Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Push for expanded protection of Tarkine to become a poll issue …

Pic: of Bob Brown by Matt Newton, http://www.matthewnewton.com.au/

First published November 19

Take your pick of MSM …

image
Pic: of Scott Jordan by Matt Newton, http://www.matthewnewton.com.au/

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Pic: of the 2000-plus crowd by Matt Newton, http://www.matthewnewton.com.au/

Mercury: Read here

Advocate: Read here

ABC: Read here

phil Parsons in Comments: Besides it being right to protect such a large area of rainforest, the southern cool temperate type, a study by the Cradle Coast Authority showed enormous economic benefit from a Tarkine National Park. The old parties have both tried the old failures to get the Tarkine to benefit the North West, forestry and mining. Neither are big employers …

ABC: Giant freshwater crayfish find prompts more calls for Tarkine forest protection

• max in Comments: Robin #65 … Gunns collapsing with total liabilities around $3 billion. It would be kindness to say Forestry Tasmania has been a total failure to the taxpayers of Australia. This disaster is still an ongoing train wreck. Explain how we got in to the wonderful deal with Ta Ann. Launceston and Hobart and just about anywhere in Tasmania covered in deadly 2.5 particulate smoke, the same smoke that firefighters are now giving cancer cover from. What about the rest of us?

Guy Barnett: FPA Annual Report

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

72 Comments

  1. Robin Charles Halton

    December 4, 2017 at 10:37 am

    As one who knew the regenerated areas of native forest along the Alstergren Road network would have closely observed that some of those areas were patchy with myrtle and other minor species reestablishing in their place.

    The majority of the coupes had been regenerated in the early 1960’s when aerial seeding then by fixed wing aircraft was still being developed and of cause it was not unusual for seed hopper blockages.

    From regeneration surveys it also appears that some areas may have received inadequate burning for seed bed preperation!

    It was up to the FT navigator to coordinate by radio each strip sowing with the flag wavers on each end of the sowing strip on the ground as to the observation of falling seed from the aircraft.

    Before GPS sowing I went through some of the similar dramas although generally with less of issues with seed hopper feed.

    I cannot recall the exact date I had the good luck to have a set of Lands Dept aerial photos done in black and white post sowing of most of the Loongana forest block coupes and sure enough one could easily determine the sowing strips hit and misses on some of the earlier coupes.

    Later aerial photos done in colour showed most of the native forest coupes were regenerating successfully in my opinion some with good stocking of vigourous E delegatensis and others with a mix of eucalypt and myrtle.

    My point is had this forest not been subject to alienation for conversion to HWP during the late 1990’s (not my decision but Mr Rolleys) we would have an eventual mixed forest for the future had it been left alone for nature to take its course.

    The established areas east of the Loongana range and south of Loyetea and Laurel Creek is rather easy to protect from wild fire as its boundaries still retained perimeters of extensive established myrtle gullies and wet water courses.

    #67, Max that is my contribution to the subject based on local knowledge, sidetracking over other FT/STT head Office decisions and financial issues remains outside my league!

  2. Robin Charles Halton

    December 1, 2017 at 12:44 am

    #67, Max, you are almost entitled to the honorable position of Berg Fuhrer for having climbed Loyetea Peak which is in fact a 656′ 200m climb just up from Fattys place to the top of the Peak which stands at 2313′ 705m, pretty well the same height as Mt Housetop.

    Speaking as a peak bagger myself, on my 71st birthday a few weeks ago I climbed to the top of Bluff Knoll the highest peak on the Stirling Ranges from the car park at 1443′ 440m up the steep walking track to the top at 3605′ 1099m, hard on the old knee joints especially as the steep sections of the track are formed as stairs to slow down surface erosion but makes it awkward, a tad dangerous and demanding.

    Max, never give up, keep up climbing and walking to stay fit old son!

  3. MjF

    November 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    #69 … Your last 2 sentences of #67 are clearly smoke related –

    “Launceston and Hobart and just about anywhere in Tasmania covered in deadly 2.5 particulate smoke, the same smoke that fire fighters are now giving cancer cover from. What about the rest of us?”

    Or am I just imagining the smoke reference there ?

    Consequently answered at #68;.

    What don’t you follow there Max ?

    Unless you’re a frontline firefighter you have no case to make, in my view.

    Re FT fiscal losses I don’t know the answer. Therefore I haven’t provided any.

    No obfuscating, evasion or lack of clarity there that I can see.

    Re Ta Ann, I suggest reading the J Lawrence articles in how the contracts came about although certain generalisations are always made in terms of mill door pricing, input costs and nett stumpages which are never evidenced in these reviews. Due, I expect, to commercial confidentiality.

    Re Gunns collapse … I have offered my opinion as to why a number of times on TT’s forestry related articles.

    Speaking of which, I noticed in the local rag this week, a photo of Eumundi property owner Greg L’Estrange proudly holding up his new ‘Land for Wildlife’ sign with the local mayor also in on the photo shoot.

    Apparently he’s just dedicated his own property to wildlife conservation.

    Awesome hey ?

  4. max

    November 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    # 68 MJF
    You are an expert at obfuscating the truth by being evasive, unclear or obscure. 67 wasn’t about smoke. If you wish to dodge answering questions on the ongoing train wreck of forestry don’t , but why muddy the waters.

  5. MjF

    November 30, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Professional firefighters are currently covered for certain types of cancer. This insurance cover does not include staff and contractors who are engaged to put out fires on behalf of government agencies, GBEs and private forest companies.

    Even volunteer firefighters have to attend a specified number of events per year to attract the cover.

    The intent of insuring professional firefighters is obvious when they deal with highly toxic smoke from a range of burning hazardous materials, not just 2.5 ppm-laden bushfire smoke.

    These people are also on the front-line for extended periods with maximum exposure.

    If people who are exposed to a bit of smokey, high level air a couple of times a year think they are equally at risk then they have a perverse idea of reality.

    How about managing yourselves, acting appropriately and mitigating the risks with sensible lifestyle decisions for the brief periods involved ?

    ‘What about the rest of us?’ one problem child bleats.

    Manage yourself is the answer, and don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting you’re removed situation is at the same level of contaminant risk as a professional or voluntary front liner.

  6. max

    November 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    #65 Robin … It is good to reminisce. I climbed up the fire tower several times and I was told it 200 ft to the top, quite a steep climb.

    Now tell me why Forestry Tasmania was a total failure, $688,813 a week.lose since 1989, 1 billion dollars down the tube. The forests stripped for wood chips at a loss, future saw logs chipped … for what?

    Gunns collapsing with.total liabilities around $3 billion. It would be kindness to say Forestry Tasmania has been a total failure to the tax payers of Australia. This disaster is still an ongoing train wreck. Explain how we got in to the wonderful deal with Ta Ann. Launceston and Hobart and just about anywhere in Tasmania covered in deadly 2.5 particulate smoke, the same smoke that fire fighters are now giving cancer cover from. What about the rest of us?

  7. John Wade

    November 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    UH OH! Someone – 65 – has dobbed themself in:

    “On occasions I took the liberty when weather conditions were safe (or ripe) to carry out fuel reduction to clear the ground cover in the light scrub in the vicinity of the base of Mt Housetop and Black Ck Plains in an effort to locate the ochre mine …”

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    November 28, 2017 at 12:55 am

    #63, thank you max for sharing your short time with us, growing up on a farm in the Riana/ Loyetea region.
    I met quite a few of the old timers, John Rosier and Owen Dick who were local sawmillers from around the district both before as a trainee and later when I was working there as a STF with FC.

    Some of the older Range forest guards were Pat Crane from Upper Natone, Ron Butcher from Penguin and Basil Anderson from Riana, you may have known them through their local alertness and devotion to bush fire management which included a strong connections with local landholders, sawmillers and logging crews from the Dial including Gunns Plains as far back as Loongana/ Black Bluff area
    Loyetea Peak was once a Fire Lookout but well before my time.

    Just as a matter of interest the mystery of location of the Housetop ochre mine has always interested me.
    Redwater Ck for instance was a local name for an unnamed creek that flowed into the Laurel immediately south of where the two bridges span a minor gorge across a loop on the Laurel’s watercourse.
    The creek in question ran distinctive red water during floods, hence the name Redwater.

    On occasions I took the liberty when weather conditions were safe to carry out fuel reduction to clear the ground cover in the light scrub in the vicinity of the base of Mt Housetop and Black Ck Plains in an effort to locate the ochre mine at the contact zone of the basalt and granite geology, Housetop is a mass of granite boulders, rises above a flatter timbered plain with thick scrub under story and boulder fields of granite!
    It was possible the lost ochre mine was on private property not far from the Northern side of Mt Housetop on the basalt and cleared by machine decades ago.

  9. MjF

    November 27, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    #63 … hi max, you’re way too suspicious.

    re FT/STT losses it’s obvious. Mostly stems from r haltons retirement benefit.

  10. max

    November 27, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    # 61 Robin … You are correct, it was hard to venture far from the farm gate. I left the area in 1956 to get an apprenticeship in Launceston and until I left I worked on the farm.

    Your knowledge of the area is far better than mine. You would have been driving a good four wheel drive and being paid to drive around – not walking or peddling like me.
    You have proven that you can remember what happened in your working life, so let us in on why from 1989 to now your employer has lost $688,813 a week.

    #61 … Far from regaling you with childhood memories, I have been trying to find out how Forestry Tasmania can lose $688,813 a week. If R.C.H .fails to help me out perhaps you can. I think the pair of you are tying to divert the people of Tasmania away from just how bad forestry, and your association with Forestry Tasmania, has truly been,

  11. mjf

    November 27, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    $61

    halton, you raise a lot of local information there

    It appears max has bailed out of the equation and won’t be regaling us with any childhood memories.

    That’s a pity, he may have known dear old Mrs Templar.

    I know ex Peak Hill Farm has grown exceptional trees for Gunns, now owned by New Forests, and a substantial amount of that block has been thinned.

    I am familiar with the Lunn country through the ex FEA leasing of some of their land. Again was growing excellent E nitens.

    Dunno much about the FT plantations further south (Alstergren Rd) but again a lot was thinned as part of their sawlog management which is indicative of their best sites. The back end of this estate is getting too high @ 600m ASL though, which is pushing the limits for good growth.

    Overall I would say the South Riana/Loyetea area has remained largely as farmland with a much lesser percentage of cleared land being planted out to trees when compared to other farmed basalt areas of the NW Coast

    Perhaps the owners were more determined to stick it out in that general region.

  12. Robin Charles Halton

    November 27, 2017 at 12:42 am

    #45 Max , so you never ventured far past the farm gate!
    You should remember Alstergren’s steam mill alongside Laurel Ck just past Camerons Flats and Barkers Peak Hill Farm.

    #48 MJF, you are suggesting Max came from Lunn country! I am starting to wonder if Max ever wandered to the south of South Riana on the Loyetea Road past the Loyetea Post Office when Betty Templer was Post Mistress adjoining Lunns.

    Interesting that you mention the Lunns, you obviously know them before they logged the remaining bush ER4.
    I remember when George Hilton (anglocised) and his son in law Jirki Kuusisalo as the then property owners farmed and selectively cut the fine regrowth stand for local use at their simple innovative Finnish designed sawmill on the property, later sold to the Lunns when George passed away in 1978!

    I havent any contact with Loyetea since 1999, but was the entire property converted to HWP or some remaining as for cattle.

    Being situated the basalt the area grows good timber as well as pasture.
    Did you have any thing to do with Peak Hill Farm further out the Loyetea Road owned by Warren Barker who sold the property to North (APPM) to establish HWP, in the early 1980’s, another top site of converted farmland.

    In the late 1990’s FC/FT ripped out all of the 1960/70s E del and Obl silvicultural regrowth o State Forest further out, along Alstergren Road out as far as “George Woodhouses 100acre block out on the end of Query Road, on a former remote white grass plateau above the Gunns Plains Leven River Valley and to the east of the Loongana Range above Tulip Tree Creek!

    I wasnt involved in this particular episode of conversion using Helsham funding, would you happen to be familiar with the success rate of HWP establishments both SF and PP to the south of Lunns at Loyetea!

  13. MjF

    November 26, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Blackwood is not a good rainforest indicator.

    It also grows in mixed forest, wet schlerophyl, damp schlerophyl forests and even pine plantations in some places.

    It’s not illegal to convert certain types of rainforest even now, apart from annual area limits.

    Windrowing ex rainforest sites for plantation is no big deal. Move on.

  14. Ted Mead

    November 26, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    This whole percentage of rainforest figure has been one of the most contentions forestry/conservation issues for decades because the 5>% of crown eucalyptus cover is the way the industry has justified the trashing of 94% of rainforest communities, and these days the last thing STT wants is for FSC to realise that it’s ongoing.

    We all know that much of the rainforest within those coupes were eventually windowed and torched in the past – at least 62 million tonnes of it apparently over the last several decades since wood-chipping became the driving factor in Tasmania’s forest industry.

    Yes – I am fully aware of the different rainforest communities in Tasmania (Jarman), did the first classification of this I recall. I remember it when I was the campaigner for rainforest at the Wilderness Society in the 1980’s. (Hickey) at FT may have since refined rainforest communities that could be logged in later years.

    As for logging rainforest for specialty timbers – I have never been opposed to it providing it was done outside wilderness areas, selectively, sustainably and with sensitivity, but we all know that has never been the case in Tasmania.

    Stu expresses his reasonably accurate view of rainforest regeneration and its relativity to fire, but I think there are plenty of rainforest areas in the northwest that are dominated by myrtle and blackwood, which seem to be expanding without the occurrence of wildfire. It visually abundant that many old forest or mining roads are being reclaimed by myrtle and leatherwood through seed dispersal rather than fire activity.

    I recall back in the Helsham enquiry days when FC was exposed to proposing logging areas that contained Athrotaxis in them. Of course they hadn’t surveyed them, and no doubt plenty of similar rainforest communities were trashed up until that point.

  15. Stu

    November 26, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Here’s another way of looking it it, Ted. Eucalypt forest (whether wet euc or mixed forest) can only regenerate following catastrophic fire. No fire and it eventually becomes either scrub or rainforest.

    Now what happens when a catastrophic fire burns through mixed forest with only 5% euc canopy cover? With sufficient eucalypt seed in the canopy and seed fall within a few tree lengths, that patch of forest regenerates as mixed forest dominated by eucalypts. Rainforest can regenerate as rainforest following fire provided wind-blown seed from outside the fire area and/or seed fall from trees within the fire area provided it’s a mild ground fire and not all trees are killed. But rainforest doesn’t regenerate with eucalypts unless there is a euc canopy of some degree.

    Yes, something with 95% rainforest canopy cover can be dominated by eucalypts (the largest trees by height and volume) be classified as mixed eucalypt forest and regenerate as eucalypt dominated forest.

  16. Mjf

    November 26, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    #55 … You seem to think rainforest should be automatically protected mead. Not the case. Different forms of rainforest are still occur within production forest. Whether it’s simply a euc or a rainforest community doesn’t determine it’s production status.

    Any idea how many forms of rainforest are recognised in tasnania botanically and which of those are prioritised ?

    Of course you don’t.

    94% of non priority rainforest in a coupe can still be harvested along with any non priority euc comunities present. It doesn’t need to be portrayed as euc forest to be logged.

    What a dumb suggestion and serves to reinforce your ignorance of forest classification.

    That scenario is unrelated to what is rainforest and what isn’t under the 5% rule

  17. Stu

    November 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Been up Cape York and QLD for several months, not back in Tassie till the New Year 🙂
    RE the 5%. Like a lot of things in life, you can argue what is and what isn’t, but somewhere you have to draw a line to distinguish. To my knowledge it’s not the forest industry that has specified 5% but botanists, and it’s a national classification.

  18. Ted Mead

    November 26, 2017 at 10:26 am

    #54 … < 5% canopy cover is correct in industry terms, but how can something that is predominantly 94% of one thing be classified as something else? Spin and BS as usual !!!!!!!! #53 ... What happened to your inspection of the big trees in Keppel Creek, Stu? You've gone notably quiet on that one. Couldn't get your zimmer frame up the creek to find out I suspect, or did your industry masters tell you to retract the $1,000 offered?

  19. MjF

    November 26, 2017 at 9:43 am

    # 52 … Oh yes it is, the details would be lost on you I expect.

    5% teddy. You’d do well to remember that.

    Get yourself a bioregion botany manual and do some 101 for a change.

  20. Stu

    November 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Ted, mjf is correct. Softwood, remember!

  21. Ted Mead

    November 25, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    #51 … That’s not how the forest industry classifies rainforest!

    If there is 94% of rainforest in a region (coupe) it is still classified as a euc (wood production forest)

    You don’t even understand your own industry dogma!

  22. MjF

    November 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    $49 … Of course TM, the least minerally prospective area. I should have known.

    You oughta be thankful for what you get.

    Whether there’s minerals there or not should make no difference to your worshipped land tenure. Appreciate it for what it is.

    Oh, of course there’s better examples of rainforest on offer

    There always is isn’t there ?

    Never satisfied.

    Rainforest = < 5% euc canopy cover, keep that in mind. Otherwise you have mixed forest which is not rainforest. That's the way it is.

  23. john hayward

    November 25, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Yesterday’s Age had a report on a Federal Court case in Victoria which is alleging the failure of the Vic Govt to enforce Federal environmental provisions as required under the RFAs. If successful, RFAs across the country could be found invalid across the country.

    If the FT/STT performance could be joined to the case, it could make a wonderful crash.

    John Hayward

  24. Ted Mead

    November 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    #46 … I suspect the editor let those aggressive comments through as to to expose your true redneck character.

    I never needed that education, but others can clearly see your colour now!

    As for this regional reserves nonsense their status is not worth a pittance if the minister of the day can sign off at a moments notice for the extraction of resources within them.

    #40 … The Savage River National Park – Almost 18,000

    That’s about 10% of the largest single tract of cool-temperate rainforest in the nation.

    Why is only 10% securely reserved? – well that’s obvious, it was the best compromise they (industry lobbyists) could come up with.

    The Savage River NP was originally dedicated as a rainforest reserve as part of the RFA process. For the RFA to have the slightest tick of credibility the government agreement had to include some rainforest into the equation.

    Why did they choose the region east of the Savage River rather than better representations that existed elsewhere? Well, in a nutshell – mining!

    The Savage River NP area is the lowest mineral prospective rainforest area in the Tarkine. It’s as simple as that.

    The Savage River NP has a lot of wet implicate rainforest and scrub, and some fine tracts of callidendrous rainforest, but there are better representations throughout the Tarkine.

    Relinquishing natural areas to conservation has always been about the best compromise for resource extractive industries rather than what’s the best representation of ecological/biological significance.

  25. MjF

    November 25, 2017 at 11:45 am

    46@
    Therein lies the problem Rch

    A piecemeal approach of regional reserves, conservation areas, protected areas, recreational areas and national parks must be a bearucratic nightmare to administer and manage, not to mention totally confusing to aspiring visitors.

    How do you manage such a large area into the future with a history of ongoing Forestry, mining, prospecting, farming, some private title and much older indigenous use/ownership ?

    All these land management units have differing terns of uses and ranges of activities ‘allowable’

    I can see much more logic in a simpler land management approach for all parties.

    Declaring an all encompassing national park over what’s left and pulling down the blinds is the soft option.

    Re STT locusts, I have concluded they need to revert to partially integrated operations only where they supply sawlog and absolutely minimise pulpwood. This is where the losses occur so it’s very much time for back to the future. Good Silviculture will have to take a back seat for a while.

    How they deal with TAT and the contracted resource is the nigger in the woodheap. It may become a question of which loss is the more bearable ?

    ‘those green bastards’ ……tut tut

    Appreciate yr sentiments, not very PC though.

    $47
    So you came from Lunn country max ? Great area for tree growing. You must’ve been a sight running around in baggy shorts and hobnailed boots when you were a whippersnapper.

    Did yr family have logging or farming roots ?

  26. max

    November 25, 2017 at 10:06 am

    # 46 Robin … Your way or the highway.

    At the moment it’s lock it up or lose it. Locked up in reserves is no guarantee of preservation, they are surrounded by a pack of wolves that want to tear them to pieces.

    You hate the greens with a venom, they are your complete opposite, they want to preserve the forests, you want to harvest them.

    FT or STT are like locusts, they denude the forest at a loss, they have lost billions of dollars – and for what? A well managed forest can be a thing of beauty and return an ongoing profit to the owners, STT fails on all fronts.

    Clear-felling followed by intensive burning and aerial seeding remains as the most reliable method, especially for E obliqua and E regnans regeneration establishment. This has failed the people of Tasmania and given forestry a dirty name, and it is well past the time when something better has to be tried.

  27. Robin Charles Halton

    November 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    #40 MJF, you mention the savage River National Park as you probably already know many co joined Reserves already make up a larger land mass.

    Some of these include the Pieman-Arthur Protected Area, the Donaldson River Nature Recreational Area, Meredith Range Regional Reserve, Bernafai ridge conservation Area and Tikkawoppa Plateau Regional Reserve.

    What more do those Green bastards want, strangling i would suggest!

  28. max

    November 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    #44 Sorry Robin, bike and foot were my only means of transport and it limited my movements. Loongana, Black Bluff and Gunns Plains were extreme trips. We had no maps and only new the local names.

  29. Robin Charles Halton

    November 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    #38, max I note that you seem to have an interest in moving through Tasmania’s aboriginal landscape!

    I note you lived in the Loyetea-South Riana region in the 1950’s so I presume that you have heard of the Mt Housetop ochre mine at the time
    By the time I arrived in the region 1976-1999 to work with forestry and my suggestion was the traces of this aboriginal site may have been destroyed by either past land clearing or native forestry operations which were quite extensive in the area up till the late 1960’s when Alstergrens and Hilders had harvested most of the sawlogs for their NW coast milling enterprises.

    A large private property block bordering Loyetea Peak up the western side of loyetea Peak rd was cleared of its native forest and planted with eucalypts during the mid 1990’s! FT replaced its regenerated native forest and established extensive Euc plantation along Query Road under the Loongana range during the 1990’s.

    I had little to do with the conversion as by then I was working in the Wynyard Range pines and covering the fuel reduction burning program for the eastern part of the District plus some West Coast duties which involved STMU’s Special species units harvest and post harvest regeneration assessments.

    max the burning question is not the burning itself, did you manage to identify any aboriginal sites of interest during your time in the region!

    Locals had suggested that somewhere in the headwaters of Redwater creek above the pines before it runs into Laurel Creek would have been a possible site as it is in close proximity behind Loyetea Peak.

    I do know that before the turn of the century, lots of hush hush research went on in the upper reachs of Laurel Ck up towards Native Track Tier behind Mt Everett which led to the end of the State Forest era and conversion to Regional Reserves to protect values, what values I would ask.

  30. Tony Stone

    November 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    #42 … Sorry made a mistake, forgot it’s impossible to get ideologues to step outside their narrow box of experience and understanding.

    My experience in the forest industry was as a snigger, loader, truck driver, until realising what was happening and that was brought about by the Bondi forests debacle. Fighting fires that had got away from their insane burning off in any weather, as a member of the Cathcart fire service.

    The unbelievable number of native animals that got destroyed and continue to be destroyed for the mighty dollar, finally got to me. I also owned and lived on 1,000 acres near Tantawanglo mountain.

    One day after snigging and loading my truck, had to go slow down the mountains to Eden mill because the truck wasn’t going that well. Counted the dead animals along the logging roads and down to the coast, stopped when I got to 200. Upon my return, decided to check the coupe we were working in and found 15 dead possums. All within an area of about 200m by 300m, along with many bird nests and one which had to be a wedgie as it was so big.

    The Tantawanglo state forest behind us was a wonderland of tall trees, fern lined gullies,and creeks rising out of the mountains. Filled with the noise of thousand of animals, birds and insects. Then they logged it and it ended up looking like a battlefield, dead.

    In tas it’s still the same, follow any log truck just after dawn and you come across animal after animal they wipe out. This is the only state I’ve seen where log trucks are rarely checked for safety, overloading and the well over 100kh they race down the roads at.

    The majority of accidents involving trucks in tas, are log trucks, yet they now represent just a small proportion of articulated vehicles on Tas roads.

    You can bring out all the propaganda, lies and deceptions you want. it won’t change the facts that our country is being denuded and destroyed by dumb ideologues who are determined to follow their insane failed forestry methodology. Even when every bit of evidence shows them they have failed, and continue to fail, to the detriment of all life in Tas.

    We rate high in the top ten deforestation countries on the planet, which I’m sure you and you ilk are very proud of, but I’m not, like the rest of the sane people of Tas and Aus.

    As for the diversity of fires, of course every case is different, as are the methodology of controlling them. But all you and your ilk can come up with is, denial and more of the same, which you are proclaiming is and has worked fine for our land and future

    Bet you haven’t asked the many millions of dead animals and hundreds of destroyed homes around the state, whether they think the current approaches to forestry and fire control are working.

  31. Mark Poynter

    November 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    #41 … Tony Stone

    Your reaction to my comment (#36) suggests you didn’t fully appreciate what I said. Unlike you, I don’t engage in simplistic absolutes such as this: “Now the land is dead, unusable as there is no water, dams dried up and full of junk, no shade trees and no fire mitigating stands”

    South Gippsland is a largish region of variable condition that can’t be summarised in single sentence. By the way, it is not a “claim” that the Forests Commission re-afforested a significant area of abandoned farmland in the Strezlecki Ranges, but rather a statement of fact.

    Indeed a significant portion of this, which was planted to Mountain Ash in the 1960s for future timber supply, was coveted by the local ‘greens’ as a supposed native forest and was eventually declared a national park in around 2010, somewhat making a mockery of the opposition to plantations because they are supposedly “biodiversity deserts”.

    “Having worked in forestry in 2 states and been a within rural fire services in 3, have an excellent understanding of how plantations handle fire, compared to natural forests. I was on duty when the clear felled once magnificent Bondi state forests plantations were hit by a bush fire.”

    Having supposedly worked in forestry (doing what??) and in rural fire services, you should have an appreciation of the huge variability of how fires burn depending on combinations of fuel type and dryness, weather, time of day or night, etc. Yet again you seem intent on distilling everything down to a single position based on one fire event (ie. at the Bondi pine plantations). From what you have said the fire hit these plantations when they were in a post-harvest state with lots of ground slash – which is hardly representative of the condition of most plantations at any given time.

    I will agree with you that pine plantations are no place to be when a hot fire is burning on a bad day, particularly if they haven’t been pruned. But then, you could say the same thing for most areas of native bush on a bad fire day because typically have heavy fuels due to a lack of regular fire.

    Your discussion of blue gum plantations during the Dunalley fire also ignores what I said earlier about poor quality plantations which have poor branch shedding, but again you seem to view this one instance as being emblematic of all plantations good or poor wherever they grow. It is not true that in every situation plantations are more fire prone, as you seem to think.

    “All this talk, makes no difference, all those desperate to support current forestry, are no different to those believing in god. They claim they have the right beliefs and everything us fine and believe their operations, are beneficial to the world. Yet the viewable reality is the complete opposite in every way and all they are supporting, is the dead of natural life, biodiversity and a viable future.”

    Again you are dealing in simplistic absolutes based on what you have viewed through your own narrow prism of experience. Unfortunately anyone doing that simply ignores the huge real-life variability and complexity of forests and their management challenges. No-one’s personal opinion makes them right, but at least mine are informed by 40 years of study and experience over a long career in forestry that includes an appreciation that there are few “one-size fits all” rules given the natural variability of forests.

  32. Tony Stone

    November 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    #36 … On one hand you claim they reforested sth Gippsland, then concede it is all now farm land. Was referring to the time line of the 1940’s 50’s. When there were forests from Korumburra to Yarram and beyond. The foster hills, Dumbulk to Warragul, Meeniyan to Lower Tarwin, all huge forests.

    Was in the area recently and they are all gone, the Foster hills are barren and eroding, dry land is everywhere, rivers and creeks are dry. When in the past they not only flowed, but provided us with fish, yabbies and extremely fresh water. The tree lined Tarwin river where my grandparents got water from for a number of generations, is dry, barren and his once lush well managed farm land, which had shade trees, wood lots, numerous creeks and dams, was managed for fire as he learnt from his indigenous relatives.

    Now the land is dead, unusable as there is no water, dams dried up and full of junk, no shade trees and no fire mitigating stands.

    Having worked in forestry in 2 states and been a within rural fire services in 3, have an excellent understanding of how plantations handle fire, compared to natural forests. I was on duty when the clear felled once magnificent Bondi state forests plantations were hit by a bush fire.

    It was containable until it hit the plantations, then it became a horrendous disaster, wiping out the entire plantations and large amounts of native forests. Same happened in Tantawanglo forest, the clear felled plantations burnt like matches, whilst the surrounding bush slowed the fires so we could control them. We were told by NSW forestry, to never enter one of their plantations to fight a fire, as it was unsafe.

    Being involved in the Dunnelly fires a few years back, you would have to be brain dead and blind not to see how the plantations handled the fire, compared to native forests. The fire storm followed the plantations and bypassed lots of untouched forest. The fire storm was stopped at Eaglehawk neck, simply because on the Tasman peninsula side, there were no near plantations, just native bush so we were able to control it’s progress, with not a lot of resources.

    It was the helicopters which were the biggest help, they put out all the spot fires on the peninsula firies couldn’t get to and luckily, the fire never got into the Tasman plantations. A drive down there provides an excellent view of the fire storms path, which followed the plantations all the way and bypassed large amounts of untouched forest.

    At the eaglehawk neck end, the fire raced through all the plantations, but not the native forests which saved all the houses there. There is a plantation up the hill from us, a walk to it through natural forest, is pleasant and not a lot of ground fuel around. But once you get to the plantation, the ground is covered with litter at least 10 centimeters deep from the imported Victorian highly inflammable gum trees.

    All this talk, makes no difference, all those desperate to support current forestry, are no different to those believing in god. They claim they have the right beliefs and everything us fine and believe their operations, are beneficial to the world. Yet the viewable reality is the complete opposite in every way and all they are supporting, is the dead of natural life, biodiversity and a viable future.

  33. MjF

    November 21, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    The conservationists already have the Savage River National Park to salivate over. This is the largest undisturbed tract of temperate rainforest formally reserved anywhere in the country.

    Boom
    Boom
    Boom
    Boom

    Bang
    Bang
    Bang
    bang

    How how how how

    Anyone ever heard of it ?

    Unlike other Tas national parks, this one is totally remote with no access, no facilities and no disturbance.

    Probably safe to enter without a permit, unlikely you’ll stumble across a ranger eager to wield his big stick.

    In addition it’s actually buffered 360 degrees by a regional reserve and home to as many threatened species that one likes to conjure up habitat for.

    Any self respecting greens and hangers on worth their no odour, rapidly composting excreta should bone up over this little slice of Gondwanaland

    Frankly speaking.

  34. max

    November 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    #34 Mark
    You should read “The Biggest Estate on Earth” by Bill Gammage. I have but why read the book, go to Kakadu and see it in action and you might change your mind on fuel reduction, I did.

  35. max

    November 21, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    # 26 Robin
    Why is it insulting to suggest that pre settlement Aboriginals would have burn out the the Tarkine if they could have? If they had bulldozers to make roads they would have, forest were a non production food area and a hindrance to travel, they didn’t want sawlogs or tourism, just good hunting grounds and free clear travel.
    I may well be delusional about selective logging, but done properly it is sustainable, done badly it’s not and your clear felling and burning is wiping out the forest industry.
    Clearfelling followed by intensive burning and aerial seeding remains as the most reliable method, especially for E obliqua and E regnans regeneration establishment. except for one small fact, no one alive and working in the industry will ever reap the benefits or have speciality timbers.
    # 29 MJF
    South Riana-Loyetea in the fifties growing up and observing.

  36. john hayward

    November 21, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Chronic conflict of interest, along with other forms of administrative corruption, is arguably one of the defining qualities of Tasmanian governance. Note the percentage of FT’s pro-logging posters who have unblushing commercial ties to the industry.

    John Hayward

  37. Mark Poynter

    November 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    #32 Tony Stone

    “#30, that 6% in Victoria, relates to remaining forests. So 6% of remaining forests each year, over 10 years, means 60% of remaining forests will be gone and each year that 6%, will grow as remaining forests disappear”

    No — the 6% is the proportion that is available and suitable for timber harvesting that is intended to be managed on a cycle of harvest and regrow in perpetuity. The areas of forest doesn’t reduce as areas are harvested, it simply becomes a younger regrowing forest.

    “As one who spent a lot of time in Sth Gippsland as a child, can assure you 100% of those massive forests are all gone and nothing remains. Just barren eroded hills and dry river beds”

    Well, I was born in South Gippsland so I can assure you that the efforts of the Forests Commission in reafforesting abandoned farms in the so-called “Heartbreak Hills” in the 1960s and 70s has somewhat resurrected those forests although most have been replaced by farmland. There are some eroded hills, but also plenty of verdant green farmland interspersed with healthy tracts of forest and plantation, and fine streams.

  38. mJF

    November 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    “As to land tenure, I’m pretty sure landowners would be happy to have long term money making trees growing around the borders of their properties. Which protect them, give shade and provide a future down stream income.”

    Maybe. Lets ask one.

    S Warriner, are you out there ?

    How does Mr Stones plan to clear say a 40m wide firebreak (my idea of width)along your perimeter , plant out with blackwood, wattles (?) and assorted deciduous trees/shrubs sit with you as a property owner permanently detracting from your pasture area ?

    No problem if you get royalties from the blackwood after 80 years rotation ?

  39. Mark Poynter

    November 21, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    #31 max

    Your concerns around old growth logging are grossly outdated as there has been none in NSW and WA since 2001, virtually none (perhaps 1% of the annually logged area) in Victoria since 2006 and not much before that, and a bit more in Tas, but very little now (a very small proportion of total logging).

    You need to move on and accept that most logging these days in not in old growth forests.

    “A study of charcoal records from more than 220 sites in Australasia dating back 70,000 years has found that the arrival of the first inhabitants about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity across the continent”

    Yes, but since that paper it has been found that because most of the indigenous and natural fires were of low intensity they mostly did not register in the charcoal record. In fact what has changed since European settlement is that the amount of fire in the landscape has fallen, but what fire there is has greatly increased severity because of higher fuel loads allowed to build by the relative lack of regular light fires.

    You should read “The Biggest Estate on Earth” by Bill Gammage.

  40. Mark Poynter

    November 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    #23 Tony Stone

    “It’s the management and logistical use of forests which mitigate fires, not clear fell and supposed fuel reduction burns”

    Who ever said that clear felling mitigates fires?? However, fuel reduction certainly does and there is a mountain of evidence that shows this. If you are interested in facts, I suggest you read the “Overview of Prescribed Burning in Australasia” Report for the National Burning Project: Sub-Project 1.

    Your continued fixation on the supposed effects of clear felling on fire is perplexing — it covers a miniscule portion of the landscape and would have would have a proportionally miniscule effect even it could be demonstrated to exacerbate fires — which as I said earlier, has been debunked by bushfire scientists responding to claims by non-expert ecologists who it seems you are more pre-disposed to believe.

    “As for tourism, I have been in the industry for over 40 years and I know what tourists …. complain about in Tas. Forestry destruction and rampant log trucks is the number one complaint”

    Although this is not my area of expertise, I seem to recall recent analysis that says most of Tasmania’s tourists come to visit Hobart and MONA, not forests.

    I also recall that in the early 2000s, only 5% of the 10,000 completed tourism exit surveys made a comment on forestry, and in 2004 the Tourism Council of Tasmania noted that only 2% of visitors were concerned by logging. This was at a time when the industry was far larger than it is today, so on this basis your claim about supposedly ‘rampant log trucks’ is eminently debatable.

    “Without fuel on the ground a fire can’t continue, and plantations are the biggest fuel build up method there is”

    This comment doesn’t make sense. The first part is right, but if you’ve ever walked in a good plantation it doesn’t have a whole lot of ground fuel. In fact on the mainland there have been several instances where hot wildfires have been pulled-up when they’ve entered plantations where there was insufficient fuels to sustain them.

    However, it depends on the quality of the plantation, poorly growing ones can retain dead dry branches almost down to ground level which can provide a step ladder into the crown. But to decry plantations on the whole as “the biggest fuel build-up there is” is plain wrong.

    Your final two paragraphs are just an irrational rant that you should hope is quickly forgotten as it does you no credit.

  41. Tony Stone

    November 21, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Fire resistant and restricting fire breaks are not crazy and have been used for thousands of years, you see small ones round Tas all the time, used by those who have lived here for generations.

    Strategically placed blackwood and green wattle are the most prevalent forms of fire control used along with deciduous trees and fire resistant shrubs.

    It depends on the area, situation and terrain as to where you place these forms of fire breaks and when you remove the fuel from area’s adjoining these barriers, you stop fires in their tracks.

    As to land tenure, I’m pretty sure landowners would be happy to have long term money making trees growing around the borders of their properties. Which protect them, give shade and provide a future down stream income.

    The logistics of this approach would have to be worked out for every area and community, it’s not possible to give an overall plan, as local communities, fire services knowledge and experience would have to be included.

    There is no concern about planting fire breaks, nor harvesting them in a manner which doesn’t effect their primary job of protecting communities from fires. We can also us fire resistant deciduous trees, which could provide many other benefit’s, as well as contribute to fire protection.

    Sadly everyone is still stuck in the mindset that climate change and global warming, are some how not going to effect how they conduct their lives and things will continue as they are.

    I look at the future from a worst case scenario so make plans which will accommodate anything up to a worst case, that means what ever happens, hopefully we will be prepared.

    If we as a society looked at the future in the same way, we would be well down the road of setting our island up to cope with the huge changes coming and continue with enjoying our lives. Which every way it goes, this approach not only helps protect us, but also develops long term value added industries around the island.

    So it would be a win win for everyone, but if we continue as we are, it will be a massive lose we will face every year and it will worsen every year. Until the planet has rid itself of the destructive low life called, ideological humanity.

    #30, that 6% in Victoria, relates to remaining forests. So 6% of remaining forests each year, over 10 years, means 60% of remaining forests will be gone and each year that 6%, will grow as remaining forests disappear.

    As one who spent a lot of time in Sth Gippsland as a child, can assure you 100% of those massive forests are all gone and nothing remains. Just barren eroded hills and dry river beds.

  42. max

    November 21, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    # 30 Mark … Victoria has lost more native vegetation than any other state, and Tasmania has the highest clearing rate in proportion to the State’s total land area.

    Old growth forests are particularly precious forests that are rich in biodiversity and that support unique and precious ecological functions. When these forests are logged they may take up to 1,000 years to return to their original state, while the hollows in gum trees that support breeding animals and birds can take more than 100 years to form. The current practce of total removal of all trees in old growth forests simply moves more species closer to extinction

    Old growth forests also provide the most valuable carbon sinks in Australia. They can store up to 640 tonnes of carbon for every acre. This is one of the highest rates in the world. The continued logging of our old-growth forests represents 20% of Australia’s total pollution emissions. Current management in Victoria is not ecologically sustainable forest management. The science is clear about the urgent changes that are needed. It is time for the policies to match the science.

    A 2011 research paper has questioned whether Indigenous Australians carried out widespread burning of the Australian landscape. A study of charcoal records from more than 220 sites in Australasia dating back 70,000 years has found that the arrival of the first inhabitants about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity across the continent. The arrival of European colonists after 1788, however, resulted in a substantial increase in fire activity.

  43. Mark Poynter

    November 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    #28 Max … “The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended tripling the annual rate of fuel reduction burning to 5% of the forests per annum. That is worse than nothing … ”

    Well no – its actually three times better than what was happening before, and would mean that at any one time one-quarter of the forest would be comprised of light fuels fuel reduced within the previous 5 years. Therefore, any wildfire would stand a far better chance of running into an extensive light fuels barrier that it did before.

    However, most foresters would agree with you that 5% per annum isn’t enough. I suspect the Royal Commission arrived at that figure after considering what would be logistically possible, and to compromise on the likely backlash from so-called ‘environmentalists’ who are opposed to its use.

    “A natural forest protects itself by smothering the undergrowth with it’s canopy … ”

    Well no, most forests are not wet forests, but dry or intermediate forests that in their natural pre-European state were regularly burnt, and that’s what kept the undergrowth at bay and the understorey open.

    “Let the light in with clear felling and roads and … you have the makings of another major Marysville like disaster”

    Perhaps if every forest was clear-felled you may have a point, but that has never been and never will be the case. In Victoria for example, only 6% of the forests are used for timber production, and only a portion of that will be subject to clearfelling. So you are (as is typical on TT) making absurd claims by ignoring the contextual reality.

  44. MjF

    November 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Stone #23 … “You control forest fires in these times by planting fire resistant fire breaks throughout the state and surrounding communities, then you selectively use these breaks for high valued products and, done right, it gives you a never ending supply of high quality timber.”

    Could be some merit in this concept, as crazy as it sounds, but some thinking outside the box can’t hurt.

    Such breaks would have to be very strategically placed for any advantage which raises the question of land tenure and how to secure it for the long term

    I would be also concerned that planting up a firebreak would no longer be a firebreak, but a minor detail.

    Where do you see these typically being placed, how wide, what species do you see as providing worthwhile fire resistance, how long the rotations and who would manage etc ?

    Max #24 … as a matter of interest, where did you live, when and what was your connection with the bush to be there?

  45. max

    November 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    # 25 Mark … It is also noteworthy that a little bit of fuel reduction burning is not sufficient as it needs to be conducted on a significant scale to be most effective. 100 % correct Mark, on a significant scale when anything that can burn is gone then no bush fires.

    The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended tripling the annual rate of fuel reduction burning to 5% of the forests per annum. That is worse than nothing, 20 years between fuel reduction burns in any one area. What happens after a fuel reduction burn, plants that love fire quickly return and establish a highly inflammable under storey, you then have a fire storm waiting for the first spark. A natural forest protects itself by smothering the undergrowth with it’s canopy, Let the light in with clear felling and roads and give the fire lovers a burn and a chance to thrive and you have the makings of another major Marysville like disaster.

  46. Nicholas Gilbert

    November 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I am interested in recent research especially by Iraqi Loladze regarding the massive increase in carbohydrate levels in plants globally as a result of increasing CO2. This is a perverse outcome of the fertilization effect of CO2 whereby not only are plants growing faster but the content is also changing. This is reflected in agricultural crops with decreasing nutrient levels ( today’s wheat has about 10% less protein as well as declines in zinc and calcium compared to 50 years ago). Meanwhile carbohydrate levels have increased.

    On a landscape level this boost in the calorific value must be increasing the flammability and fire intensity which is being seen in fire behavior globally. This might help explain why fire intensity is greater in regrowth and plantations compared to old growth which is slower to respond to the carbohydrate boosting effect. This is all the more reason to keep our Tarkine intact and not log any remaining old growth, better still protect it for wilderness values which far outweigh any puny benefit from forest operations.

  47. Robin Charles Halton

    November 21, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    #15 and #24 max,
    First of all, its insulting to suggest that the pre settlement aboriginal population would have burnt out the Tarkine if they could!
    Their fires kept open travel routes and maintained tracts of native grass land, low intensity fires produced “new pick” to attract grazing mammals tht in turn were hunted for food.
    There is still much evidence of the fire activity today as fires petered out on contact with vegetation of a differing moisture differential to that of button grass, typically tea tree rapidly merging with rainforest species.
    As I noticed, these observations were quite pronounced on Surrey Hills in the NW, Mt Victoria in the NW and the Blowhole Valley plains at Recherche!

    Current fuel reduction practitioners should be following the same path as per written burning prescriptions.
    …………………………………….
    Max you are deluded by selective logging as is normally the case to harvest the best trees for sawlogs.

    “Creaming” in the past has removed the quality sawlogs leaving smaller and rougher sawlogs for another cycle of harvest each time leaving only a far less productive forest suitable primarily for pulp and firewood.
    Each selective harvest leads to a less productive forest, only a severe wildfire through these areas could produce satisfactory regeneration but is dependent on the majority of the standing old growth being killed as well as a sufficient seed crop from standing trees being available at the time of the wildfire.

    Clearfelling followed by intensive burning and aerial seeding remains as the most reliable method, especially for E obliqua and E regnans regeneration establishment.

  48. Mark Poynter

    November 21, 2017 at 11:28 am

    #20 max

    No forester has ever said that fuel reduction burning will guarantee that firestorms will never happen or that towns will always be saved. That is a ‘straw-man’ argument put forward by those, such as the NSW NPA spokesman you have quoted, who are opposed to the practice, and can then point to situations like Marysville to say “look I told you so”.

    As its title suggests, fuel reduction burning reduces fuels – it does not totally remove them – and so when you get once-in-a-generation weather and fuel dryness conditions such as on ‘Black Saturday’ 2009 or the 1967 Hobart fires, there will still be firestorms that cannot be fought and human life and property will most likely be lost, even if fuel reduction has occurred – particularly if that fuel reduction has only been small and piecemeal rather than extensive.

    It is also noteworthy that a little bit of fuel reduction burning is not sufficient, it needs to be conducted on a significant scale to be most effective. Prior to Black Saturday, only around 1.5% of Victoria’s public forests were being treated per annum. Therefore at any time, only around 7% of Victoria’s forests had light fuels less than five years since treatment. Under these circumstances, fires can easily burn through or go over or around small patches of fuel reduced forest, such as at Marysville.

    Contrast this to WA, where for around 50-years from 1961, they annually treated 6 – 8% of their public forests. Thereby at any point in time around a third of their forests had been treated in the previous 5-years and had light fuels. Under this regime, they were able to avoid major forest fires for 50-years as any fire that started even under bad conditions, would soon run into extensive areas of light fuels making it easier to control. The success of the WA fuel reduction regime was why the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended tripling the annual rate of fuel reduction burning to 5% of the forests per annum.

    It is also a reality that in the Marysville case, as well as it having some adjacent small fuel reduction, the town sits in close proximity to extensive areas of wet sclerophyll eucalypt forests that can’t be fuel reduced because they are only ever dry in the mid-summer of exceptional drought years, such as 2009. And the huge fuel levels in these wet forests (in combination with the weather) is what drove the firestorm.

    However, in over 90% of fires, fuel reduction can be an important factor in mitigating their severity and providing opportunities for fire-fighters to gain control. I would have thought that still makes fuel reduction burning a very important fire management tool.

    The other aspect of fuel reduction burning that is rarely mentioned is its environmental benefit. Even on Black Saturday, areas that had been previously burnt in recent years did not suffer the same level of tree death and overall environmental damage as those areas which carried heavy fuel loads. It is also a fact that in pre-European times, all but the wettest forests were regularly burnt by fires ignited by lightning or by Aboriginals. These fires happened so regularly that most forests were in a natural state of light fuel loads. This has been completely over-turned since European settlement by the need to extinguish summer fires to protect property and life, and this has allowed most forests to transform into a heavy fuel state. Thereby fuel reduction is a way of trying to return forests to their natural state under controlled conditions, albeit that it would probably be almost logistically impossible to undertake sufficient burning to fully achieve this.

  49. max

    November 21, 2017 at 11:16 am

    # 21 Robin
    Except the fact that you were brain washed with the present forestry stupidity, open your eyes and observe the present stupidity of the on going failure of your beloved forest industry. Why would the forestry boys plant trees among the slash, eliminate the slash, selective logging in the past left a production forest with no need to burn or plant, tall growing trees self generated, speciality timbers were there and forestry was profitable and then forestry become a clear fell wood chip industry. How do I know, I was there I lived in a production forest and loved it as would most thinking people. I deplore what forestry has degenerated into. What have we got now, a money-losing industry that destroys flora and fauna, one that destroy the health of people with mega plumes of 2.5 particulate and an industry with blinkers on so they only see a straight head path to oblivion of their industry and the life giving forests that the world so desperately needs.

  50. Tony Stone

    November 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

    # 19 … It’s the management and logistical use of forests which mitigate fires, not clear fell and supposed fuel reduction burns. These contribute to fires dramatically as they contribute to fuel accumulation rather than mitigate it.

    You control forest fires in these times by planting fire resistant fire breaks throughout the state and surrounding communities, then you selectively use these breaks for high valued products and, done right, it gives you a never ending supply of high quality timber. Along with building fire proof buildings round the state instead of matchbox homes, you stand a good chance of developing a growing economy, excellent environment and control fires.

    As for tourism, I have been in the industry for over 40 years and I know what tourists want and what they complain about in Tas. Forestry destruction and rampant log trucks is the number one complaint.

    “Last time I looked there was continuing strong demand for decorative and durable solid hardwood products, and a booming export wood chip sector … I’d say that indicates support for forestry.”

    Forestry Tas doesn’t represent or support wood craft industries. It’s the enemy as it destroys huge amounts of craft timbers and wrecks their stands. It loses of hundreds of millions annually, is not supported by the people in any way, and having the politicians and bureaucrats supporting you, is the opposite to good governance and is just another example of corruption in action.

    Proper forestry practices would increase tourism as it would allow tourists to go into forests and see what they are used for in safety. It would mitigate fires because forests bordering communities etc would be managed so fires were slowed by resistant stands, proper removal of fuel without harming the canopy which is essential for fire mitigating and proper environmental management, Without fuel on the ground a fire can’t continue, and plantations are the biggest fuel build up method there is.

    Isn’t it enough to have got our island into this position because of the insane forestry and plantation practices where we are faced with unbelievable fire storms, heavily fueled by plantations and insane forestry practices? Yet you and your ilk are determined to continue down the same path which will destroy us in the end. That’s no different to the religious mob claiming their god is coming to save us all from ourselves, and current forestry practices will finally bring us profits, safety and a wonderful environment.

    Your logic, most definitely, can’t be supported by facts, and just the opposite is the case.

  51. phil Parsons

    November 21, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Besides it being right to protect such a large area of rainforest, the southern cool temperate type, a study by the Cradle Coast Authority showed enormous economic benefit from a Tarkine National Park.

    The old parties have both tried the old failures to get the Tarkine to benefit the North West, forestry and mining. Neither are big employers and have a limited capacity to stimulate the local economy. They certainly don’t differentiate the region as a special destination.

    Forestry may bring a small localized economic benefit but mining has shown itself to be a type of Ponzi scheme, dependent on government handouts, stock market gambling and tax dodges.

    The benefit to the North West economy of having an iconic attraction added to Cradle Mountain and the beauty of the hinterland landscape from Sassafras to Marrawah would be huge.

    Already the exposure of the North West Region has been raised by the cruise boat industry with international visitors who are not cruising looking to see nature, the animals, the birds and the plants, on the increase.

    Always worried about voter reaction the old parties are unable to provide the leadership needed to reset the economy of the North West.

    Dreaming of mega mines, pulp mills and factories when those times have passed is a classic failure of values keeping up with reality and in Tasmania of the struggles of the past holding back the future.

    The Takine is the alternative future to the Wesley Vale Pulpmill yet we remain enthralled with the idea that someone will come with a big bag of money to rescue us. It’s passed time Tasmania determined it’s own destiny by dedicating a special remnant of it’s natural assets to becoming the new Cradle Mountain.

    phill Parsons has campaigned for changes to the allocation and use of natural assets and the protection of the natural services of Tasmania since 1973 when he moved here from the first Manly. He continues to look forward to change because Australians showed that it can happen if you campaign for long enough. One of my mentors died well before we made marriage equal but that change causes me to remember his life of struggle for social justice. I hope I am following his example.

  52. Robin Charles Halton

    November 21, 2017 at 1:12 am

    I wonder where Nichole got the idea from that wet forests are fire retardant and satisfactory strike rate for regrowth could some how be regenerated without the use of a hot fire.

    I could imagine the forestry boys planting new trees among the thick logging slash and then years later, asking them to fight extensive wildfires occuring within the selectively logged coupes generated by an ignition source among the remaining residues up to 10-20 years later!

    How could we expect to live in this continent any longer with those life threatening health risks posed by smoke inhalation. Maybe its time to move away from the continually fire prone continent altogether!

    I am awaiting the doctors order to evacuate our island state.

  53. max

    November 20, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    # 19 Mark.
       The futility of fuel reduction was seen in the 2009 Victorian firestorm. An estimated 100 lives were lost when the town of Marysville went up in flames. Controlled burns had been used to reduce fuel loads around the town in 81, 82, 85, 87, 99, 04, 05 and 08. These burnings were not effective and the bush around the town merely contributed to the fireball that engulfed it. Even complete eradication of flora does little to stop a fire. In the words of Andrew Cox, head of the National Parks Association of NSW:  
     “The bush will carry a fire regardless of what you do beforehand. In extreme conditions, bushfires could rage across treeless paddocks rendered bare by drought and feeding livestock. [Hazard reduction] has a negligible effect on slowing or stopping a fire.”
    I was involved in the 1967 fires in Tasmania, I saw first hand eucalyptus fire ball rolling down hill in crown fires. Fuel reduction burns would have been a wast of time as the ground fire was a secondary fire and would only have created fire prone regeneration plants that would have burn hotter. Whole gullies escaped burning as the crown fire passed over and the damp gullies escaped the secondary burn. Grass fires jumped into the eucalyptus gas hovering over the tree tops and nothing could have stopped the devastating results once this happened.

  54. Mark Poynter

    November 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    #18 Tony Stone … Such self-righteousness. You are having a bad day I presume….

    “There has been nothing done to mitigate fire storms, or even bush fires – it’s all just spin and lies”

    So what do you think should be done? We already know that you have no love for fuel reduction burning … and don’t mention water-bombing helicopters that cost ~$60,000/day just sitting idle at the airport waiting for a fire to start.

    “The current forestry approach is detrimental to tourism …”

    Tasmania has become one of the best eco-tourism destinations on the planet all while it co-existed with a significant timber industry … they largely occur in different place … so how is it detrimental?

    “There is bugger all support for forestry’s current approach anywhere …”

    Last time I looked there was continuing strong demand for decorative and durable solid hardwood products and a booming export woodchip sector … I’d say that indicates support for forestry.

    “We could make billions out of other decent uses of our native forests …”

    There is nothing stopping us given that the majority of forests aren’t used for timber supply … so why aren’t these other ‘decent uses’ happening?

    “No one has investigated the viability of native plants that could used in health and nutrition”

    As per above … there is nothing to stop it happening in the majority of forests that aren’t used for timber supply.

    “Nowhere is forestry using mitigating fire approaches or defensive forestry”

    Isn’t fuel reduction burning a ‘mitigating fire approach’? Isn’t trying to maintain roads and tracks to maintain fire-fighter access a mitigating approach? Isn’t fire spotting a mitigating approach? Isn’t maintaining a forestry/fire workforce a mitigating approach?

    “Defensive forestry opens up the long term prospects of an economic windfall and opens up tourism and commercial enterprises providing jobs and boosting local communities. It would stop fire storms and relegate forest fires to small local areas”

    Would love to know how tourism and (non-forestry) commercial enterprises would stop fire storms and relegate fires to small local areas.

  55. Tony Stone

    November 20, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    #13 … “Current provisions of multiple activities such as forestry, tourism and environmental protection which includes proactive fire management with strong community support for economic activity in the region far outweighs that of total Reserve status.’

    You sound like a typical politician/ideologue deeply in denial. There has been nothing done to mitigate fire storms, or even bush fires – it’s all just spin and lies.

    The current forestry approach is detrimental to tourism, is short sighted and has no viable future whatsoever when you consider what is happening with climate change.

    There is bugger all support for forestry’s current approach anywhere, except within the government with their vested interests and useless bureaucracy.

    We could make billions out of other decent uses of our native forests, compared to the huge loses with clear fell chip mill insanity. No one has investigated the viability of native plants that could used in health and nutrition. It’s just chainsaws, bulldozers and fire. Nowhere is forestry using mitigating fire approaches or defensive forestry.

    Defensive forestry opens up the long term prospects of an economic windfall and opens up tourism and commercial enterprises providing jobs and boosting local communities. It would stop fire storms and relegate forest fires to small local areas.

    Compared to a defensive approach, Forestry Tas uses destructive short term practices which you advocate, and we all know that’s a never ending economic loss. Forestry Tas aids, promotes and creates bush fires scenarios with it’s insane approach.

  56. Mark Poynter

    November 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    #6 and #11 … Tony Stone

    “Fires are easily controlled with the right approach …. ”

    “Fuel reduction burns are another stupidly incompetent approach”

    These are very grandiose assertions … what is your fire management experience? I can’t believe you’re not running the Tasmanian Fire Service … or are you?

    #14 … Nicole Anderson

    “Sorry Robin, but the burn maps demonstrate it was the Forestry operations proximal to population areas which required the largest mobilisation of fire-fighting resources the nation has ever seen.”

    Largest mobilisation ever seen? Perhaps you haven’t heard of 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, 2003 Vic/NSW Alpine fires, 2006-07 Victorian fires or the 2009 Black Saturday fires which actually included 13 different fires burning from east to west across Victoria.

    #14 … Nicole Anderson

    “This case supports other analyses in Victoria which showed Forestry operations, whether plantations or native forest regrowth, increase the wildfire risk for around 60 years”

    This analysis by ecologists has actually been discredited by specialist bushfire scientists. Post-logging regrowth was shown on Black Saturday to be often fire resistant up to 7 years of age, and thereafter it is no more flammable than natural fire regrowth which is far more prevalent throughout the landscape on the mainland.

    There have also been some documented cases in Vic where forest fires have been slowed by running into 10 – 15 year old eucalypt plantations because they have insufficient ground vegetation to sustain a hot fire.

    #14 … Nicole Anderson

    “The current Forestry practice of clearfelling fire retardant wet forest then replacing it with hot fire regenerated regrowth is not only illogical from a public health and safety and ecological view, but downright negligent”

    You are in denial of the ecology of wet eucalypt forests if you believe they are fire retardant. They rely on being burnt periodically for their renewal and their ongoing presence in the landscape.

  57. Robin Charles Halton

    November 19, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    #14, Nichole, I was wondering if the case study you refer to would have been the official version lodged after the difficult 2016 fire season to the State Fire Management Council and accepted generally by the various local fire committees affected in the north of the State as the reasons contributing to the level of wildfire activity!

    In fact I am not aware of the content of this report or case study!

    If you would like to clarify the information as I would have expected the report or case study would have been presented to the State Minister then I would be would be happy to respond!

  58. max

    November 19, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    # 13 … How much crap can one person come up with in defence of fire policies and the ongoing destruction of irreplaceable old growth forests?

    Tasmania Aboriginal fire stick practices were a way of producing grasslands for game. They would have burnt out the Tarkine if they could have. Burn, burn, burn is your mantra, I know because you told us but the only reason wet rain forest exist in Tasmania is because it is hard to burn, if it wasn’t your mob or the Aborigines would have converted it.
    The Aborigines wanted hunting grounds, Forestry Tasmania just want to go bankrupt destroying the irreplaceable. Why?

  59. Nicole Anderson

    November 19, 2017 at 10:57 am

    #2 … The 2016 Bushfires affecting the Northwest of Tasmania were a case study in the naturally fire retardant qualities of undisturbed wet forest vs highly flammable unmanaged buttongrass and forestry operations.

    Sorry Robin, but the burn maps demonstrate it was the Forestry operations proximal to population areas which required the largest mobilisation of firefighting resources the nation has ever seen. From a single ignition point in Forestry managed land, joined by the buttongrass/heath fire from the Dempster plains south. Another 2 ignition points, one in the heath near Wuthering Heights Rd, and the other in the Forestry managed Rebecca plantation caused the remainder of the bushfire impact on the regional health and economy. 4 ignition points caused 84,000 hectares of burning requiring immense resources. Conversely, 10 ignition points within intact wet rainforest burned no more that a couple of hectares each and self extinguished.

    This case supports other analysis in Victoria which showed Forestry operations, whether plantations or native forest regrowth, increase the wildfire risk for around 60 years. I certainly agree there needs to be more active land management in the mosaic burning of native vegetation as it has been managed that way for millennia and has adapted such. This needs to occur whether the property is private lands, crown land, World Heritage, national park or reserve. There is certainly growing consensus among land managers, conservationists and the fire service in this regard, and it’s encouraging to see.

    I do not believe there is enough resource to manage all of Forestry impacted places – the roads are overgrown and the sheer scope of coupes is too extensive to manage all of them all of the time. Just see the extent on Google Earth. The current Forestry practice of clearfelling fire retardant wet forest then replacing it with hot fire regenerated regrowth is not only illogical from a public health and safety and ecological view, but downright negligent. To perform this around population centres with other industries impacted by bushfire is sociopathic.

  60. Robin Charles Halton

    November 19, 2017 at 10:36 am

    #11, Past fire history shows that regular fire stick management by aboriginal tribes by way of their hunting habits controlled the spread of destructive wildfires in the region on the West Coast from South West Cape to Circular Head.

    NW regional forestry staff including myself regularly carried out extensive and regular AERIAL fuel reduction on button grass plains from South of Macquarie Harbour to Circular head until about 30 years ago when politics and break up of forestry began to occur, due to political interference by Green activism.

    Both Parks and forestry now find themselves with limited resources and less of multiple fire management expertise to effectively carry out a continuation of these programs as both agencies have to deal with the Fire Service who are more suitably better equipped to directly fight fires to protect properties in rural and township settings.

    The Tarkine itself by virtue of the faith of environmental deity Bob Brown and his followers who fail to accept fire control practices nor would the general public tolerate such nonsense being put foward at the next State and Federal elections.

    Current provisions of multiple activities such as forestry, tourism and environmental protection which includes proactive fire management with strong community support for economic activity in the region far outweighs that of total Reserve status.

  61. philll Parsons

    November 19, 2017 at 9:09 am

    #3 makes it clear he has not been to the tarkanya region for some time. Many of the park service centres he refers to are doing quite well in tourism services whilst the old darlings of unemployment, holes in the ground and denuded hills are adrift in the wasteland their uneconomic activities have created.

    I feel for the mania of the pyrophobe Halton. Every summer must be a nightmare until a fire allows him to say see, I told you so, regardless of the cause or the land tenure.

  62. Tony Stone

    November 19, 2017 at 8:09 am

    #10 … Absolute rubbish and what you’d expect from perpetrators of destruction. Fuel reduction burns are another stupidly incompetent approach. It’s environmental controls and proper forestry management which works and you can only do that when you have sensible, sane people in power.

    The past fire history of the region and the entire of tas, was one of environmental controls, living with nature, not destroying it as the ignorant fools of forestry Tas and other deranged ideologies have done over the last 200 years.

    It’s the insane ideologues of the last 2 centuries who have destroyed the future and unless we have real environmental controls and well managed forests, fire storms will only get worse.

    It’s absolutely idiotic to wipe out wet forest gullies and diverse coups as they slow fires, but lib/lab/greens can only see the past and never the real future.

    Plantations are the creators of fire storms as they destroy forests and remove all the natural barriers and controls.

    Politicians, forestry tas and the incumbent workers couldn’t give a stuff about the future. Like their masters, it’s all about now, and me, me, me.

    The recent Dunnally fires is a perfect example of what plantations contribute to fire storms. Every plantation from Sorell to Eaglehawk neck turned into a fire volcano, yet the small left-over natural forest slowed the fires and survived where plantations didn’t.

    Turn the Tarkine into a national park and develop it so it controls fires, protects wildlife and contributes positively to our future. Manage our forests ans evolve them into real wonders, that really contribute to our future.

    The forests of Tas, under the control of the current fools, has provided perfect conditions for fire storms, and it continues to get worse.

  63. Robin Charles Halton

    November 19, 2017 at 1:09 am

    #6, As fire is unpredictable especially by lightening strikes in remote areas which cannot smolder for days, even months and from one season into another without detection until extreme weather conditions approach, a flare up followed by spread can occur within a short space of time!

    A few years ago we had multiple lightening strikes, wilderness areas were let to burn, areas closer to habitation were dealt with at a huge cost and tying up of resources by newcomers taking charge of operations , TFS and PWS, FT had already been downsized previously.

    The truth is Tasmania as is SW Western Australia (noted during my recent travels) are not safe places) to be caught up in uncontrollable wildfires on highly inflammable State Reserves and National Parks where population centres are located nearby.

    Both have the insular feel to the climate and weather which can change with little notice driven by prevailing weather.

    Forestry itself does at least define some form relief through active forestry clear fell and regeneration sequencing by creation of mosaics of forest ages therefore providing some degree of managed fire protection to surrounding lands.

    The problem arises with Reserves and I suspect this could happen at Three Capes and Wielangta unless there is strategic fuel reduction measures acted on, wildfire may cause some unholy suprises!

    In many parts of Australia there is no such thing as a truly fire safe place no matter how well it is managed.

    In fact the most unsafe place to be around the Hobart area is South Hobart above Cascades and Ferntree, including Tolmans Hill and the bushland parts of Mt Nelson too!

    I fear that the creation of more Reserves in particular the Tarkine would create nothing more than headaches followed by heart break given the past fire history of the region, as usual PWS without sufficient funding and taking on more areas would not be able to adequately manage these areas against fire.

  64. Andrew

    November 19, 2017 at 1:02 am

    A Tarkine NP would be a brilliant way to stimulate the economy of the NW. It’s a no brainer for long term jobs and prosperity in the region.

  65. john hayward

    November 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Nothing, and particularly not mixed native forest, burns quite like the dense regrowth, plantations, and the weeds which accompany a forestry operation. Nonetheless, the soggy myth that FT/STT protects us from bushfires is somehow rekindled every year.

    John Hayward

  66. Jon Sumby

    November 18, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Re. 6 … Tony, well said !

  67. Tony stone

    November 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    #2 … “Only fools would be calling out for the creation of more land locked up in Reserves as the climate patterns shifts towards vegetation drying out faster, with extended fire seasons becoming the new norm.

    Of course your’e right, we should cut down every tree and clear the land, so we don’t get any fires, which is the lib/lab, forestry Tas approach.

    There is no accounting for delusional insanity. The opposite should be implemented, more reserves and no clear felling anywhere, which has and is, being carried out by the real fools.

    As for fires, it’s the decades of incompetence, ignorance, wastefulness and pure destruction which has brought us to this point of sitting within a nicely created forestry Tas furnace.

    Fires are easily controlled with the right approach and there is nothing stopping us becoming a fire safe island other than the political system, ignorant ideologues and the remnants of the environmental and economic destructive forestry Tas regime.

    We could have many forestry reserves, all safe and all providing an economic return through tourism and other non destructive enterprises.

  68. john hayward

    November 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Even if the Tarkine and other pristine areas can’t be saved from ourselves, we owe it to posterity to record the extraordinary corruption and crassness that accomplished its destruction.

    There should be “before and after” photos of the entire process, the financial return to the state, and main players in the blitz, down to close-ups of Barnett’s eerily vacant born-again rictus, all in a purpose-built museum made of tropical timbers from Sarawak.

    John

  69. Robin Charles Halton

    November 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    #2 I was referring to the fire on the Peter Murrell Reserve between Kingston and Blackmans Bay, where the Fire Service and Parks are supposedly bringing it under control, TFS updated information may be unclear as I thought it would be more than 5 ha in size.

    I visit the reserve on occasions mainly in spring or early summer with my wife who photographs Orchids.

    While the Reserve is appreciated by nature lovers and recreationists, fuel loads remain as an issue for nearby residents, probably not quite enough fuel reduction is being done to avert a disaster especially down near Blackmans Bay where the bush is really thick and is probably in the too hard basket, eventually a sensational wildfire will result most likely with a few properties nearby suffering too!

  70. TGC

    November 18, 2017 at 10:37 am

    There is probably political merit in defining the Tarkine for reservation purposes to cover all the west coast and along the north-west coast as far as Devonport with most ‘development’ either removed or at least absolutely with no further development of any kind. That should mean the removal of all shacks on or close to the shore with no further development inland of that geographic area.

    A Party that pledges such a re-assessment of the worth of this greatly expanded world-class wilderness area would attract substantial electoral support.

    When you think about it – most coastal towns are in economic decline, and greatly restricting what they can do would have little economic impact on the overall economy – even after ‘resuming’ much of the area.

  71. Robin Charles Halton

    November 18, 2017 at 10:09 am

    No more Reserves as they only end up a expanded areas of Extreme Fire Hazard!
    At least the current situation of having multiple use dedicated use Crown Land tenures within the Tarkine including forestry does mean the land mass is managed in targeted mosaics of existing non forest some of which can be managed by fuel reduction, other areas by sequencing native forestry regeneration and eucalypt plantation.

    I note the Fire service is extinguishing a 5 ha of highly inflammable area of light bush carrying high enough fuel loads to create this emergency.

    Residents adjoining the Reserve should be screaming at Parks to carry out controlled
    burning of larger blocks within the Reserve on a more regular basis otherwise I can bet that there will be more calls outs over summer during the school holidays to deal with emergencies.

    Only fools would be calling out for the creation of more land locked up in Reserves as the climate patterns shifts towards vegetation drying out faster with extended fire seasons becoming the new norm.

  72. Ted Mead

    November 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I wouldn’t get too dismayed by Guy Barnett’s comments as he is as predictable as they come!

    As for saving the Tarkine, a campaign leading into the next state election is an imperative statement, however the region will never be protected through an act of Tasmanian parliament.

    The federal government will, and always has been, where the conservation momentum comes from. The future demise of the Turnbull government may see some movement towards a World Heritage Area, though unfortunately the Tarkine is located within one of the country’s most marginal electorates, so it going to take more than votes in Braddon to save it.

    What is required is broad recognition of its global values to all Australians, and only a national conservation campaign will provide that!

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