> I have not been to Australia in 20 years, but my recollection is that the
> National Parks were wonderful. Apparently you have the same problems we
> here in the U.S. -- insufficient money to properly maintain the parks and
> many politicians who could care less. I guess I will need to return
> they are all there, and to see Royal National Park, which burned while we
> over there.
I'm doubtlessly oversimplifying and will probably regred posting...but the
situation in Australia is far, far worse than in the USA. Australia has
nothing comparable to the Environmental Protection Act. The various levels
and categories of protected land in Australia are also seemingly without a
larger plan and largely at the whim of the government of the day. There
isn't a central legal act, there isn't a central planning authority, and
there isn't an outcome/target-based approach to land management. Basically,
there's a bunch of land "locked up" but without any coherent program. I
guess reducing the trees in the world's most deforested ice-free continent
could be a plan...
While we're on it, I'm only a few chapters into a *fascinating* book called
"The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia." I was aware
of the concept of firestick farming but had no idea that it's plausible
that the entire Australian landscape at first European contact was a made
thing. Mind-blowing and beautifully written and researched. You really have
to wonder about the bird distributions on this continent back
then...Grasswren might have been common and widespread...
Things are tough in the US but, at the least, a concerned group can sue the
government into doing their jobs...at least some of the time. We would
already have a few birds less in Hawaii otherwise. Here? No chance. In
Victoria, feral deer are protected as native wildlife (with a harvest
period). Odd, to say the least.
I live in timber country in NSW and, frankly, it's a disgrace. There is
absolutely no possibility that the cost of harvesting, transporting and
processing these trees is cost effective given the prices on the world pulp
market. The NSW government subsidizes these efforts massively so it's a
drain on the taxpayers for a handful of jobs.
Having grown up near Gloucester, MA I can remember what it was like as the
cod fisheries collapsed. It's a tough business all around. The fishermen
that suffered really did suffer. Over-extraction really only does one thing
to jobs. It makes them go away.
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