The Forestry Commission of NSW is responsible under the Forestry Act for the management of 3,856,000 hectares of forest comprising hardwood, softwood and rainforest.
The Commission also controls the forested catchments of many of the free flowing rivers in NSW, especially on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range. It has since the early 1970s shown a greater appreciation of the importance of water as a valuable forest resource.
In recent years, considerable research interest has been centred in Australia on investigating the influence of various forestry practices on hydrology, water quality and erosion and sediment transport in catchments vegetated by native eucalypt forests.
The Commission conducts five major catchment research projects in NSW. These span a range of climates and forest types and assess the effects of forest operations on water quality and yield.