2002, 11.00am-12.30pm

Where: SCU Lismore Campus, 'N' Block (Biology building)

A challenge for local forestry experts to identify obscure species of Eucalypt trees on Southern Cross University's Lismore campus will be one of the highlights of the World Forestry Day celebrations (Thursday, 21 March) to be hosted jointly by SCU and the Subtropical Farm Forestry Association (SFFA).

The events start at 11.00am with introductory talks on this year's theme - 'Dead or Alive - The right tree in the right place for the right reason' - and will be followed by the release of a campus map describing the range of eucalypt plantings and the trees' characteristics and uses. A BBQ lunch will follow at midday.

The species map will be used to guide a brief walk of the campus' impressive eucalypts. Identifying two of the rarer mature species will be a challenge set for local experts John Macgregor-Skinner (Northern Rivers Private Forests, part of the NR Regional Development Board) and Doug Johnston (formerly Principal Research Scientist with the Division of Forest Research, CSIRO and author of 'Forest Trees of Australia')

According to the Chair of Sustainable Forestry, Professor Jerry Vanclay, who recently advised the Victorian Government on the future of that State's timber industry, "The campus has a wide range of trees with significant economic or ornamental value, and most of them are well classified, but a few have not yet been properly identified, and we thought it would be fun to see what the experts come up with."

The SFFA has more than 300 members and most are very successful growers of carefully designed plantings for production and conservation purposes.

However according to SSFGS president, Martin Novak, "We have a concern that there are some planting going in, particularly larger commercial plantings which are not suited to the sites chosen and result in large numbers of tree deaths.

"In most cases these are tax payer funded developments. It is our contention that this is totally avoidable and needs to be addressed. Both Southern Cross University and the Subtropical Farm Forestry Association have a role to play in addressing this issue. This is the reason for the choice of this year's theme for World Forestry Day - 'Dead or alive - The right tree in the right place for the right reason'," he said

Background on World Forestry Day:

Celebrated internationally on 21 March, World Forestry Day is set aside to remind communities of the importance of forests and the benefits they gain from them. It was first proposed in 1971 when the General Assembly of the European Confederation of Agriculture met to discuss ways for countries to appreciate the value of their forest resources. The idea for a World Forestry Day was born and it soon caught on, winning the support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The European Confederation of Agriculture said the day was to be much more than a "World Tree Day". "World Forestry Day should be used for offering information about all facets of forestry riches, in their three-fold presentation of production, protection and recreation and in their links to the Conservation of Nature," the Confederation said. The twenty-first day of March was chosen as World Forestry Day because it is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere, traditionally the first day of spring, and a symbol of new life and new beginnings. Of course, in the southern hemisphere it marks the autumnal equinox, but (at least in our region) it is still a good time for tree planting and a time of vigorous tree growth.

For further details, please contact

Professor Jerry Vanclay, Chair for Sustainable Forestry

School of Resource Science and Management

(02) 6620 3147 or

Mr Robin Osborne, Media Liaison,

Directorate of Marketing & Community Relations,

Phone: (02) 6620 3039 Mobile: 0418 431 484

Email: [email protected]