Operational planning is undertaken for individual harvesting coupes. This is detailed planning for each operational area that results in a Forest Practices Plan.
The Forest Practices Act 1985 requires that a Forest Practices Plan be developed before any harvesting can occur.
Forest Practices Plans must comply with the Forest Practices Code (PDF), which specifies prescriptions (measures that must be taken) for managing values such as biodiversity, soil, water, cultural heritage, and visual amenity throughout road building, harvesting and reforestation operations.
The Forest Practices system provides Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s planners with training and a suite of guidance and assessment tools to assist in the development of Forest Practices Plans.
A notification system exists to alert Sustainable Timber Tasmania's planners to inform the Forest Practices Authority of any special values that have been identified and to seek advice where required from specialists.
Sustainable Timber Tasmania also uses a system of internal collaboration and peer reviewing so that each plan is developed to a high standard.
A Forest Practices Plan must be certified by a Forest Practices Officer, trained and appointed by the Forest Practices Authority. Such officers are required to be experienced foresters and have undergone additional training so that they understand the Forest Practices system.
Once certified, a Forest Practices Plan becomes a legal document that must be followed. Any variations made to the plan after it has been certified must be approved by a Forest Practices Officer and lodged with the Forest Practices Authority.
Once a Forest Practices Plan is certified, a Notice of Intent to conduct operations is issued to all identified stakeholders and neighbours to inform them of the likely commencement date for the operation, and as a final check to confirm that, where feasible, issues of concern have been taken into account in the Forest Practices Plan.
Forest Practices Plans are available upon request.