Fires and Burning

RFA goes up in smoke

Thursday, April 24, 2003

The Regional Forest Agreement promised the MAXIMUM amount of logs that could be taken from public forest, while providing the MINIMUM area to meet conservation criteria. No allowance was made for fire. There was no margin of error for events outside the control of governments. If fires destroy even part of the reserve system or "available" forest, the whole RFA breaks down.

Salvage Logging

Friday, April 4, 2003

Widespread salvage logging for 30 years after the 1939 fires had huge ecological impacts. It favoured cutting fire damaged (but living) larger diameter trees. After a fire, generally there will be a return of a healthy multi-staged forest required to provide maximum habitat. Bushfires usually leave a high level of this structural complexity in the forest. Wildfires typically consume less than 10% of the wood. However, salvage logging (clearfelling) will convert the forest to an even aged, plantation-like structure.