Following the devastation of the 2019-20 bushfire season, work will soon begin to remove the iconic Sugar Pine Walk in Bago State Forest.
Forestry Corporation of NSW Snowy Region Manager Dean Anderson has confirmed what many locals already knew, that the forest was so heavily damaged in the bushfires the Sugar Pine Walk trees could not be saved.
“The site has sentimental value for many of us and we share this loss with the community,” Mr Anderson said.
“Many of our staff were even married on the site, including the person planning the Sugar Pine Walk timber harvest, and anyone who has visited the site will have appreciated how special it was,” he added.
Mr Anderson said pine trees were particularly susceptible to fire and the intensity of the bushfires had destroyed this iconic walk in Bago State Forest.
“We have no option but to remove the trees — the site is incredibly dangerous due to the burnt standing timber,” he explained.
“The site is strictly closed to the public and forest visitors must avoid the area for their own safety.”
The Forestry Corporation will also be working with mills and local contractors to salvage the bushfire-affected wood, with work starting from early June this year.
The organisation is commissioning a photographer to capture the Sugar Pine Walk as it stands and will share these images with the community.
They will also be holding a photo competition to capture the community’s memories of the Sugar Pine Walk before it was impacted by fire.
Sugar Pine (Pinus lamertina) is native to the west coast of America and is the largest and tallest of all pine species.
The site was planted 1928 as a range of different exotic species were being trialled by the forestry industry.
Forestry Corporation staff are also exploring how to mark the passing of the forest and how best to commemorate the loss.
“Planning is underway for a replacement Sugar Pine Walk, with seed and seedlings in the current site being collected for propagation and replanting for future generations,” Mr Anderson said.
“We are also looking at other ways we can preserve the memory of Sugar Pine Walk and share with the community to celebrate 100 years of plantation forestry in the local region,” he added.