I read with respect Ted Mead’s comments about VicForests and its FSC Controlled Wood audit (27 November): HERE
I would clarify, however, that unlike substitute like plastics, metals and cement, or timber sourced from the developing world, the Victorian native timber industry is renewable, with a dramatically better carbon outcome. Indeed, timber is the ultimate renewable and what we harvest we regrow.
We also provide livelihoods to 2500 regional workers, protects species, are carbon friendly, and supply the creation of beautiful products that adorns most of our homes, and lock up carbon.
We protect threatened species. A 13-hectare exclusion radius (6 MCG fields) protects Leadbeater’s possum colonies and connects them to food and forest corridors; high densities of Greater Gliders in the eastern Victoria attract a 100-hectare exclusion zone.
Where no prescription is required, we voluntarily apply our own by protecting habitats.
In a recent coupe, more than 60 per cent of forest and 98 per cent of habitat trees were retained.
Of course, we already hold Responsible Wood certification, which is endorsed by the global Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – the biggest such system in the world
Despite Mr Mead’s assertion that we have applied for a separate Forest Stewardship Council certification three times; in fact, the recent audit was the second: the first audit was in 2008.
We are acting in the four out of 23 areas where the last FSC audit identified a key non-conformance. And we have committed to achieving the FSC Controlled Wood standard by 2020.
Alex Messina, VicForests General Manager, Corporate Affairs