ACTEA has just received the attached map from Peter Langdon, Assistant Director, ACT Forests. The map shows the plan for harvesting forestry coups along the Molonglo for the coming 12 months or so. Peter has advised:
1. Clear felling work has just started in the area directly to the west of the Arboretum (purple on the map) to meet bushfire management requirements and to prepare for the replacement of the existing overhead power line with an underground system later this year.That should take about 2 months.
2. The large blue area to the west (Greenhills West on the map) will then be clear felled. This will take up to six months as it is a one man operation. As he moves around the coups he will signpost firetrails to warn the public of forestry operations.
3. Peter does not think they will get to thinning the Zoo Pines (green and called Horse Paddocks on the map) until next Spring. He suggested that thinning operations near the horse trail to the underpass could all be done in one hit to reduce impact on equestrian access.
The plan is to ensure that there is always one access open to the Arboretum from the south, either via the Zoo underpass or near the Tuggeranong Parkway.
Trees will be removed from the forest via the river firetrail which will let trucks out near Coppins Crossing. Peter estimates there will only be one truck a week at the speed they will be operating.
There will be no forestry work on the weekends.
There will advisory signage on firetrails when work is underway but the modern forestry machinery is huge and loud so will be a warning in itself. The contractor, however, will be required to stop work if horses appear in their vicinity.
ACTEA will receive regular updates as this work proceeds over the next 6 months and will update this post accordingly.