Ian May <>
Thu, 07 Jun 2007 14:34:10 +1000
Thank you Greg. Perhaps this subject should be called "carbon neutral
trees". Its couls be eneough to make me a sceptic when considering the
final benefit to greenhouse from trees after prescribed burning and
bushfires have ravaged the forest? Two weeks ago, "low
intensity???" prescribed burning at Douglas Apply National Park sent
high intensity smoke clouds that were probably visible from New
Zealand. Or perhaps National Park fire management is greenhouse exempt?
Some good news though. Spotted Quail-Thrush and Olive Whistlers were
observed last week in an area south of Scamander Tasmania that had been
ravaged by the East Coast bushfires in December last year.
St Helens, Tasmania
Alan raises the issue of tree planting as a part of the solution to
the greenhouse effect and rightly raises some concerns about tree
planting per se. Ever since Bob Hawke launched the 'one billion
trees' programme tree planting has been seen as the solution to all of
the world's problems. Unfortunately tree planting can cause more
problems than it solves. The proliferation of monocultures of pine or
various eucalypt species has negative impacts on the environment.
Theses plantations are usually approved on 'cleared land'. This
cleared land often has scattered old growth trees of great
significance to birds, mammals and reptiles. They are in the way so
get the chop. Then the site is nuked with herbicides, sometimes broad
scale from a helicopter, and then the trees are planted. The species
are usually not native to the region or if they are the provenance is
not right. If you plant Forest Red Gums from another area the genetic
make up would be different to that of the locals. Cross pollination
of plantation trees with remnant native trees is never considered as a
threat, but it is.
Now to greenhouse - all of these plantations are going to sequester
carbon and therefore will help with reducing the greenhouse effect -
WRONG - unless the plantations are never harvested. Harvesting and
processing produces large amounts of carbon so any benefits of carbon
storage are lost at the harvest and processing stages. If carbon
trading is to be implemented then credits should only be given to
landowners who protect old growth forest, regenerate natural
vegetation or plant trees in an ecologically sustainable way that will
never be harvested.
Timber plantations are necessary to take the pressure of native
forests (and their birds) but they don't deserve, and shouldn't
receive, greenhouse credits.
All birders (including twitchers) should consider all of their
activities in light of the greenhouse effect (as should every
Australian) but people have to make up their own minds about how they
will address their impact on the planet. Turning on each other only
plays into the hands of those (particularly politicians) who love to
divide and rule.
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