There is an assumption you seem to have made which doesn't have to be the case
at all; that the only place to cut timber is in native forest. There's (IMO)
large areas of land in Australia which have been deforested that should be
reforested with plantation timber. There's no reason why many native species
can't be grown in a plantation style (red cedar being an unfortunate
exception). The main issue is that people generally don't want their land
"unproductive" for the 20 or more years it takes to grow harvestable size logs.
It should also be mentioned that the forestry people responding to the
situation with the Superb Parrot say that they are using sustainable practices
and are *not* clearfelling. However, the issue appears to be that they are
logging in areas which are supposed to be protected.
One possible solution to supplying timber could be to plant trees on the
borders of fields rather than having no trees at all. I've seen this idea on
Landline. It has the potential to provide an additional income in the future
for the farmers, as well as providing a windbreak to reduce soil erosion, and
habitat for birds which in turn help to reduce insect pests.
But I certainly agree with you Graham that it's not good if we protect our
forests while destroying habitat by proxy elsewhere.
--- On Tue, 5/12/09, Graham Turner <> wrote:
> From: Graham Turner <>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Superb Parrot in the news
> To: "Baus" <>
> Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 4:32 PM
> I think this hints at a bigger issue.
> We all use timber and timber products and so trees are cut
> down for our use. This will have impacts on the flora and
> fauna in the forest that is harvested. One way to stop these
> impacts is to ban logging in Australia. Wow, great we all
> feel good because of the bush that has been saved. But we
> are still using timber products, many of which are imported
> from countries that have no controls on logging practices.
> From my works with what is now Forests NSW I know that there
> are prescriptions on what can be harvested and there are
> strict controls placed on harvesting operations to protect
> biodiversity and water quality etc. Sure these may not be
> perfect and may (will?) be ignored if the people involved
> think they can get away with it, but at least there are
> controls over what is done.
> So the question is this, do we want to 'save' our forests
> at the expense of the plants and animals in other countries
> where there are no environmental controls, or do we want to
> take responsibility for our own timber needs and manage
> forest for both wildlife and wood production (yes, it can be
> Graham Turner