Forests come in all shapes and sizes, from large state or company-managed forests to small family and community forests. Responsible Wood certification provides assurances that forests are managed to meet challenging environmental, social, and economic requirements – balancing people, planet, and profit.
To be featured in the next Australian Forests & Timber
Covered by Jason Ross, Responsible Wood Marketing and Communications Officer
Introducing Muskett Family Forests, Australia’s smallest forest now certified under the Responsible Wood certification scheme.
Located in the Lower Derwent Valley, in the heart of Tasmania’s timber country, Muskett Family Forests is home to some of the highest quality, sustainably sourced timber anywhere in the world.
On-site, third-generation forester Andrew Scott provided Responsible Wood with a guided tour of the Muskett Family Forest. At just 142 hectares, Muskett Family Forests is the smallest independent Defined Forest Area in Australia. The forest comprises wet eucalypt forest with some area of mixed forest that has a rainforest understory rich in high-value special species timbers. According to Kevin Muskett, Director of Muskett Family Forests, they decided to go down the certification route themselves given their previous extensive experience in forest harvesting. They are now operating a variable DFA for other landowners and can provide a complete package of certification and harvesting.
As well as a Responsible Wood forest management scheme Musketts are licensees of Fine Timber Tasmania, a Responsible Wood Chain of Custody group scheme. This allows the Muskett Family to mill and processed the wood – mainly the special species timber, but maintains its certification status throughout the supply chain.
To allow for year-long activities, the Muskett Family utilises a unique residue management approach known as ‘cording and matting.’ Using forest residues to create an underlay on the forest floor, forest activities can continue through the wet season, with the residue creating clean snig tracks, strong landing sites and improving the rehabilitation of forests – now and for many generations to come.
The Muskett family have been at the forefront of the Tasmanian timber industry for more than 70 years – B.R. & K.F. Muskett & Sons Pty Ltd, a name synonymous with harvesting and hauling state-wide.
From pulling logs with horses and bullocks, BR & KF Muskett & Sons were the first contractors to use a grapple skidder in southern Tasmania, the first to use a tree shear and feller buncher and the first to use a feller buncher in cable logging.
Starting with Brian Muskett and wife Kathleen, the family business has come to include sons Kevin, Geoffry, Robert and daughter Helen. As well Kevin’s two sons, Matthew, and Andrew, and Geoffry’s two sons, Nicholas, and Cassidy, are now part of the family’s business.
BR & KF Muskett & Sons runs 14 trucks, with 12 of them on 24-hour five days a week rotation, employs 55 staff and provides harvest and haul services to Norske Skog Boyer and Forico, both certified under the Responsible Wood scheme.
BR & KF Muskett & Sons were recognised in 2015 with an award for exemplary performance related to the management of sinkholes and shovel logging on steep slopes.
To find out more about Responsible Wood certification please visit the Responsible Wood website, to find out more about Fine Timber Tasmania, please visit the Fine Timber Tasmania website.
A dedicated website for the Muskett Family Forests has now been launched.