Chipmill still runs on old forests
A December ‘05 truck-check vigil at the Eden woodchip mill showed that over 2/3rds of logs that entered the Nippon woodchip mill at Eden were large, meaning they are from mature and old growth forests.
Of the 158 trucks that arrived between 4am and 7pm on just one day, 75% came from the south (the direction of East Gippsland). Many of the old trees were split in the coupe so no one could then argue they would have made a sawlog. The chipmill boasts it no longer has trunk splitters on site – but it seems the splitters are all out in the logging coupes now.
Their favoured chip logs are young trees from thinning 20-30 year regrowth (from clearfelled forest) and they made up 25% of loads.
There were about 25 B-Doubles, which are almost exclusively used in the salvage of Tambo’s fire affected forests.
Every so often that feisty group across the NSW border, Chistop, carries out a count of log trucks as they rumble up the road to the Eden export woodchip mill. In 2007, they counted 160 trucks a day carting our forests into the mill.
In September 08, Chipstop counted a record high number of trucks. Up to 7pm on the day of the count, 191 trucks carted their bleeding booty in through the high security mill gates. Most logs were from mature native forests rather than regrowth. Many trunks were pre-split to render them useless as logs for sawn timber.