Logging and Clearfell

Clearfelling entire hill sides back to bare dirt is VicForests’ favorite way of logging because it creates thousands of tonnes of ‘waste’ trees.

This so called waste is then sold very cheaply to local and Asian paper companies. It has to do with the economies of scale.

Before the late 60s, the best timber trees were felled singly for sawn timber (called selective logging). Now the entire landscape goes. Not only does clearfelling take out those offensive ancient forests and the animals that live there, it lets the logging companies burn any struggling plants that try to return and then plant one species of preferred tree as a woodchippers mono-crop over the top of once was diverse healthy forest. 

In effect, we pay them to cut down hundreds of year old trees, incinerate the site, and convert it all to miles and miles of woodchip tree farms. Even though conversion to plantations is illegal, they just give it another name – regeneration – oh – and usually with ‘sustainably managed’ in front of that.

It’s a bit like defining mass slaughter of civilians in a war ‘collateral damage’ (depending on who’s doing the killing).

Dingo Creek rainforest logging

Thursday, January 10, 2002

As a result of arrests at the Dingo Creek rainforest coupe last Autumn, two protesters are challenging the charge of 'obstructing a lawful logging operation'.

The case has been heard for two days so far and the last session is on January 18th at Bairnsdale. The public are welcome to attend. The NRE have made some startling admissions while giving prosecuting evidence, including;

Polishing the turd - The 5 yearly review of the EG RFA

Thursday, January 10, 2002

he promised five yearly review of the East Gippsland RFA looks like being delayed another year. Its shaping up to be a rank job an attempt to sanitise whats totally on the nose. The States do their own assessment, pretend theyve honoured their environmental duty, have token public input, give themselves a tick, and dont dare invite any independent third party audits. Both Labor and the Coalition continue to pretend their RFAs are scientific, sweet and rosy, but theyre only fooling themselves.

Why value adding isn't the answer

Sunday, January 6, 2002

Would we approve of hunting Panda Bears or Siberian Tigers if their carcasses were used for high value products? No? So it seems strange that there is still a belief that if we could set up a value adding industry, all our problems with logging native forests and old growth would be over.

There is concern that if a large market was found, say overseas, for kiln dried hardwood (paneling or flooring), we could see the continuation of current clearfell logging, with the only difference being that the product would make more profit than woodchips do.

Quoll's extinction looms

Sunday, September 2, 2001

It's not guns and hunting like it was with the Thylacine, but the Spot-tailed (Tiger) Quoll is knowingly being annihilated by logging, poisoning and NRE's latest "protection" plans.

Spot-tailed Quolls, the largest meat-eating marsupials surviving on the mainland, are on a slippery slide to extinction. They have gone >from rare to vulnerable to endangered in Victoria in just the last 10 years! However, the Victorian government's measures to protect the Spot-tailed Quoll have been weakened in a draft rewriting of the 1992 Action Plan.

WA's forest "win" was a con-job

Sunday, September 2, 2001

he February WA election saw Labor promise to end 99% of old growth logging immediately and phase out export woodchipping by 2003. However, their commitment to the logging companies to supply huge volumes of logs until the end of 2003 has seen an increase in destruction of other important forests to account for protected old growth. These important conservation areas are being converted mostly to woodchips (90%).

To make up the shortfall in quota from old growth, logging of Jarrah in other regions is estimated to have increased 76%!

Charcoal burner over the border

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Eighteen months ago conservationists successfully fought off a proposal to log and burn the western NSW Pilliga and Goonoo forests to create charcoal for a silicone plant at Lithgow. It was another plan for a massive woodchip operation, only this time in the ironbark and box forests.

NRE Blunders Exposed

Sunday, September 2, 2001

REAL LIVE LOONEY TUNES

Years ago, a Warner Bros Loony Tune TV cartoon featured the Acme Toothpick Factory. Whole logs were shoved into the jaws of a huge machine that ground the log down to a tiny toothpick, leaving a huge pile of waste. Back then, this was pretty funny. Now that NRE has adopted the Loony Tune Toothpick Factory idea as policy, it's pretty alarming.

If you want an idea of how far down the Loony Tune Toothpick Factory track the Victorian Government has gone, pick up a copy of the Timber Pricing Review discussion paper.

And they call this auditing?

Sunday, September 2, 2001

After a long battle, NRE has finally coughed up their last detailed audit report on compliance with the Code of Forest Practice (CFP - an environmental code that's a bit of a joke in itself). I can see why they were reluctant to release this report, even though they were obliged to release all the internal CFP audit reports and supporting documents for East Gippsland.

Secret SFRI data

Sunday, September 2, 2001

NRE is currently trying to produce estimates of how much forest and log volumes are available that don't leave everybody rolling around the floor with fits of laughter. The Statewide Forest Resource Inventory (SFRI) aims to replace the old system of estimates on "log volumes" (read "forests").

NRE has produced quite a little PR campaign surrounding the SFRI project including CDs with detailed maps showing where they expect to find most of the trees. You could almost believe that NRE has turned over a new leaf and become open and accountable.

Dingo Creek rainforest

Monday, July 2, 2001

An inquiry is slowly cranking up into how many trees really are out there, compared to how many the government have promised. Meanwhile, important areas of acknowledged conservation value are being clearfelled to meet the demands of the logging industry.

Nationally significant.

Dingo Creek could become the next icon area to fight for. NRE knows it and wants to destroy it quickly.

Values

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