About Forestry Management

A eucalyptus forest, where Clark Generations operates, with lush greenery and trees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conversations about the way we manage our forests are a hot topic. We've addressed some of the most common questions about sustainable forestry and forest management here, as well as explained our initiative for implementing a beneficial forest management strategy.

If you have more questions about this subject, please get in touch with us. 

Q. What is sustainable forestry management?

Sustainable Forestry Management has earnt itself a controversial reputation and for good reason. The theory behind sustainable forestry management is that if you take something from the forest, you must replace it, i.e., you can remove as many trees as you like, as long as you plant young trees in their place. While the concept has merit, it doesn't take much research to see that the strategy is filled with holes.

Logging releases enormous amounts of carbon into the air, accelerating climate change and increasing soil erosion. Chronic soil erosion depletes soil nutrients and reduces the forest's ability to regrow fully. Deforestation also leads to habitat destruction and a loss of biodiversity, which threatens the benefits nature provides. If saplings survive, they can take more than 20 years to reach reproductive maturity and are at a greater risk of being destroyed in a bushfire event in the interim.

Research shows that older trees sequester more carbon, proving that the current sustainable forestry program negatively impacts our fight against global warming. Clark Generations aims to create a self-sustaining forestry management program that benefits the forest and its ability to sequester carbon while reducing bushfire risk and generating income to support forest conservation and regeneration further.

Q. What is Clark Generations Beneficial Forest Management program?

Clark Generations Beneficial Forestry Management program is to strategically remove forestry debris (fallen branches, dead trees, logs and root wads), thin the understory (the layer of vegetation beneath the canopy and the forest floor), and replant native trees to improve the forest ecosystem and biodiversity. An overgrown understory is an enormous fire risk and creates accessibility issues that undermine fire management efforts. Thick vegetation and invasive species like blackberries also suffocate native seedlings by starving them of sunlight.

The program differs from Sustainable Forestry Management as it does not remove vast areas of vegetation (as logging does) but strategically selects plants for removal for the specific purpose of creating firebreaks, increasing light to promote new growth and removing invasive species of plants that suffocate our native plants.

Our program will extend current bushfire management zones and protect a far greater expanse of native forests. By minimising the fuel load, we can protect new growth and give native forests the best chance at regeneration, thus improving their ability to sequester carbon and positively affect climate change.

Q. Why do we need Beneficial Forestry Management?

Beneficial Forestry Management is crucial for our future. As global warming increases bushfires' occurrence and severity, we risk destroying our native forests forever. We are responsible for preserving and protecting our country's natural resources. Our forests provide clean air, water and a home to our unique wildlife.

However, Beneficial Forestry Management needs to balance our economic and environmental needs. Revenue generated from forestry management will pay for our continued conservation efforts so that we can stop relying solely on the government for investment. By finding ways to utilise Biomass, including lower-grade material like blackberries, through innovative technology, we estimate we can generate economic value, stimulate jobs and offset conservation costs, ensuring that our forests will continue to thrive and provide for future generations.

Want to read more about our beneficial forest management?

There are three main components to our forestry strategy

Q. Is Clark Generations a logging company?

No, Clark Generations is a forestry regeneration company. We have established billions of native trees in areas affected by fires and logging.

Our beneficial forestry program does not cut or remove trees from the forests unless it's deemed advantageous for the forest to do so. This process is called 'thinning' and can significantly benefit the forest by creating a fire break by reducing the impact of fires. Thinning can also support new growth by encouraging young trees to grow faster, pushing the canopy out of the flame zone. In addition, removing invasive species from the understory can encourage native plants like Acacia, which animals use as cover.

Q. Why do we need to clear forestry debris (felled forestry, storm damage, etc)?

Clearing forestry storm debris is a delicate operation that requires specialised planning and expertise. The priority is strategically removing broken branches and fallen or damaged trees that pose a hazard to forestry and fire workers or are deemed a bushfire risk.

If storm debris is not removed, it's difficult for larger species trees like Eucalyptus, which are not shade tolerant, to re-establish themselves. It leaves the bush exposed to invasive species.

Q. Why is the strategic removal of native trees part of conservation efforts and beneficial forestry management?

Thinning trees is a common practice in forest management that strategically removes crowded, forked or diseased trees so remaining trees don't compete for nutrients, water and light and can grow stronger, healthier and faster. Improving tree growth rate is a vital component of beneficial forestry management. Once the tree canopy has grown out of the flame zone, it's better protected from future fire events allowing it to mature and age.

This is important because older trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere better and are better suited as homes for our native species due to hollows. In fact, 70% of all the carbon stored in trees is accumulated in the last half of their lives.

Q. What are the environmental impacts of removal vs. maintenance burning?

Planned burning is integral to fire management; however, many forest areas surround major infrastructure, water catchment areas and farmlands, including wine-growing regions. Burning near farmlands and wine regions creates smoke taint in the fruit, affecting the industry's profitability. Planned burning can also be hazardous at certain times of the year, and there are only ever small windows of opportunity to conduct burns safely. However, by removing 90% of the forest fuel load before burning, planned burns become more manageable and safer, generating less smoke and heat - this is called 'cold burning'.

Native Australians conducted cold burns before settlement to create natural fire breaks, which minimised the severity of summer fires. As cold fires don't burn as hot, they quickly burn out, leaving the tree canopy untouched without releasing trapped carbon from the soil. Cold burning promotes new growth, encouraging native species to return - a cycle that supported pre-colonisation life and created havens to live and hunt.

Clark Generations Beneficial Forestry Management program aims to reestablish a system used by indigenous Australians using modern engineering and innovative technology. Clark Generations wants to restore our relationship with our forests to generate far more significant economic and environmental benefits than the current system provides.

Q. Do you support the Native Timber Transition Strategy?

The Native Timber Industry is planning to transition into pine trees over the next ten years. The pine industry offers a short-term financial return with little to no long-term environmental benefits. In addition, unlike native timber areas, pine plantations are wastelands of acidic soil which are virtually uninhabitable for native animals.

By amending this strategy, we can change the current trajectory, create more jobs for qualified foresters and timber workers, and generate profit from timber with minimal environmental impact – instead benefiting our native forests, changing the course of forestry and protecting it from climate change. The people in and around the timber industry have the knowledge and machinery required and are qualified to develop the new technology.

Q. What is gasification?

Gasification is a process that occurs naturally in nature and is the extreme breaking down of Biomass into gas through heat. We can mimic this natural process by burning Biomass at a temperature that allows the material to break down and gasify. By capturing the gas before it combusts, it can run through a steam or combustion engine to be converted into renewable energy with similar properties and applications as LPG without the carbon emissions. In addition, gasification produces a bi-product called Biochar which is pure carbon and has been heralded as a game-changer in our fight against climate change.

Q. What is Biochar and what are the benefits?

Burning biomass under low-oxygen temperature conditions produces Biochar, a carbon-rich substance that soil experts consider essential in soil rejuvenation. Biochar is lightweight and porous, acting like a sponge, and can hold up to three times its weight in water. Being made of carbon, Biochar provides a habitat for numerous beneficial soil microorganisms that promote the health of soil and plants.

Biochar can also prevent carbon from entering the atmosphere, generate energy in its production, and reduce the environmental impacts of farming by gripping onto fertilisers, acting like a battery for the soil. Because of this, Biochar can minimise irrigation requirements while increasing crop yields, reducing financial pressure on the agriculture and horticulture industries.
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The understorey of an australian forest, which can be sustainably harvested through beneficial forestry management to reduce fire risk.The diversity shown in the australian bush and state forest, with lush green trees and understory.
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Clark Generations Pty Ltd

ABN 44 131 334 524
Brendon Clark
PO Box 461 Healesville VIC 3777