International Forestry Experts to Address Lismore Conference

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Some of the world’s finest minds in forestry science, forest management and industry development will assemble in Lismore in October to share their collected wisdom and experience at the biennial Australian Forest Growers Conference.

Conference convenor Mark Wright said the conference program now boasts more than 40 presentations from Australia’s top forest research scientists, industry professionals and hands-on practitioners.

“Joining the Aussies will be international representatives of the world-wide forest management community. Conference delegates will be able to choose presentations from a wide variety of highly regarded and respected speakers, covering subject matter covering a wide range of issues and latest developments in Australia and worldwide,” Mr Wright said.

He said some examples of the high-calibre presenters included CSIRO Forest Systems Group principal research scientist Dr Libby Pinkard, NSW Department of Primary Industries principal research scientist Dr Christine Stone and Professor John Walker, research scientist from the University of Canterbury with an expertise in developing a plantation resource.

“The theme of the Conference is “Trees – the future crop for changing climates”, and Dr Pinkard’s presentation will address climate change impacts and adaption for farm foresters,” Mr Wright said.

“She will be highlighting adaption strategies for reducing the impacts on plantation productivity from vulnerabilities resulting from climate change impacts of increased pest risk, drought and fire hazard.”

Dr Stone’s presentation will cover emerging technologies in plantation management, specifically the integration of airborne laser scanning data collection into forestry inventory systems – to enable business efficiency through more precise volume and yield estimates.

Professor Walker is a forthright presenter renowned for his innovative research. He will present on developing a quality Eucalypt resource based around a breeding program that focuses on wood quality attributes.

Using novel methods to measure wood quality in young trees, Professor Walker’s research enables the selection of the best trees with prized attributes as early as age two, speeding up the selection and reducing the cost of tree improvement.

The Australian Forest Growers Biennial Conference will be held from October 26-29 at Southern Cross University campus Lismore. Registrations are now open and a full program, including tours to northern New South Wales’ leading forestry plantations and processors, is available on-line at www.afg.asn.au.

The conference is supported by sponsors including the federal Department of Agriculture, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Southern Cross University, NSW Trade and Investment, Hurford Hardwood, Lismore City Council, Forestworks Pty Ltd, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Super Forest Plantations and BSI.

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