Friday, March 19, 2010

Should we leave Native Forests alone ?

Haven't we done enough damage ?
These very sound concerns and cautions come up every time someone wants to harvest timber out of a native forest . I accept that many people need a lot of convincing that we can do that safely .eg doubts about my support for several proposals currently.

Before I worked across the environmental risk area across many countries , I thought like most , that leaving timber was the best way to look after water ( like Melbourne Water did in their catchmnets ) ; but I can see that,  provided we understand the natural limits well , we can harvest timber and improve soil and water quality and ecosytem diversity ( my main areas of expertise ) quite specifically .
So our Australian  forest soils are the better for harvesting( cf rotting or burning) .Its simply not true to say that bushfires and even burning improve the ecosystem - sometimes even in our area ( say around Carlisle river or here at Aireys Inlet ) fires threaten and remove the diversity  . Many older persons will remember the diversity that was Aireys Inlet State Park - no longeras diverse as it was in 1970's  because a big burn in 1983 changed it to the more uniform plant ecosystem it is now . Take a drive up to Lavers hill from Devondale or from Bambra to Aireys Inlet ( rough road) and note the highly acid soils and water and the limited recycling and limited ecosystem diversity in the vegetation and life forms.( often in a very high rainfall area)
More general discussion on logging here.
More about Otway Tours HERE ( come complete with CD's to listen to while you drive) Ask at OCR FM radio station Bowl arcade  or  the Tourist information Centre - Colac