Tasmanian Times


Dear Bob, this is the 21st century …


In this day and age most people are responsible and dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully.

Why doesn’t this apply to Forestry Tasmania?

They get rid of their waste just by setting fire to it wherever it lies.

It is mostly nonsense to say they have to burn because our forests need an ash seed bed, because they openly state they would rather put their waste into a biomass station.

A 70 % reduction in smoke means 70% of the burning is not necessary to generate an ash seed bed. FT can’t have it both ways.

In this day and age most people recognise that smoke is harmful and shortens lives.

This is why we have passed by-laws so people won’t smoke in cars with children, and won’t smoke in a variety of public places….even at bus stops.

It is why here in Tasmania we have the Distributed Atmospheric Emissions Regulations that deal with the burning of smaller wastes or fuels in the open.

No matter what spin FT put on it, their burning practices are harmful when their smoke covers our state and drifts into our lungs.

FT smoke really is on the nose.

It is susceptible groups that are hit first. The young, the elderly, those with asthma and COPD, those with cardiac disease, those who will get clots, DVT’s and PE’s.

Then it moves on to anyone that exercises or works hard outside.

Our whole lives have to change because FT is not made to comply with our environmental laws. They are not exempt. There are no exemptions except for TFS at times.

In this day and age the Bureau of Meteorology recognises there are shortfalls with air modelling when all the inputs are not available.

Every year there have been problems and people have breathed high levels of toxic smoke.

In this day and age we know that even slightly raised levels of wood smoke particulates for longer times are as bad as high levels for shorter times.

FT has not listened to our own respiratory specialist Dr. Jim Markos when they say they are going to burn for longer this season.

This is no different to giving someone a 100 cigarettes and saying don’t smoke them all at once.

In this day and age we would expect those forced onto life-saving medical equipment because of environmental factors, e.g. FT smoke, that they would be looked after.

Not so. The electricity rebate for life-saving medical equipment was not raised one cent this year. This is what some people have got to look forward to that cop smoke.

Cut back the burning that forestry say they do not have to do for ash seed beds, cut back the smoke, and increase the life-support rebate.

In this day and age we have to do more than just aim to ensure that none of our deliberate pernicious burns exceed the national air quality standards.

That is like me saying I am aiming to fly to the moon, or aimed to breathe clean air in previous years. Did it happen?

In this day and age FT feels the need to let the community know what is happening.

People only have to look skywards or follow their noses to know what FT is up to.

This is all about a public campaign to reduce the number of smoke complaints coming in, that’s all; not about reducing harm from smoke inhalation.

The formula has not changed. It is worked out on putting the maximum amount of particulates into an air shed; not the minimum.

The best thing to do is fill out a smoke complaint every time, every day, you smell or see smoke.


If we didn’t need to burn we wouldn’t?

“So it means that even though we generate smoke, we can’t absolutely guarantee that there will be a direct benefit as a result of it.”- Tony Blanks (Forestry Tasmania) ABC Stateline 20/8/2010.

In this day and age we wouldn’t need to burn if we didn’t.


Rural Tasmanians with asthma more likely to be hospitalised

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Clive Stott

    April 4, 2013 at 12:59 am

    rainforest plannedburns….
    http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?sys=News Article&intID=2860

  2. Peter Henning

    April 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    #66 How is it possible to denigrate someone/group/organisation that writes pseudonymously when he/she/it claim to have qualifications?

    For example, are we talking here about a group of people who share these various qualifications who claim to be denigrated?

    Are we talking about a frontperson for others who have the qualifications and who just writes what they dictate to him or her?

    The name on all these qualifications is “Stu” is it? That I would like to see, because quite frankly I don’t believe it at all, and therefore ignore everything that he/she/it writes about this or anything else.

    However, in the absence of transparency it is open to us to speculate quite openly in response, so I shall speculate that he/she/it is working for a GBE and being paid by the taxpayer to attack those people who are critical of government and government intrumentalities.

    I shall assume that he/she/it hides behind anonymity because that is required to keep secret the fact that public money is being used to write “Operation Stu”.

  3. Frank Strie

    April 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

    For the benefit of future forestry approaches in Tasmania:

    Welcome to the Forest Guild
    “Forestry is more than cutting and growing trees. Restoring and managing complex, ever changing systems to yield clean air and water, sustain rural communities, and provide peace and solitude requires passion, knowledge, and skill. This is the art and science of forestry. This is the work of Guild foresters.”

    Guild members and supporters share a tangible “spark” of energy, enthusiasm, and inspiration for forests and forestry. This “spark” encourages visionary thinking, innovation, and optimism that the decisions we make now will still be enjoyed by our children’s grandchildren.

    Welcome to Close to Nature Forestry and ProSilva Europe

    PROSILVA is a Latin phrase which means ‘for the forests…’ PROSILVA is a European federation of professional foresters across 24 European countries …

  4. Frank Strie

    April 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

    “Stu” does not exist, so “Stu” I do not know.
    So, before we get into the detailed silvicultural debate again, I think it would be only fair to know who am debating this with.
    If you would like to discuss this on a forest floor, or in a formal meeting place, I am more than willing to do that as I have since arriving.
    Far from denigration of someones carrier path or background, I am simply looking at the big, long term, inter-generational picture.
    To keep it simple, the German forest clearfell conversion policy /agenda in State Forests began in 1858 (as stated a few times previously) and finally ended with Windstorm Wiebke on the 28th Feb. 1990.
    Since 1950 there was a real shift in thinking but was not permitted. So people that I consider as like minded with my way of thinking began to meet and exchange their observations, experiences, concerns and positive, holistic approaches.
    It was not easy in their time to go against orders and the political forestry agenda!!
    (I got involved with the ANW in 1982 and I am still a member of the ANW now).
    Just to explain what it was like:
    Here a short quote from a paper by one of the Largest and longest private forest owners: “…Compared to other nationalities, Germans are supposed to be particularly thorough and systematic. With respect to translating the agricultural idea of rotation cropping into forestry practice, they certainly were. German woods, which used to be uneven-age, mixed-species stands of deciduous trees, were rapidly turned into monotonous plantation-like timber factories made up predominantly of conifers. They were first domesticated, then industrialized and finally militarized — uniform trees marching in rows, forming green brigades and battalions, ready for orders.
    The recent structure of forests in Germany mirrors these two hundred years of militarization and, from nature’s point of view, of alienation.” …
    …”The major positions in forestry administration and at university forestry departments were filled with clear-cut hardliners. Divergent views and ”soft” practices were simply not taken seriously. They were ridiculed as unscientific and were sometimes even suppressed. Forestry faculties at university and forestry trade schools, for instance, refused to offer courses with an ecological orientation until the 1980s.
    Take for example the ANW, an association founded in 1950 by the heirs of Gayer and Möller, a mere two dozen forest owners, practitioners and scientists, for the study and propagation of a forest management ”in accordance with nature” (“naturgemäss”). When I joined ANW in the mid-seventies, membership was hardly more than twice this number. I remember our annual May convention at that time: in some forest young and old were standing in one big circle, hotly discussing the finer points of ecological forestry. Thus the vision of an alternative forestry was preserved; and it was passed on from white-haired elders to the next generation like a secret torch of wisdom — much as early Christianity in the Roman underground catacombs. Today, membership has risen to over three thousand. Annual conventions nowadays must take place in town halls seating eight hundred people and pose formidable challenges in logistics. A few years ago PRO SILVA, the European federation of ecological foresters, was founded and numbers currently close to five thousand members.”
    This article was written in October 1996.
    If anyone likes to get a copy of the full story, feel free to let me know.

    The ‘ProSilva’ movement has well over 6000 members in many countries.
    There is also the ‘Forest Guild’ in the United States with much of the same way of approach.
    There is a lot of good quality information on the net and members are very willing to share.
    I think it is time to have David Bowman PhD and others involved in exploring the future of forestry in Tasmania.

  5. Stu

    April 2, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Frank, putting aside your denigration (as I see it) of my education (suggesting that I’m incapable of thinking independently of the ‘eucalypt silviculture’ of wood production forestry and nothing else) and my questioning of your Master Forester credentials (the term ‘Master’ would generally be seen as a Masters Degree to my way of thinking – if you do have a MD as I see it then I do apologise) I do have a serious question. How do you suggest we manage wet eucalypt forests accross the landscape? Should they all be managed (with or without selective logging) to allow succession to rainforest whereby the eucs die out?

  6. William Boeder

    April 2, 2013 at 2:07 am

    #59. Peter Henning your comment is quite meritorious in this matter, right on the money.
    Some 3 or so years ago there were 3-4 ‘initials only persons’ and or persons of in-substantive wit that were writing under a pseudonym and hell bent on trashing the comments and facts contained there-within as submitted by genuine true-blue Tas Times attendees.

  7. Clive Stott

    April 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    True Leonard in #63, but Stu is uni trained so he has worked out already I am referring to his chosen forestry career.
    In this case it could be months, weeks, or days, who knows until he answers.

  8. Leonard Colquhoun

    April 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Comment 61’s asking “how many years of gaining experience have you had since your uni days?” could be asked of every State and Federal Labor MP, but, for most, it would need to be rephrased as “how many months of . .”, or even “how many weeks of . .”.

    Of course, when you find what the experience was “of”, you’d ask yourself “Why TF did I ask?”

  9. Russell

    April 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Re #58
    Stu, how misinformed can you be?

    However, I’ll answer your misinformation point by point:

    1. FT converts native forests converted into plantations and uses chemicals to keep weeds down.

    2. All chemical use is unwarranted and unnecessary. Just because one does it doesn’t mean its ok for another.

    3. 1080 use has not been “banned” in state forests. FT pretends it doesn’t do it anymore by passing that job over to the Fox Task Farce.

    4. Have a look at a logging operation or two.

  10. Clive Stott

    April 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    55.Stu how many years of gaining experience have you had since your uni days?

  11. Frank Strie

    April 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Now that I am back at work post Easter, I just like to follow up on #43 “Stu’s” fishy fingers.
    “Stu” thought he was doing a swiftie on Frank’s credibility and professional standing with the claim: “Whilst it is an easy mistake to translate FWM as Master Forester …” etc. Not so!
    Just to make sure this ‘cheap hooker’ does not get away with claiming some fish bounty he does not deserve, I need to confirm that Frank Strie does not make things up on the run or makes false claims about his qualifications, never had and never will.

    “Stu” could get a copy of the Federal Department for Food, Agriculture and Forestry: BMELF (Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Foresten) Sammlung forstlicher Fachbegriffe Deutsch – Englisch

    Quote on page 30:
    Forstwirtschaftsmeister -master forester

    In English language skills for professionals in forestry and – HAWK
    http://www.hawk-hhg.de/…/GWPM_Englisch_language... – Lehrveranstaltungen/Exkursionen. Empfohlene Literatur. BMELV (Hrsg.) 1998: Sammlung forstlicher Fachbegriffe (Deutsch-Englisch).

    This should just about explain it ones and for all.
    As I suggested previously, further details are available in the 85 page report about education and training opportunities in modern, responsible forest management in Europe and the USA.
    sadly, Tasmania has gone backwards in regard to forestry training and education, as we all know, the employment outlook is looking worse.
    No changed thinking, planning and practice will achieve no better outcomes.

    Without directing individual blame here, as it stands “Stu’s” forestry practice record is a consequence of Tasmania’s unsustainable era of forest conversion, enabled by the short lived woodchip export frenzy.
    There is a reason why I suggested a few times previously that the idea and foundation of even age-class clearfell tree cropping around the world was in 1858 in Germany.
    ‘Pressler and Faustmann’ just to name the two key figures.
    Yes, as I see it for some time now, Tasmania’s forestry leadership got stuck in that outdated, simplistic KISS way of thinking.
    The industry leaders had a brilliant, unique chance to manage forests properly, but the failed because they never allowed the creation of a vision for holistic forestry.
    As far back as 1994, Tasmanian born, Australian Forester Mark Leech was a co-author of the Conference Paper titled ’ProSilva:quality management in our forests’.
    But what did we get for it from the Industry and the ENGOs?
    When assessing the reality of proud “Stu”, Rolley and Gordon, and many like minded individuals in the Institute of Forests of Australia (IFA) their thinking is still dominated by Eucalypt regeneration.
    As we know, the public pine plantations were sold for need of urgent cash, Eucalypts and Pines are pioneer species and they respond to catastrophic fire. So these species will survive a hotter, dryer climate, not so the rainforest.
    The fact is that post 1959, in Tasmania (Australia) the reclassification of rainforest suited the Eucalypt based industries.
    This is also the reason why we have down here so called “minor species”, or more recently changed to “Special Species”.

    To quote Prof. David Bowman (Hobart) “Giant eucalypts were originally classified as rainforest species, but were reclassified as a unique vegetation type …” http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/11/01/3623363.htm
    < Giant eucalypts sent back to the rainforest > News in Science …

    “Rather than seeing them in isolation they should be regarded as long-lived rainforest pioneers and a part of that ecosystem.”

    Unique type of vegetation
    Giant eucalypts were originally classified as rainforest species, but were reclassified as a unique vegetation type after it was discovered by foresters in 1959 that they needed the ash bed that follows a bushfire for their seeds to germinate.

    “This classification has serious scientific and conservation implications for thinking about the remaining forests of mature (old growth) giant eucalypts,” says Bowman.

    “Giant trees have huge value for the timber industry, yet there are strong environmental reasons for their protection.

    “Classification as rainforest trees, albeit those with a unique dependence on fire, adds support to arguments in favour of old growth conservation.”

    Sadly they even sucked in people like the fine wood workers like George Harris and Associates, and many others who made a living on the back of the cheap glut of forest conversion, and most Politicians ever since.
    As professional woodworker Ian Hewitt told me last week that for the products his clients demand: “Blackheart Sassafras is almost commercially extinct”.
    So, what are we doing to grow it back?

  12. Peter Henning

    April 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Claire and Frank, perhaps the most serious weakness in the Tas Times “code of conduct” for comments is that it gives free rein to the anonymous and pseudonymous to attack people who write under their own names.

    This is a fundamental corruption of the principle of natural justice. By refusing to adhere to proper standards when allowing anoymity, Tas Times has enabled vested interests to comment without requiring them to be identified.

    This is akin to the corruption of proper processes we see occurring in the political domain in various ways. It could be likened to the way that secrecy is now so normalised in the political culture that transparency is dead and buried.

    What we are seeing with the abuse of anonymity is “vested interests in confidence”, in the same way that “commercial in confidence” has been abused without challenge to hide the dispersal of public funds.

  13. Stu

    April 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    #55 Russell Russell Russell ? Why don’t you actually read my comments. I referred to native forests and here you are talking about plantations. If you want to complain about chemical use then agriculture is where you should start, not with forestry. Congratulations on bringing up 1080, its use on State forest has been banned for a number of years now. 5 spindly saplings doesn’t even warrant a reply. Honestly!

  14. Claire Gilmour

    April 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

    (52 – Stu) says … “I’ve never said anything like that about anyone else in my life but then I’ve never come across someone like you before either.” Bet you say that to all the girls/boys! You must mean – such a charming smile, very cute and all sweetness and light, someone who lives and thinks outside the box!!! Sounds like I’ve gotten under your skin. Surely that can’t simply be from some words on TT. It sounds like we might have met, which narrows things down a bit. Or do you mean someone who has lived for so many years so close to FT operations and experienced first hand the negatives, taken the time to investigate, provided feedback and refuses to be intimidated, controlled, fed bull by some government paid lackeys? And a tiny little woman to boot! Oh well, at least if something does happen to me, authorities (well at least some TT ‘investigators’) will know where to start looking first.

    You say in (comment 51) … “I am confident that I can back up everything that I’ve said to counteract utter rubbish and blatant crap.” No-one in the government/FT including you has supplied me any proof of what FT did or didn’t do prior to and during the fire. Let’s see some action and not all talk “Stu” – you talk about one being unbiased, thinking outside the square … somewhat of an oxymoron considering you’re apparently entrenched, up to your eye balls inside the box.

    I suggest to you that FT management has spent more time and money on the easy street deal of purposefully burning native forest than protecting neighbours and communities from fires.


    Enjoy the ride, cos it ain’t going to last much longer … 😉


    Claire Gilmour
    Shakespeare Hills, Rocky Cape, Tasmania

  15. Russell

    March 31, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Re #55
    In real world practice under FT ‘aggregated rention silviculture’ means that maybe 5 spindly saplings per hectare are left remaining.

    Are you also going to answer my questions regarding chemicals in #42 ?

  16. Clive Stott

    March 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Stu how many years of gaining experience have you had since your uni days?

  17. Frank Strie

    March 31, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Re: # 51 “gone fishing”

    “Stu” is accused of “being nasty and putting people down” because he / she is hiding his/her identity and at the same time continues to ignore the mixed forests for all the Eucalypts / pioneer species he/she wants to regenerate.
    The forests do not end with the Eucalypts, do you understand?
    David Bowman PhD: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/11/01/3623363.htm

    The fact is that I was in contact with Andreas Rothe (PhD) before he visited Tasmania for the conference to arrange a visit to various forests in Tasmania. We had agreed to meet post conference as I (at the time as a FSC Australia Director) was in Perth WA during the Conference and was therfore unable to meet.
    The planned get together and information exchange never happened as it turned out.
    Anyhow, what I am saying and stand for is that there are credible ways around the world that provide good understanding of responsible, sustainable process.
    The fact is that over the last 25 years the forests and many water catchments have been degraded by the same people in the same organisation that tried to pretend that they are acting as “Stewards of the Forests” at the same time as they were converting them as fast as it was possible on the woodchip export wave and the MIS “Ponzi scheme”.
    The very people in leading positions and senior members of the IFA and directors in a number of industry organisations were setting the forest conversion up, they also invited / lured potential investors to Tasmania and then created the mess we are now in.
    So the qualifications gained at the ANU in Canberra and in Creswick, Melbourne Uni were used to miss-manage Tasmania and other public forests in Mainland Australia, even Solomon Islands for that matter. There are names attached and the truth is hiding under a thin layer of ash.
    Don’t get me started!
    If you call your cheap shots “gone fishing”, you just lost the take. Next time we meet you identify yourself, otherwise I am speculating if you are also one of these blokes who supervised the trashing of the mixed forests in the Upper Forth Valley, nothing to be proud about that one!

  18. Stu

    March 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

    #49 Yes Pat, I would agree with their conclusions. Given that wet forest contains trees typically >50m tall we are still talking about significant opening up of the forest, still effectively clearfelling while burning is still required. The minimum 2 tree length forms the basis for aggregated rention silviculture whereby large areas are not clearfelled in entirity but islands of mature forest are retained. This is an attempt to retain patches of relatively undisturbed mature forest within a few tree lengths of all harvested areas. This type of silviculture is practiced wideley throughout mature forest in many parts of the world. However, our wet eucalypt forests are unique in that burning is required to ensure adequate regeneration, unlike elsewhere. This certainly presents significant challenges.

  19. Stu

    March 31, 2013 at 2:58 am

    #45 … in the wake of the fire in your area, a fire that was started by a lightning strike. FT staff, all of them that were available, have sacrificed holidays, weekends, time with their families and friends, in an effort to deal with that fire. A female staff member I know of had 3 days off in a month as a result of the fire and other work that had backed up due to not being able to get everything done, not to mention the 12 hour days, day after day, potentially risking her own safety at the fire front.

    (Comment challenged and anonymous personal observations deleted)

  20. Stu

    March 31, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Yes, I have a degree in Forest Science, 4 years full time study at Melbourne Uni. First year was pretty much class based with a few field trips to get a feel for different forest types, harvesting, regeneration and an insight into some of the research going on into production forestry.
    Second and third years were at the Creswick campus, the old Victorian School of Forestry. Over those two years I would estimate that 1/3 of the time was spent in the field, 2/3 in the class. No other course at Melb Uni that I’m aware of would spend so much time outdoors, getting a feel for actual outdoor work.
    I’ve got good memories of us students spending a week harvesting and milling. Went through training to gain chainsaw licences, safety training, working to codes of practice and other stuff to prepare us for the week ahead. All students got to fall at least one tree each under instruction from an experienced faller. It was a patch of dry forest that was suitable for selective harvest. Learnt about the forest type and its’ silviculture in the class before getting into the field. Trees were processed into logs, graded and taken to the mill. Watched and learnt something as logs were cut into boards. Measured all the boards from several logs, working out recovery, board grades and value. The mill manager gave us a breakdown of the mills cost of production: cost of logs delivered to the mill, electricity, labour, drying, overheads, etc. Then had to do a significant assignment to work out the profit / loss from the logs we felled and sent to the mill based on harvest and transport costs, recovery in the mill, end value and processing costs. Assignment written to a scientific standard, referenced and marked accordingly. As part of the week we assessed the regeneration from coupes harvested in previous years by other students, developing relationships between what we had learnt in class and what we were seeing in the real world.
    Over summer breaks, as students we were required to gain work experience. All up I spent 4 months working in pine plantations, pruning trees, measuring plots, entering data, fire fighting, whatever was available. Fourth year was back at Melb, pretty much class based. Graduated and that was it for me, enough of study and keen to get out in the real world, gain experience and earn a living.
    No doubt a bit different to your experiences as a student Frank, but we did get some practical training. But guess what, the real learning starts when you gain employment and continues throughout ones career.
    As for education, I couldn’t care less what someone’s level of education is. I’ve met people with virtually no formal training who are great at what they do, even in high level positions. Also met people with PhDs who outside of their own area of expertise have no idea. What counts to me is someone who can be down to earth, rational about things, unbiased and willing to think outside the square. When someone makes untrue statements, simply makes things up, is unwilling to accept factual evidence yet can’t back up anything they say with evidence and are unable to conduct a logical and rational debate then I don’t have much time for them.
    It’s rather amusing that I’m accused of being nasty and putting people down because they don’t have a degree. I’ve gone fishing and reeled you people in. As for education, who was it that made up false assertions about what I had been taught at uni, who was it that then proceeded to tell us what a wonderful education they had received, better than everyone else, while denigrating what is taught at forestry faculties here in Aust (and continues to do so). Who is that has not been able to provide a single piece of evidence to back up their statements when I have questioned them. I’ve only ever questioned what people have had to say when they are factually wrong or have simply made something up (often bullshit due to their bias) with no evidence in support of what they have said. Go back through TT and have a look, in not one instance have any of you actually provided anything factual to show that I’ve been wrong. I’m confident that I can back up everything that I’ve said to counteract utter rubbish and blatant crap. If I’m uncertain or not willing to discuss something then I won’t. I’m happy to be proven wrong and would admit so if shown to be the case yet in not one instance has the reverse been the case. Funny how someone is so offended when I produced something from a well educated forester from the same country, familiar with European silviculture and has stated that European silviculture is not applicable to wet eucalypt forests.

  21. Clive Stott

    March 31, 2013 at 2:54 am

    This five year plan thing has me intrigued. Seems to be an excuse to sit around for pre Christmas drinks.
    How many five year plans does it take to run at a loss? Sorry to the Irish but that sounds like an Irish joke.
    Someone couldn’t devide 5 into 90 (used to be 120) so they reduced it to 47 Pete. Maybe they think it divides evenly.
    Sit on your thumb (for 47 years) and rotate!
    Like this is what our forests always did natuarally?

    Stu won’t get into the harmful smoke aspect from all the unnecessary burning. Previously got the fingers burnt.

    And we haven’t even touched on the subject of our decimated fauna from all the burning.

  22. Pat Caplice

    March 30, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Stu #43. The paper you link to was co-authored by Dr. Andreas Rothe of the Fakultät Wald und Forstwirtschaft (Faculty of Forestry), University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, Germany, along with Mark Neyland, Forestry Tasmania’s Principal Research Scientist of native forests as well as John Hickey, Forestry Tasmania’s Planning Manager.

    Do you agree with their Overall Conclusion #3 ” Forestry with light demanding species does not require large clearcuts but needs minmum openings of 2 – 5 tree lengths” and is this the basis of FT operations for these species?

  23. Leonard Colquhoun

    March 30, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    No, Comment 47, we would not be back to “We are back to the ‘if Science says it is so it must be’ argument”. If properly conducted empirical science “says it is so” in the physical world, then it is highly likely that it is so, at least until the next lot of observations and data are analysed and interpreted.

    What I reckon is meant is this: ‘if academia says it is so it must be’, which is not just quite different, it is very, very, very different. As someone reckoned mid-20th century about a crack-pot notion, ‘this idea is so stupid that it must have been dreamt up by an intellectual / academic’. A Roman bloke called Cicero reckoned much the same thing two millennia ago.

  24. Pete Godfrey

    March 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    #44 Doug I agree … I find Stu’s assertion that only a university trained forester is worth listening to appalling. We are back to the “if Science says it is so it must be” argument. Science is a system based on observation and repetition. So why is it that practical skills and in field knowledge are denigrated. I had a partner once who was a university trained forester, she spent most of her working life doing analysis of satellite images. No forestry at all, but according to Stu she is better than Frank.
    Anyway Stu as a person who has worked in the industry a long time you would also know that good forestry was not important here for the last 40 years. Woodchips were all that were really wanted and how they got them didn’t matter.
    Yes a few people made a lot of money, but how has that benefitted the state. There are a lot of bankrupt contractors, a few hundred thousand hectares of useless e.nitens plantations, lots of viable farmland that is encumbered with stupid pulp trees and hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies supplied by the Australian Taxpayer gone.
    Something to be proud of there.
    The rubbish about working to a 90 year rotation is exactly that. FT are running on a 47 year rotation (average for 2000 to 2010).

  25. Frank Strie

    March 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Re #43, It would be funny if your approach would not be so seriously nasty, hiding your identity and just aim at the bottom drawer.

    It is great to use the internet to find out of what is possible and where things are in regard to education, training and qualification opportunities.

    If you need assistance to help yourself, Forestry Tasmania and the future of Forestry in Australia as a whole aiming at creation of sustainable, meaningful, positive and motivating employment opportunities I like to suggest you have a good read of this 85 Page report and international review:
    Professions and Training in Forestry – UNECE : Results of an Inquiry in Europe and Northern America

    Whilst not mentioned in the Report, (sadly) Australia is almost a nothing in proper forestry training. The 40 years of woodchipping and quick fix trainee ships have done that.
    For years now, the ANU in Canberra could not even run a full class in forestry anymore.

    The report highlights to the person familiar with modern international training and education opportunities in forestry, which Tasmania has sadly drifted away from responsible employment, education, and training and qualification opportunities.

    You may like to do your own research about the Australian data (you may get it from Forest Works??)
    Here, just two examples I am very familiar with:
    Forest Area: Germany 11 076,000ha = 32% of land area, direct employment in forestry: 344,000 people

    Forest Area: 3 980,000ha 48% of land area;
    direct employment in forestry: 59,000 people

    There must be something very different going on up there; because these countries have 94% to 95% still have legal access to forest management.
    I recall the figure that Tasmania has ca 6.5ha/pp where as Germany 0.1ha and Austria 0.5%.

    But we have by now more than 50% of the Island’s forests locked up and no one can trust the GBE called Forestry Tasmania.

    Slovenia stopped clearfelling their forests in 1948 and since the end of the cold war, many institutions are now finding out the difference between clearfell age class tree cropping and proper management of diverse forests.

    Things are changing and I / we can only hope that things will change for the better one day in real forestry in Tasmania.

    First step would be to get out of hiding you gutless “Stu”.

    Education and training systems
    3.2.1 Two different education and training systems
    The world’s education and training systems differ significantly in relation to their structure and content. In principle, it is possible to identify two types of education and training systems: first, the dual system, comprises combined vocational and school education and training, and the second exclusively involves schoolbased education and training.

    3.2.2 The dual system
    The dual vocational training system is a particular form of vocational education and training that became established in some countries over the course of time. This form of education and training is understood as combining theoretical and general education with practical training. The theoretical education takes place in the vocational school in parallel to practical training which is carried out at the workplace. The advantages of dual vocational training are seen as lying mainly in the way in which it combines practical and theoretical dimensions.
    The dual system is found mainly in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia, and to a lesser extent in Holland, Iceland and Norway.
    Switzerland is the country with the highest percentage of young people in the world who complete an apprenticeship in the course of their educational careers. Almost two thirds of all pupils who leave the mandatory schools select this option (Avenir Suisse 2010).

    3.2.3 The school-based system
    In the majority of countries in the world, in contrast, a form of education became established which is based on a uniform organisational principle – i.e. school-based
    instruction – from primary school level through to university (Avenir Suisse 2010). In Europe, workplace apprenticeships (dual system) are not available in the southern countries like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, the Balkans or in the Anglo-Saxon countries. …

    There we have it!

  26. Claire Gilmour

    March 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    In this regard I disagree with Clive, it is very much ‘all’ about the likes of Stu. When he suggests those who don’t agree with FT management practices he ‘personally’ wouldn’t give two hoots if they or their property burnt, then it’s of major concern. I want to know just who this so called Forestry person is who apparently has no ‘personal’ care and consideration for FT neighbours and community. I want to know if he’s on any fire fighting crew, and potential risk he poses.

  27. Doug Nichols

    March 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    In #38, “Stu” said, referring to Frank Strie in #34: “I can say with confidence I have far more experience with actually walking forests in Tas and flying over them than yourself.”

    You can say that, “Stu”, but how do we know you’re not just making it up?

    I’m not sure what that sort of argument is called where an anonymous person claims they’re better at something than someone else who isn’t anonymous, but it doesn’t work, I can tell you that!

  28. Stu

    March 30, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Interesting what can be found on the internet.

    Whilst it is an easy mistake to translate FWM as Master Forester, this is not a university qualification, nor one that studies the ecology and regeneration of Australian Eucalypt forests.

    Contrast this to, Dr. Andreas Rothe of the Fakultät Wald und Forstwirtschaft (Faculty of Forestry), University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, Germany at the 2008 Old Growth conference applied the lessons from the European experience to ask the question ‘Is single tree selection suited for Tasmania´s Wet Eucalypt Forests?’

    He concluded:
    Single tree selection leads to inadequate eucalypt regeneration and that Single tree selection is not sound from an economic point of view.
    see http://oldforests.com.au/pages/Presentations/Rothe.pdf

  29. Russell

    March 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Re #30

    “Chemicals aren’t used in native forests here, never have been. You are either naive or deliberately trying to spread bullshit by giving people the impression chemicals are used.”

    And just what is sprayed over the newly planted FT euc plantations for the first two or three years? Check out FT’s own website. And just what do you think 1080 baits have in them?

  30. Russell

    March 29, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Re #38
    Unfortunately for you, your ‘arguments based on decades of peer reviewed forest research and actual real world examples’ are totally flawed in my view and have led to the absolute demise of the industry in Tasmania.

    Only two words are required to totally debunk any argument you put up – NO PROFIT.

  31. Clive Stott

    March 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    38. Stu this is not about you. Anyone that has to go on with upmanship to get a point across… what was it now?

    You accuse others of not answering. Did you answer #35?
    “What about population health?
    Can I bring you back to addressing pernicious smoke from forestry burning?…”

    #36 Robin thanks for that.
    People are almost living a 90 year rotation now (save for forestry smoke). You are suggesting we all make a 5 year plan?
    What good will that do us if we are not here (as looks the case with FT)?

  32. William Boeder

    March 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    #36 Robin Halton, can you please explain why this 90 year harvest and rotation methodology has been so aggressively violated just recently by your former employers, and is F/Ts grave desperation in their so doing, a pure result of their now proven poorly planned unsustainable loss-making logging forays, that gave them their notoriety of being nothing more than a mob of Old Growth Forest pillagers and plunderers.

    That those huge volume log supply contracts have been signed for- by the collective of logging industry knowledgable directors for such vast amounts of log supply through and until until 2027, this refers to the sought for wood-chippable only Native Forest log supply, also the contracted exportation volume of logs to China, then the highly optimistic quota awarded to the Ta Ann overlording Evan Rolley of Ta Ann.

    Now Robin, are you able to source some form of photo evidence that will support your claim and also provide photographic evidence that; ‘these blocks of coupes state wide within that time frame for the purposes of harvest and regeneration based on a 90 year rotation for eucalypt rich areas,’ to show us proof that these supposed blocks of coupes, (as so referred to by you,) actually do exist today?
    Tis my belief that this sort of ‘once upon a time planned for regeneration program’ is now little more than a 90 year old Forestry Tasmania spieled myth.
    Beware you are not being foozled by your long past nostalgic recall of what was once the proposal, but nowadays is nought but another Forestry Tasmania issued, meaningless misleading disposal.

    I would like you to prove me wrong regarding ‘this 90 year rotation of blocks of coupes state wide’ matter Robin, if so I will then humbly apologize to you via this forum?

  33. Stu

    March 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

    #34 I suggest you get out in the forests and actually have a look at what past fires have done. Yes, in numerous instances they do go for ha and ha, removing all trees and in your words, setting the clock back to zero. I can say with confidence I have far more experience with actually walking forests in Tas and flying over them than yourself. Smaller patches of even aged wet euc forest from a few ha to extensive areas having been regenerate from catastrophic fire. 1967 fires in southern Tas and Black Saturday 2009 show what fire can do in a matter of hours, incinerate a few hundred thousand ha.

    So what if clear felling has been used elsewhere to create ‘successful regeneration’. The fact remains those forests do not have the same fire adapted ecology as eucalypt forests.

    The presence of eucs are indicative of fire, generations of euc forests on the same site shows that fire is almost inevitable in the Tas and Aust landscape. Granted, not over every patch of forest will be burnt as the mosaic for forest types attests to, but when you look at the Tas landscape its dominated by eucs and fire. As mentioned on a previous post, the E.regnans forest of Mt Disappointment in Vic has been proven to have occurred on the site for 12,000 years, indicative of fire history regenerating the same species and forest type for 12,000 years.

    Curious Frank, ever been back to Lorrina to see how the euc regen is going where you oversaw the selective logging of viminalis at the property of Geraldine D. I saw it when the seedlings were about 10-20cm high, never been back since but I have my doubts regarding the success. Quite happy if I’m wrong and they are doing well. Got any photos to post now that the regen would be 10-12 years of age.

    Finally, it would be nice if you addressed the actual points I was referring to in earlier posts. All too easy to go on with a list of things that aren’t of direct relevance to what was the central points. Eg, chemical use and European forestry of the 1850s. Sue tried to have a go at me for not answering her questions (didn’t give me a lot of time before doing so) and when I did provide answers based on actual evidence that debunked her theories she has gone all quiet.

    #35 Read what what I’ve actually said in previous posts. My arguments are based on decades of peer reviewed forest research and actual real world examples. Unlike others that have simply made stuff up off the top of their heads.

  34. Frank Strie

    March 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Good morning readers:
    Just did a quick search for some science information in silviculture.
    This article was produced about 14 years ago in Scotland:

    Managing forests for wood yield and carbon storage: a theoretical study
    J. H. M. THORNLEY and M. G. R. CANNELL
    Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB, U.K.
    Received August 24, 1999

    Keywords: carbon, forest, management, model, nitrogen,plantation, productivity, volume yield.

    Undisturbed forests yield no timber but have a high biomass and so store large amounts of carbon (Harmon et al. 1990). On the other hand, plantation forests—which are periodically clear-felled—can give high timber yields, but, averaged over the period from planting to harvesting, contain relatively little biomass and carbon compared with undisturbed forests (Cooper
    1983, Cannell 1995). At first sight, it may be supposed that the more timber that is harvested from a forest the less carbon is stored. But, if timber were removed by regularly thinning,
    without clear-felling, would it be theoretically possible to obtain both a high sustained yield of timber and a large store of carbon? Is there a simple trade-off between these two objectives
    or is there an optimum management regime? The purpose of this study was to explore these questions.
    The answer is not self evident, because of the many interactions and feedbacks between plant and soil processes in a forest ecosystem, involving light, nutrients and water. Different management regimes perturb the system in different ways.
    Also, the answer would be difficult to derive by experimentation, because it would take centuries before valid estimates of sustained yield and carbon storage could be made. Transient responses would depend on the initial conditions and could
    differ in sign as well as magnitude from the equilibrium response.
    A model that represents all the essential interacting processes offers a way forward.
    In this paper, we use the Edinburgh Forest Model to estimate sustained timber volume yield and carbon storage in forests subjected to different harvesting regimes. The model is parameterized to simulate a pine forest in the climate of Scotland,
    but the principles elucidated may apply more widely.
    Source: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Regular+thinning+and+harvesting+every+5+years+&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDcQFjAB&url=http://treephys.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/7/477.full.pdf&ei=HvlVUYaKF8mllAW2qoH4DA&usg=AFQjCNF-_hQS6p0Sh2nq18rP3k0tH9llsQ

    So, the time may come when pine plantations on sloping ground will not be clearfelled anymore.
    Yes, time will tell.

  35. Robin Halton

    March 29, 2013 at 1:11 am

    #22, Oh Clive, Five year plans are developed to include blocks of coupes state wide within that time frame for the purpose of harvest and regeneration based on a 90 year rotation for eucalypt rich areas.
    I take it that you have never planned anything before over a specific time frame?

  36. Clive Stott

    March 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Stu you talk about ‘forest health’.
    I have read how you poohoo others and try to lecture them but what makes you right?
    Sue and Frank actually have raised very good points.

    What about population health?
    Can I bring you back to addressing pernicious smoke from forestry burning? (Yes the sh*t from the forest funeral pyres does stink AND it shortens lives).

    Don’t give us the ‘I work for them so I can’t say much’ caper.
    If there are practices you strongly disagree with it is hypercritical of you to work for who you do. Leave, so you can be true to yourself.

  37. Frank Strie

    March 29, 2013 at 12:48 am

    To the real person, still hiding behind “Stu” #30
    Relax, I am not ignorant or blind, and be assured I can in fact read forested landscapes.
    Have visited many countries and a number of continents.
    Believe it Stu, I agree that Eucalypt (pioneer species) dominated forests have some special features, however as David Bowman PhD has pointed out a number of times now, forests in Australia are in constant transition depending of events and succession progress.
    The clearfell argument “successful regeneration” was used in Europe, Scandinavia and the United States of America in many states and countries, nothing unique about that.

    For example, just look how even age pine crops / plantations are managed for bulk, clearfell and regeneration by planting. (Pines are pioneer species like Eucalypts and Acacias).
    Is that as good as it gets? I like to suggest we could do a lot better with a holistic approach.
    When it comes to timber quality, trees from clearfell regeneration are not equal to properly regenerated trees in managed space and part shade.
    There are differences of shade, from light / shade from above not simply light from above and only from shade the side due to competition of same aged trees.
    The fact is that when a fire runs through a mature mixed wet forest with rich flora diversity and understorey and downers, ferns and mosses, the fire still do not remove all the trees as a typical clearfell does over hectares and hectares.
    Yes, there are hotspots and there are some cool areas, moist areas and dry zones.
    Soil type, depth, and slope conditions, time of year etc., and a whole range of other factors influence the post fire response.
    The flora diversity bounces back according to viable seed sources and ground conditions etc.
    Forests not clearfelled continue to change over time.
    There is no guarantee that there will neve be a (natural) fire, far from it, but there is no need to use catastrophic event practices to manage forests for optimum value.
    The fact is that forestry in many countries has changed with continued learning process and expectations and market forces etc.
    By the way:
    Today I was at Clearance Point watching the start of the 3 Peaks Race, at the market I was chatting with a professional fine timber worker and Beekeeper.
    He told me that Black-Heart Sassafras was now “economically extinct”.
    He has inquiries for such timber species in fine furnishings, but can not supply.
    Only a few years ago (~3 years I believe he said) Black Heart Sassafras Logs her in Northern Tasmania were send to the woodchipper from a cable operation, the day before he could inspect and purchase the logs from Forestry Tasmania’s Devonport Office.
    Changing times I say.
    So hiding “Stu” (whoever you are), ‘Forest conversion Tasmania’ FcT has not managed the public forest estate sustainably, neither economically, socially or environmentally, they are stuffed, broke. Nothing good to show off with!
    Just as it is – reality bites.

  38. Clive Stott

    March 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Roger in #19.
    What do you think cigarette smoke is, what do you think 2nd hand smoke is, what do you think forestry smoke is?
    It is all fine particulate matter (PM) that causes COPD attacks that progress the disease and reduce quality of life and eventually causes death.
    Cigarettes are burning vegetation, FT smoke is burning vegetation. If cigarettes are the cause of COPD then so is FT smoke.
    People are having asthma and COPD that have never smoked cigarettes.

    Have you ever watched someone try and live with late stage COPD and then die?
    Have you ever been around someone having an asthma attack because of dirty stinking forestry smoke?

    Monica is spot on. That was one article you selectively picked bits out of and i bet you didn’t read it all.
    Do some more Googling. The peer reviewed answers are all out there.

  39. Russell

    March 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Re #27
    I agree wholeheartedly, but it can be and was summed up under the heading of “woochips and pulp.”

    Re #28
    “I often wonder if people think foresters cut down trees for the hell of it just because it’s there in order to piss people off.”

    Well, I can’t think of or have witnessed no other reason. They obviously didn’t log them for profit!

  40. Stu

    March 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    #29 Frank, unbelievable. Silviculture of the forests you talk about has no relevance to our wet eucalypt forests what so ever, hence practices here are not equal to central Europe and Scandinavia in the mid 1850s in any way at all. Your master forester accreditation obviously hasn’t taught you a thing about eucalypt silviculture. What is the relevance of your point to chemical use peaking in Germany in the 1970s? Chemicals aren’t used in native forests here, never have been. You are either naive or deliberately trying to spread bullshit by giving people the impression chemicals are used.

  41. Frank Strie

    March 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Hello Sue DeNim,
    You stated and asked #21: …” ‘adequate regen’. What do you mean by adequate? Do you mean heavily biased towards eucalypt only and minimisation of blackwood, myrtle, celery top, dogwood, sassafras, cheese wood etc. ? FT makes much of its thinning practices, the so called “leaving the best and taking the rest”. Its seems to me this overabundance of re-gen and hence knock back of underlings due to light and nutrient competition is excessive and unnecessary. I am aware that competition for light makes for optimal saw log growth form (tall and straight), but surely a lesser stocking rate or the same stocking rate but with a mix of specialty species understorey could achieve the same growth form with the wider benefits of a wider species mix, minimal soil disturbance, nutrient return, no clearfell and no re-gen burns?
    Yes the eucalypt biomass might be less and yes the harvest rotation times might be longer but are these concessions tolerable considering these other gains?”

    Very good and valid questions Sue.
    The situation of thinking and practice by the Eucalypt focused industry in Tasmania and Victoria is equal to the historic position developed in mid 1850s in Central Europe and Scandinavia.
    Just to name but two examples here, the German and Swedish Forest Management approach was for 150 years dominated to harvest and regrow key tree species as planned in crop rotations / area rotation (age class) rather than individual tree rotations.
    Clearfelling of coupes /patches was the dominating practice of such tree cropping.
    When I began my initial well structured training program in 1975, this was the agenda.
    Our forestry nurseries applied regularly plenty of chemicals to keep weeds out and insects down…
    That changed over the following 5 years.
    Chemical use in German forestry had peaked in the mid 70s.
    All history now…
    Thinking, planning and practice changed a great deal for the better, in fact the state owned forest nurseries were all closed a few years later.
    before we moved to Tasmania, I was the Master Forester (Forstwirtschaftsmeister) during the 1980s in Esslingen am Neckar. Our 2 Nurseries were managed chemically free,the attitude was about working with nature and people, not against.

    One Nursery was next to the Training Center we established, observation and trials were key issues of the structred 3 year training program per Forestry Apprentice.

    The training was about the whole forest, not just trees. It was about management of forests – not just trees. It was not only about harvesting, take away logging but management of the whole estate for optimum, sustainable outcome in a tripl bottom line approach, economic+social+environmental sustainability.

    May I say that the Training Centre that I helped to start, establish and managed for nearly 7 years has since more than doubled in size.
    There is something to show and enjoy.

    Now, the reverse happend in Tasmania over the last 25 years as we know.

    Training and education in forestry in Tasmania and Australia is at an all time low. But the people that managed the situation are still in their positions and still get supported and respected by the political players.
    We still have not reached rock bottom.

    Now, to get to your questions, you may like to read the article: http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0111-sweden-mixed-forests.html

    Time will tell

  42. Stu

    March 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    #26 It’s not a case of misguided intervention. I often wonder if people think foresters cut down trees for the hell of it just because it’s there in order to piss people off. The vast majority of foresters, myself included, are deeply appreciative of our forested landscapes and all they encompass. The fact is, there is a timber industry that to be understood has to be looked at from its historical base from the time of colonisation to where it is today. It is based upon the need to develop a society utilising raw materials at hand, while continuing economic and social development of a society through time with the inevitable political intervention. In this respect Tassie is no different to anywhere else on the planet. Places such as Europe just happen to have all but completely exhausted natural forest landscapes and associated plants and animal species 1000 years ago. Tassie is incredibly fortunate in that it has so much of its natural forests left and putting aside the extent of logging that has occurred, it is still one of the most protected places on earth. Whether you like it or not, society through elected governments has decided to continue with a native forest industry. As a forester I have had to work within the current laws and practices to try and get the best possible environmental outcomes while producing timber. I have not always agreed with some of the things I have had to do but have had to work within the constraints. I take comfort in knowing that our eucalypt forests are perhaps the most resilient forests in the world with respect to significant disturbance, whether natural catastrophic fire or clearfell logging and silvicultural regeneration.

    As for trees at landings, go and have a look and think about it. There is always going to a level of waste from defective sections of trees brought to the landing. If a tree is found to be entirely defective then its left where it’s felled. As for why the forest industry has all but collapsed, I’m not prepared to start discussing this on this site. It has numerous causes and that is where I shall leave it.

  43. Leonard Colquhoun

    March 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Surely there are other reasons, some of which may be more or less important, “why the forest industry has collapsed” (Comment 26).

    My very general impressions are:

    (i) that Tasmania once had a loose collection of small, self-sufficient local artisanal businesses which got aggregated into a whole-of-state large-scale industrial operation; and,

    (ii) that the State government got far too involved, way beyond both its responsibilities and its (diminishing) area of expertise, with the almost inevitable result

    (iii) that decisions were being made for political reasons by people (whom we glorify with the title “representatives”) who increasingly had no clue about running a tap, let alone anything so complex as an export industry.

    Our MPs are increasingly, and worryingly, more kidult than adult.

    As Sir Christopher Wren’s epitaph says: “look around you”.

  44. Russell

    March 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Re #25
    If you believe what you’ve just written, then you will also have contemplated and understood as you ask of others that forests regenerate naturally and don’t need our misguided intervention.

    “Finally, the only material that needs to be heaped in order to burn well is bark and limb wood that accumulates at landings.” Then why are whole trees there – blackwoods, myrtle, sassafras, etc?

    I note both you and Robin never mention the reason why the forest industry has collapsed – ie: it is based on woodchips and pulp extraction, not timber.

  45. Stu

    March 28, 2013 at 2:50 am


    The question to you Sue is, are you philosophically opposed to timber production? If yes then that is your view and I’m not going to try and change your opinion. However, we have a history of timber production that started with colonisation and it continues to generate wealth and jobs. I’m not going to reply to anyone that comes back at me with an argument about forestry being a money losing exercise. Yes, FT is losing money at present, a lot of it. Even if the loss is $25m/year, put it in perspective. I’m keeping the figures simple for the sake of the exercise but think about the following.

    100,000 cubic metres of sawlog
    35% green sawn recovery in the mill = 35,000 cubic metres
    25,000 cubic metres once dried and machined (value-adding)
    $4,000 / cubic metre = $100M

    I’m being very conservative with the figures – I can’t remember actual total value of native forest products produced on an annual basis but it is several hundred million per year. Products are either sold in Tas or exported. If the industry ceases then Tas has lost considerable export dollars and products utilised here will substituted by imports, more dollars lost. Forestry as a money making industry is not any profit / loss by FT but the value generated in the mills and processing industries, associated jobs and taxes generated for the state.

    Back to the trees, wet eucalypt forests are the most productive timber producing forests we have. Contrary to the wrong opinions of many on this site, selective logging of wet forests does not result in adequate regen but is akin to a mining operation, extracting sawlogs and leaving trees of pulp quality to regenerate should a fire occur at a later date. Trees are no different to agricultural stock, crops or people, breed from crap and the next generation is crap.

    As for the photos of timber that could be extracted as firewood and perhaps a very small volume of low quality sawlog, I’m happy to see most of it burnt. Why? Larger material is only scorched, leaving woody debris to slowly rot over decades on the forest floor, providing important habitat for a diverse range of insects, lichen and fungi, as happens in naturally regenerated forests. I have concerns with the idea of removing such material for firewood or renewable electricity production on a large scale due to the potential negative impacts upon ecosystem diversity and long-tern forest health. Finally, the only material that needs to be heaped in order to burn well is bark and limb wood that accumulates at landings. If you want to learn any more about forest ecology or management practices you may get more from asking questions than reasoning (wrongly) off the top of your head.

  46. Stu

    March 28, 2013 at 2:48 am

    #21 Sue, given I’d been out for the afternoon and having had dinner with friends you should have allowed a bit more time before reasoning off the top of your head. Again, I’m going to tell you are wrong and why. Nothing personal but all I’d like to see is some facts in any debate rather than half truths and bullshit. My experience in the industry hasn’t left me blind to questionable practices and reasoning. You don’t know me or what my views are but a few people that contribute to this site do know me. They know that I question a lot of things going on in forestry and that I am in fact very critical of some forestry practices. However, as critical as I am, I’m not about to share my concerns with you or others on this site for professional and personal reasons. What I will do is attempt to correct blatant rubbish that flies in the face of all evidence and logical reasoning.

    For a start, your studies of forest ecology and management leaves a bit to be desired. You obviously didn’t read my post on another topic about the history and ecology of the E.regnans forest of Mt Disappointment in Victoria. If you had, and by read it I mean think about it and actually learn something, then you would advance your understanding of wet eucalypt forest considerably.

    In the natural environment, wet eucalypt forest predominantly occurs as even aged stands and regenerates following severe wildfire. Severe fire kills most wet eucalypt species and totally removes all understorey species and organic matter leaving mineral soil, an ash bed. Eucalypt seed is released from the crowns post fire. All understorey species regenerate from ground stored seed, windblown seed, animal and bird dispersal or lignotubers. All the understorey species, including rainforest species, persist and slowly grow with a natural eucalypt stocking of seedlings in the order of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of seedlings per hectare. As the forest grows the eucs thin themselves out through severe competition, only the tallest and most vigorous surviving until the stocking is ultimately reduced to perhaps 50 stems/ha or less by several hundred years of age. All the understorey species persist with the exception of a few such as silver wattle or blackwood that die out by about 100-200 years of age, their seed lying dormant in the soil until the next catastrophic fire. With few exceptions there is no euc regen until the next fire. So there is the answer to your question of what is adequate regen – naturally very high stockings of even aged eucs that allows self thinning based upon genetic diversity and natural evolutionary processes that have favoured tall, straight, dominant trees to develop over numerous forest generations, often dominated by a single eucalypt species. Silvicultural regen following burning of logging slash results in stockings that are usually in the order of a few thousand seedlings / ha so don’t bother trying to suggest that FT is somehow trying to create an overabundance of regen. As for timber volumes, a site is only capable of growing so much wood / ha / year, whether initial stocking is a few thousand or hundreds of thousands stems/ha. Stocking affects the rate of self thinning and diameter growth, volume production is determined by biological limits and not stocking, unless that stocking is exceptionally and un-naturally low, eg: that produced by not burning.

  47. Robin Halton

    March 28, 2013 at 12:46 am

    #12 Monica and #13 Anom, Not a very good forecast is it, as many deaths will be expected to occur during the regeneration burning over the Easter break, campers will perish from the fumes of camp fires and wood heater owners will manage to kill off the remaining population over the winter!

    By now then I should be dead although I dont smoke except when I was a primary school pupil at the convent (who could blame me, a packet of US Phillip Morris cork tips was better than wasting six pence on the plate at Sunday Mass to support a grumpy old Irish priest)!

    I regularly engage in healthy exercise cutting firewood and camping out in the cooler months using open fire for cooking and for warmth.
    We use a wood heater at home burning about 6-7 M3 of dry peppermint firewood pa., always stockpiling while there is still access to the public forests!
    The cutting, splitting, carting and stacking equates to healthy exercise, the day I have to cease this activity it will be my death.

    Combining Physical activity with bonding outdoors with my family and friends brings me back to my child hood holidays at Tyenna, Lake St Clair, Great Lake, or down at Bruny and Recherche cray fishing off the rocks.
    All healthy stuff, its a pity that many young ones today dont engage more with exercise during everyday living. There was nothing wrong with cutting the sticks, setting the fire and bringing the wood in for the night.

    #19 Roger, just as I thought Monica has made it up to scare the population that they must not use fire for any form of daily living.

    Anyway all the best to everybody, have a happy and safe Easter.

  48. Clive Stott

    March 28, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Robin, don’t go quiet on us now.
    In #2 you wrote something about a “five year harvest/regeneration plan schedules.”

    Are you saying harvesting is going to be done every five years? Burning the same land every five years?

    And the bit about “holding up [the]forest regeneration progress”.
    The only thing that holds that up is the unnatural clear felling and burning.
    You make out forestry has the power to part the waves.

    We can’t even enjoy a nice wine at times without it tasting of smoke.
    It should be mandatory to include this in the list of contents that it may contain forestry smoke and attached toxins.

  49. Sue DeNim

    March 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Nice to see neither Stu or Robin tackled any of my specific questions. I would hardly say my reasoning is off the top of my head.
    I have actually studied forest ecology and forest management practices relatively recently.
    Could it be possible your ‘experience’ in the industry has made you blind to questionable practices and reasoning.
    Those who have been perpetrating certain practices for many years find it difficult to comes to terms with the fact they might be wrong because it casts doubt
    on their own judgement and self opinion.

    Again I say you are coming from a standpoint of ‘forest management’ purely for promotion of the eucalypt species alone and maximising profit alone.
    (strange as its never happened in a true sense anyway). From this standpoint your arguments are probably true, although very myopic.
    I and others who argue against you are trying to come from a sustainability, whole forest and community perspective. This is the new paradigm we are trying to work towards.
    Hence the allusions to ‘the 21st century’.

    Your arguments are also full of holes. First we hear that slash in a wet forest has to be piled to dry to burn well. Are we to surmise from this that if it were left scattered evenly on the forest floor it would remain damp and not burn so well, continuing to rot and break down and actually suppressing wildfire? I suspect this would be the case, especially if some canopy were retained through selective logging, allowing less light and airflow to dry it out, hence increasing the decay process.

    You also talk of ‘adequate regen’. What do you mean by adequate? Do you mean heavily biased towards eucalypt only and minimisation of blackwood, myrtle, celery top, dogwood, sassafras, cheese wood etc. ? FT makes much of its thinning practices, the so called “leaving the best and taking the rest”. Its seems to me this overabundance of re-gen and hence knock back of underlings due to light and nutrient competition is excessive and unnecessary. I am aware that competition for light makes for optimal saw log growth form (tall and straight), but surely a lesser stocking rate or the same stocking rate but with a mix of specialty species understorey could achieve the same growth form with the wider benefits of a wider species mix, minimal soil disturbance, nutrient return, no clearfell and no re-gen burns?
    Yes the eucalypt biomass might be less and yes the harvest rotation times might be longer but are these concessions tolerable considering these other gains?

    Would anyone else other than the myopic Robin or Stu like to tell me I am wrong?

  50. john hayward

    March 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    The logging industry seems to share with most two-year-olds, and criminals, an inability to appreciate that they don’t have a right to harm others in pursuit of gratification.

    It isn’t as though Tassie logging is any net benefit to the majority.

    John Hayward

  51. Roger

    March 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Re # 12 Monica,
    I think most COPD suffers (80-90%) are chronic smokers

    I’d like to know where your “quotes” come from.

  52. Sue DeNim

    March 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Exactly Spadgie. What Robin and Stu don’t seem to be able to understand is we want to know the definition of the terminology of ‘adequate’ and ‘better’ regen that they use?
    This terminology only refers to reharvest output, and profit margins and have nothing to do with catchment health, soil protection, animal protection, public health etc. These are things that must be considered in a wholistic approach to sustainable forest management that benefits the community and the forest.
    You can bleet on all you like about ‘adequate’ regen and maximisation of re-harvest returns. You are more than likely absolutely correct but I thought we were at a time where this can’t be our only consideration any more?

  53. Clive Stott

    March 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Stu #’s 14 & 10:
    Why don’t you do your own research rather than expect others to do it for you?

  54. Spadgie

    March 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Why do we need FT to manage our wet eucalypt forests in the first place? Haven’t they managed themselves quite well for the last umpteen million years before we decided that they needed “managing”?
    More about money, I suppose. Nothing to do with forest management.

  55. Russell

    March 27, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Re #11
    “If anyone can convince me that the wet forest eucalypts can be regenerated on a scale that provides future timber for the State without the use of fire then go ahead!”

    Robin, you completely miss the point! Without the not-for-profit woodchip or pulp supply in the equation any longer, there is already plenty of mature timber forever into the future for the State’s mills even if it’s selctively harvested. Therefore there is NO NEED to clearfell and burn whole areas.

  56. Stu

    March 27, 2013 at 10:15 am

    As I don’t have statistics at my disposal to argue one way or the other, I’m not prepared to make any clear statement. What I would like to know is, what are the increases in negative health impacts, hospital admissions, premature deaths, etc.(if any) from smoke following bushfires as against regen burns and fuel reduction burns. There must be some data to provide evidence one way or the other. I need to see official data from the Health Dept, not some half baked response and questionable sources from someone with vested interests. Can we deal with the facts please.

  57. Anom

    March 27, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Everyone in Tasmania who burns from Forestry Tasmania to the person burning a domestic woodfire all contribute to the problem of wood smoke which is extremely toxic and full of at least 26 different types of carcinogens ranging from benzene and formaldehyde to nitrogen and sulphur dioxides, not to mention all the particulate matter that renders Launie, Hobart and every other town unliveable.

    Health effects include stroke, cardiac arrest, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, lung cancers, throat cancers, oesophageal cancers, breast cancers. Some of these are fatal diseases, and wood smoke does kill people, with premature deaths in the hundred annually in Tasmania

    Tasmania’s reputation for autumn and winter pollution are keeping the professional class away. There are mainlanders who would come and bring tech jobs to Tasmania, who stay away, myself included. I’d only employ 12-15 people, but hey if you don’t want $100,000 a year jobs because you want to be idiots then I’ll move my company to North Queensland instead.

    Ignorance of the chemistry and the health effects stops effective laws from being made.


  58. Monica

    March 27, 2013 at 6:00 am

    There is never a valid reason to kill and harm people with wood smoke.

    Wood stove smoke is 27 times more harmful then cigarette smoke. Fireplaces and outdoor burning is exponentially worse.

    Benzene found as a cause for Myleofibrosis which is closely related to and can turn into Leukemia. Benzene is plentiful in wood smoke.

    Smoke kills 60,000 U.S. Citizens a year; 3 million world wide. Respiratory illness is largest killer of infants. 4 People die daily in WA from Asthma attacks. Wood smoke is a major trigger. 1 in 10 children have Asthma. Infants who are exposed to wood smoke pollution early in life are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Asthma by age 5. Infants 17% increase in SIDS risk with wood smoke exposure. Asthma, COPD, Lung Cancer are increasing. 20-year study found that COPD patients are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than normal lung folks are. 80% of air pollution is residential indoor/outdoor wood burning; not traffic/industry. Dioxin from smoke most toxic substance on earth. Dioxin is passed from Mothers to infants. Wood smoke triggers heart attacks. 73% of wildfires are human caused not lightening. 53% of lives, acres, strucures lost and cost to fight are from human caused fires. All wood burning aggravated/caused disease costs all of us billions in medical costs, billions in taxes to fight human caused structure/wildfires and increased home/medical insurance premiums. We all pay for this problem.

    1 in 2 deaths in the USA had COPD as a cause/contributor but 1 in 2 are NOT cigarette smokers. 120,000 people die each year from COPD. 4 people die every minute. 550,000 hospitalizations per year, 16 million office visits per year, and $13 billion per year in medical costs, including home care. A 20-year study found that COPD patients are five times more likely to develop lung cancer. A recent study shows “At least 93 per cent of those who had COPD were not tobacco smokers,”. 23% of COPD occurrs in age groups less than 40 years. It is not just an old persons disease. At least 12 million have undiagnosed COPD.
    More people die from air pollution then car wrecks, fires and poisoning combined.

    Tobacco use is illegal in public places, yet Lung Cancer is the most prevalent, hardest to detect early and treat. It is the number one killer in the USA of all types of cancer. It is the number 2 cause of death from all diseases in the US. It kills more women then breast and cervical cancer combined. It costs billions of dollars yearly!

    Wood smoke pollution particles are so small that they enter homes/schools/public buildings even with all the doors, windows, heat/ventilation closed. The level of indoor air pollution is typically equal to 70% of the outdoor pollution level. Heat/AC/ventilation exhaust systems PULL smoke in!

    Not just short term intense exposure but also Long term exposure to low-levels of wood smoke increases the risk of all diseases.

    The US Surgeon General: research shows there is no safe level of ambient wood smoke. Wood smoke is harmful to human health at all levels!

    Benzene found as a cause for Myleofibroisi which is closely related to and can turn into Luekemia.

    Latest censu shows most who heat with wood can easily afford to pay for non-wood heat.

    The US EPA warns that exposure to a fraction of a nanogram of PAH increases our risk of developing cancer.

    Woodsmoke contains several carcinogens, including benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, formaldehyde. Burning 1 kg of wood in a modern heater produces more benzo[a]pyrene than the smoke from 27,000 cigarettes; more benzene and formaldehyde than the smoke of 6,000 cigarettes. Outdoor burning is exponentially worse! Including wood cooking and meat smokers!!!

    Burning two cords of wood produces the same amount of mutagenic particles as: Driving 13 gasoline powered cars 10,000 miles each at 20 miles/gallon or driving 2 diesel powered cars 10,000 miles each @ 30 miles/gallon. These figures indicate that the worst contribution that an individual is likely to make to the mutagenicity of the air is using a wood stove for heating. Outdoor fires are exponentially worse!

    Free radicals produced from wood smoke are chemically active for twenty minutes; tobacco smoke free radicals are chemically active for thirty seconds. Wood smoke free radicals attack our body’s cells and stress our immune systems up to forty times longer then tobacco smoke increasing our risk of ALL diseases and infections.

    Wood smoke can travel 700 miles and can stay near the ground up to 3 weeks. You dont need to smell smoke for it to harm health.

  59. Robin Halton

    March 27, 2013 at 1:17 am

    If anyone can convince me that the wet forest eucalypts can be regenerated on a scale that provides future timber for the State without the use of fire then go ahead!
    Selective logging Eucalypt forest is not particularly reliable way of producing another crop of eucalypt timber, providing a future resource and offering a high level of fire protection for the surrounding lands.
    I am been involved in regrowth thinning with APM contractors in the early 1970’s in the Hastings Forest Block, I cant remember the age but it was probably 1934 or earlier wildfire regenerated regrowth.
    A wildfire in the 1980’s severely fire damaged the retainers many for future sawlog were damaged and eventually salvaged for pulp and and any sizeable sawlog a year or two after the fire and regenerated as a clearfell operation.
    Residues from selective logging can create a fire hazard I would imagine a series of selectively logged coupes close to settlements would raise a few concerns about forest fire management.
    We are not living in the pre 1960’s when selective logging was the norm, the most successfull regeneration was usually the result of a major wildfire event

  60. Stu

    March 27, 2013 at 12:54 am

    #5&6 Shows your lack of knowledge and understanding of wet eucalypt forest. A challenge to you, show me evidence (not a picture of a few regen eucs on unburnt ground, I can produce that) of an unburnt coupe that has adequate regen. Decades of forest research and on-ground experience from wet eucalypt forest in Tas, Vic, NSW, QLD and WA clearly proves that burning to produce an ash bed is required for adequate regeneration, research that’s been peer reviewed and published in scientific journals. The hotter the fire the better the regen. Alternative to an ash bed is mineral soil (removal of organic matter from the surface through mechanical disturbance), which what fire does. The evidence to support your argument is effectively zero, other than a comment that you’ve made off the top of your head. Left unburnt, there will be some level of regen but far from adequate, the genetic diversity will be significantly lowered due to exceptionally low stocking levels and large fuel loads remain – should a low intensity fire burn into an unburnt coup such as this, all regen will be destroyed. A well burnt coupe with adequate regen will not burn when a low intensity fire meets it, again shown to be the case from real life examples. If you claim FT’s arguments are crap then come up with supporting evidence to show otherwise – all too easy to make unsupported comments.

  61. Clive Stott

    March 27, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for the comments.

    Robin #2
    “Most of the smoke complaints come from anti foresty activists, very few arise from people with health issues who usually prepare them selves to stay indoors or seek shelter with friend or relatives.”

    So you think I should lock myself up or move out during this lengthened unnecessary FT burn season?

    You are doing a great job of turning people against forestry in this state because your thinking is just heartless.

    The air does not belong to forestry.

    In fact our legislation says so.

    Estelle I totally agree. This smoke issue needs sorting out at every level.

    Brian Wightman seems to have gone to ground.

    Riverside Golf Course seem to have the nod, I have seen all that smoke. Now how could this be;)

    #6 Russell exactly.

    “Besides, which wet forests relies on burning to regenerate?”

  62. Leonard Colquhoun

    March 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    An attempt to answer the question in Comment 4: the five words in “this is the 21st century” mean nothing more or less than we are in the century after the 20th and before the 22nd.

    Any other meanings come from contexts and points of view.

  63. Russell

    March 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Bob (and Robin). If you didn’t trash the forest for less than zero profit in the first place, and selectively (in the true sense of the word, not FT’s definition) logged it leaving most of it standing to grow on, you wouldn’t have an excuse to burn to regenerate.

    Besides, which wet forests relies on burning to regenerate?

    We’ve been through it all before and all FT’s arguments are absolute crap.

    Like someone said the other day, the public should be able to take whatever they want for free that FT just leaves lying to rot or burn.

  64. Sue DeNim

    March 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Nice to see FT indulging in some more good ole fashioned propaganda, as well as the predictable as ever Robin rallying to the cause.
    Lets have a look at this so-called ‘need’ shall we.

    A few questions first. As a commenter quite rightly pointed out, if the industry has been fighting to have slash burnt offsite for energy production recognised for REC’s
    how does this also allow them to have an ash bed in the coupe if its so necessary?
    If the slash waste is piled up to dry to burn better, how does this create an even distribution of ash bed and not a localised ash pile?
    The so called ‘need’ to burn is based on the premise off maximising eucalypt forest production and return only, so is not a biological ‘need’ of the species at all. The main needs are open canopy for sunlight and minimal competition. Slash and burn is just the cheapest and supposedly safest way to achieve this.
    The ‘need’ to maximise productivity is based on the premise that the industry needs it to profit. Considering it hasn’t done this without subsidisation for quite sometime (actually making a massive loss),
    this point also seems baseless.

    The ‘need’ to burn is based on the fact that the eucalypt species is pyrogenic, but many other wet forest species are not. Considering that alot of the protest against FT is because their practices are slowly but surely phasing out specialty understorey and rainforest species in logging reserves, in favour of a relative eucalypt monoculture planned purely for clearfell reharvest, this ‘need’ also seems questionable.

    As another poster on another thread pointed out, the carbon release from burning as opposed to leaving on the forest floor to rot is basically the same. However they forgot to mention that many studies have shown that coarse woody debris left to rot has many extra benefits that re-gen (sterilisation) burns do not provide. These include slow release of nutrients, fire shadows for seedlings in wild fires, habitat for animals, habitat for mosses, lichens, fungi (bryophytes), capture of sediment entrained in surface flow, encouragement of soil biota and insects rather than scorching them. These are aside from the obvious benefits of not having particulate entering the airshed.

    Another poster also pointed out that constant removal of trees that are an embodiment of minerals drawn up from the soil, creates soil depletion, which is then exacerbated by clearfell and topsoil disturbance.
    Hence, the longer trees are left to stand, the more selective logging is employed, the longer that specialty timbers are allowed to grow on, the more that slash and debris is left to rot back into the soil and the less fire is used to clear the site, then so much the better for people, animals, soil biota, the soil, and for returns from high quality, sustainably sourced timber. This is truly the natural way.
    The only reason why this common sense finds it hard to make its way through is because of vested interests and the constant usual drive for fast cash.

  65. TV Resident

    March 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Leonard Colquoun…What on earth are you rambling on about??? And Robin Halton, you obviously want the same old ‘slash and burn’ mentality to continue to ruin this state. For tourists and anyone else who drive around the state, it is quite disturbing to see the devastation caused by FT and their various cowboys and now they are going to start choking us once again. I don’t follow any political party as I think, in their own way, parties are run by dictators and the rest of them are just ‘yes’ men and women.

  66. Leonard Colquhoun

    March 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    This is a far more general observation, Mr Ed.

    The headline expression, “this is the 21st century”, at base, refers to a particular 100 year time-span, and has no inherent value for making a case, whether pro or anti.

    Without more information, it has exactly the neutrality as “he is so passionate”, “she is so tough”, “they are very persevering” and “that is so 21C”.

    What’s needed is “so passionate”, “so tough”, “so persevering” and “so 21C” about what?

    Pol Pot was “so passionate” about his Year Zero. Isabella the Catholic was “so tough” on newly united Spain’s Jews & Moors. Right up to the arrival of enemy troops at the gates, SS Einsatzgruppen were “so persevering” about their Final Solution. And the dotcom spree was definitely “so 21C”.

  67. Robin Halton

    March 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Absolute Nonsense, how can FT be expected to correctly regenerate Eucalypt forests without the application of Intensive burning to create the seed bed.
    Most of the smoke complaints come from anti foresty activists, very few arise from people with health issues who usually prepare them selves to stay indoors or seek shelter with friend or relatives.

    (Comment challenged and deleted)

    FT have a back log of regen burns to carry out this year as they have been fucked about with too much in the past two to three years with all of this silly Peace Talks nonsense holding up forest regeneration progress.
    The Premier sided with the ENGO’s by the temporary removal of 572,000ha of State Forest WPZ’s into Interim Reserves causing havoc for the five year harvest/regeneration plan schedules.
    The sooner Leg Co come up a fair and reasonable outcome for this confounded nonsense the sooner FT can get back to its business of forest management.

    Clive, there will be no peace as the Greens have never provided any solutions just created more problems and will be hated forever for their downright trouble making and stupidity.

  68. Estelle Ross

    March 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    It’s not only FT who thoughtlessly burns-off. Last autumn the Riverside Golf Course had numerous burn-offs throughout the season. Despite complaints to them, LGAT, West Tamar Council, the EPA and the Minister for the Environment etc they persisted. At present Council by-laws prohibit anyone with a property area of less than 2000sq metres from burning off, yet the Golf Course which backs onto just such properties a matter of metres away did so with impunity despite the fact that they could have mulched, composted or given away the firewood instead. I have lobbied constantly to have this law changed so that no one in a suburban area regardless of the size of the property should be allowed to burn-off, especially here in the Tamar Valley which is renowned for its inversion layer which traps the harmful particulates. It’s high time the powers that be listened to those whom they are supposed to serve!!

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