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).