GYMPIE'S rich timber history will be celebrated at a free open family day at Woodworks Museum and Interpretive Centre tomorrow.
The event marks International Day of Forests today and everybody - particularly those whose livelihoods have some dependency on forestry - are urged to attend.
The Wide Bay branch of the Institute of Foresters, with the support of local forestry business organisation Private Forestry Service Qld, is hosting the open day which runs from 10am-4pm and features steam sawmill demonstrations, blacksmithing, tool demonstrations, cross-cut sawing and chainsaw carving and forest management presentations.
There will be a sausage sizzle with tea, drinks and barista coffee available.
The day will also give the public the chance to see the new forestry photo corridor and cinema, and new chain and buzz saw displays.
Wide Bay branch IFA chairman Tony Willett said from early settlement, the Gympie region had a rich history of associated forestry activities which, in addition to gold and agriculture, were woven into the fabric of the local community.
"Local forests provided the timber for the gold mines, shoring-up tunnels and supporting the winches over the poppet heads," he said.
"Homes and shops were also built from local timbers and the forests also provided the logs for bridges and sleepers that enabled transport by road and rail."
Mr Willet said the most obvious features of commercial forestry in our local landscape today were the native and exotic pine plantations and the associated people that worked for the companies that grew, tended and harvested the timber from the plantations.
"HQ Plantations employs many local people in Gympie and other Wide Bay towns," he said.
"In addition there are a significant number of smaller companies that provide silvicultural, harvesting and timber cartage services to the plantations.
"Also integrated into our local business scene are the various timber processing plants of Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Aus, the Laminex Group, the Hyne mill at Tuan and Superior Group operations at Imbil and Melawondi.
"Perhaps not so obvious to many of us is the work of local company, Private Forestry Service Qld, a not-for-profit organisation that provides a broad range of private forestry services, including consultancy, promotion, information and developing policies."