Black Springs looks back | Jobs grew in forests of the district

LOOKING BACK: This advertisement appeared in the 1962 Black Springs Gymkhana program. The village is celebrating its heritage.

LOOKING BACK: This advertisement appeared in the 1962 Black Springs Gymkhana program. The village is celebrating its heritage.

THE Black Springs Community Association will hold a Black Springs Heritage Festival this Saturday, October 26 from 10am to 4pm. The day will include tours of local churches and cemeteries. There will also be a display of historical photographs. See the Facebook page for more events.

Below is a story which appeared in the Black Springs Gymkhana program of events in 1962.

Timber production is an industry of considerable significance in the lives of the people of Oberon and district.

The future of this industry depends on the vigorous implementation of sound, far-sighted policy of forest management and development.

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Responsibility for this is in the hands of the Forestry Commission of NSW which fully recognises the timber producing potential of the central tablelands and is devoting energy and expenditure on its development.

Local administration of logging and forestry activities is centred at the Forestry Commission's new office at the corner of the Caves Road and Ross Street, Oberon, which is staffed by these foresters and three clerical officers.

Forest operations are carried out by five foremen and 18 employees. Additional casual labour up to 20 men is engaged for about two months during winter to assist in pine planting operations. There are also eight contract pine fallers at the present time.

The total area of land comprising what is known as the Oberon Forestry Sub-District amounts to 848,000 acres containing mainly Oberon plateau which lies west of the Great Dividing Range and generally south of the town of Oberon.

Elevations range from around 4000 feet with rainfall varying from 30 to 40 inches per annum, and snowfalls being common in winter.

There are four areas dedicated as State Forests near Oberon. They are Vulcan State Forest (13,512 acres), Gurnang State Forest (6870 acres), Konangaroo State Forest (9511 acres) and Banshea State Forest (6750 acres) and lie generally from 15 to 35 miles to the south and south east of Oberon.

These forests grow native hardwoods and exotic softwoods. The major forestry activities being carried out by the Forestry Commission in the district are concerned with the establishment of plantations. Work includes clearing, fencing, planting, pruning, thinning, protection from fire and noxious animals, road construction and marketing supervision.

The species planted are mainly Pinus radiata, the timber from which is known as Monterey Pine. It is general purpose, easily worked softwood suitable for the production of building timber, cases, furniture, plywood, woodfloor, particle board, etc.

There are not many parts of NSW suited to the successful growth of Monterey Pine, but Oberon is well favoured in this respect.

The first plantings were made on Vulcan State Forest in 1929 and on Gurnang State Forest in 1931. Regular plantings have since continued, the current rate being about 800 acres annually.

The village of Black Springs is the headquarters of forest activities on Vulcan State Forest.