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Australia has many forests of importance due to significant features, despite being one of the driest continents. As of 2009, Australia has approximately 147 million hectares of native forest, which represents about 19% of Australia's land area. The majority of Australia's trees are hardwoods, typically eucalypts, rather than softwoods like pine. While softwoods dominate some native forests, their total area is judged insufficient to constitute a major forest type in Australia's National Forest Inventory. The Forests Australia website provides up-to-date information on Australia's forests. Detailed information on Australia's forests is available from Australia's State of the Forests Reports that are published every five years.
There are 457 forest communities distributed across Australia. These have been grouped into the following seven native forest types, which are characterised by dominant species and the structure of the forest:
Plantation forests (softwood and hardwood) have been defined as an eighth group that covers trees planted for commercial use.
In Australia the states and territories are responsible for managing forests. Guidance is primarily provided by the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement (NFPS). The NFPS allows for the inclusion of Regional Forest Agreements, which are 20-year plans for the management of native forests.
List of significant forestsForest State Image Notable features
Child standing under 92 metre mountain ash tree in Tasmania's Styx Valley
Tasmania's "Big Tree" is one of the tallest remaining mountain ash.
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