Forest Heritage at Yarralumla - ACT Branch Event

ACT Forestry Heritage – Sunday 30 April 2017 - Canberra and Region Heritage Festival 2017 Event
The ACT Division of the Institute of Foresters of Australia invites members to attend a ceremony to celebrate installation of heritage signage (sign-boards) at the Yarralumla Forestry Precinct as part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival 2017. This was made possible by a grant from ACT Heritage following last year’s National Trust/IFA Open Day at the Precinct. The Precinct comprises about 11 hectares of land including the former Australian Forestry School, the Museum Building (former Forestry and Timber Bureau Headquarters), Forestry House, Westridge House, and a major forest research facility consisting of various laboratories and trail planting beds.

The launch will take place on Sunday 30 April 2017 at 2pm in front of the Australian Forestry School building (on Banks Street at the end of Schlich, Yarralumla) followed by guided walks through the grounds of the precinct, part of Westbourne Woods, and refreshments at the nearby oval.

The former Australian Forestry School played a significant role in the development of forestry in Australia and is significant for its architectural design, its contribution to the townscape and its place in the early social history of Canberra. Nearby Westridge House, built in 1927 was the residence for principals of the Australian Forestry School.
Date: 30 April 2017
Time: 2-5pm
Meet at: former Australian Forestry School building
RSVP: Register online by 27th April 2017 or email for more information

Media Release - Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry

The IFA is please to announce a new award, The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry. Please see Media Release.
The purpose of the award is to recognize the achievements of two outstanding young forest professionals in Australia and New Zealand. This award is to encourage engagement in and dedication to, the principles of sustainable forest management including policy, planning and practice, sound science based land stewardship. Awardees must be committed to public outreach and knowledge exchange focusing on the wise use and conservation of forests and the ecosystems that they encompass.
The eligibility criteria are as follows:
1. One trophy will be awarded in each country each year. Although available annually, the trophy will only be awarded if a suitable candidate/nominee is judged to be eligible and deserving by the Institute’s nomination committee.
2. Eligible recipients must either be a student or recent graduate and up to 30 years of age from a forestry, natural resources or environmental science university or college program, who has made outstanding contributions to their school and program, and to forest professionalism in general, within their community.
3. Recipients must be members in good standing of their respective Institutes, thus demonstrating their personal commitment to lifelong continuing education and professional development, and their support of forest professionalism.
Nominations for The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry are now open and must be submitted by 1 May 2017. For more information please see Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry.
Please send completed application form to National Office  or PO box 351 Jamison Centre Macquarie ACT 2614

Media Release - International Day of Forests

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of March every year as the International Day of Forests. The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The UN chooses a theme for each International Day of Forests and the theme for 2017 is Forests and Energy.
Bob Gordon, CEO of the Institute of Foresters said, ‘While the international theme is, ’ Forests and Energy, we have so much more to celebrate. IFA members have a proud history starting out as the ‘custodians’ of Australia’s forests but now work with the original custodians to ensure our children and children’s children can enjoy the beauty and bounty of our forests.
Please see full Media Release

Australian and New Zealand forest researchers collaborate to extract information from LiDAR dense point clouds

Dr Christine Stone – Leader NSW Forest Science (Dept of Industry –Lands) and Dr Michael Watt – Research Leader Geometrics  (SCION)
Scientists from several Australian research agencies and NZ’s SCION (formerly Forest Research Institute) are collaborating in a multidisciplinary FWPA project titled “Optimizing remotely acquired, dense point cloud data for plantation inventory”.
The Riegl VUX-1 Lidar scanner which was mounted onto a helicopter and flown over plots within the Snowy Region of the Forestry Corporation NSW.
This collaborative Australian/New Zealand project brings together experts across a range of disciplines that do not reside collectively in any one institution. The project team has internationally recognised expertise in LiDAR & UAV technologies, software engineering and sophisticated modelling approaches. Participating research groups include the Forest Informatics team at SCION, the Terra Luma and photogrammetry research groups at the University of Tasmania, the Australian Centre forField Robotics at the University of Sydney and the  NSW Lands Forest Science team, as well as two high profile forest service providers, Interpine and Indufor Asia Pacific.
This collaborative Australian/New Zealand project brings together experts across a range of disciplines that do not reside collectively in any one institution.
Prototype UAV platform configured by the Terra Luma group (University of Tasmania) for carrying the Velodyne LiDAR sensor.
Significant progress has been made in the operational adoption of remotely acquired data, in particular LiDAR data, by plantation growers both in Australia and in New Zealand for the assessment of plantations. Two previouslyfunded FWPA projects have helped drive this paradigm shift in company awareness and their decision to integrate this new technology into their planning management systems. The modelling and data workflow processes developed in these projects utilise data acquired by established, commercial LiDAR sensors. The rapid advances in this technology present numerous, potential applications for improved cost efficiencies and assessment precision for timber plantation growers. New sensors can now generate 3D datasets with densities greater than 100 points/m2 including the Riegl VUX-1 LiDAR scanner (with 10mm survey-grade accuracy) and the Velodyne Lidar for UAV platforms (Figures 1a and b, 2 and 3). Datasets acquired by both these new sensors have been acquired for the project and future UAS acquisition campaigns are scheduled for both Tasmanian and NZ study sites.
Prototype UAV platform configured by the Terra Luma group (University of Tasmania) for carrying the Velodyne LiDAR sensor.

The overall aim of this project is to develop and evaluate robust, optimal workflow solutions for the processing and analysis of dense point cloud datasets acquired from both LiDAR airborne and multi-rotor UAV systems flown over Pinus radiata plantations. An important component of this process is evaluation of the geometric precision of these dense point cloud datasets in order to determine if the point location accuracies are comparable with estimates derived from the manually measured trees.
The researchers will compare a suite of 3D visualisation software packages for their potential for on-screen individual tree assessment. As part of this process, collaboration with the University of Tasmania’s virtual reality laboratory is being considered. Another objective is to develop reconstructed 3D models of individual trees to estimate log product outturn. Programming techniques developed within the robotics sector will be explored as part of this objective. Finally by December 2017 the project intends to deliver recommendations to the plantation sector that will identify cost-effective options for the practical utilisation of this technology.