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Forests not Woodlots

Margaret Blakers, director of the Green Institute and a long-time environmentalist

Rosemary Beaumont’s article is timely. The Great Southern Forest is part of a larger picture which will see the fate of over 6 million hectares of Australia’s most loved native forests decided between now and 2021. Either they will be handed to the logging industry for another 20 years, effectively to become woodlots, or the federal government will resume environmental oversight and give the forests a chance.

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Forests are not Magic Puddings

Article from the Victorian National Parks Association
’Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings’ March 2017.

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and executive director of the Victorian National Parks Association, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

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A Better Future for Public Native Forests

It’s possible with diverse community support

Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW

Last year the National Parks Association NSW (NPA) released a report that showed how, despite being a noble attempt to marry some pretty uncomfortable bedfellows (logging, conservation and recreation), the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have failed in all of their high level aims. From protecting the environment to maintaining long-term economic stability and jobs in forest industries, the RFAs have not worked. A new approach is desperately needed writes Oisín Sweeney.

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Expiry of first Regional Forest Agreement offers opportunity to end the forest wars

Wednesday the 3rd February is a milestone in the long and chequered history of native forest management in Australia. The first Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) expires in East Gippsland following 20 years of destructive logging. Instead of just extending them, prolonging conflict and driving species towards the edge, now is the time to chart a new course says the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA).

Regional Forest Agreements are 20-year deals between the state and federal governments that permit the logging of public native forests. Across Australia, almost 7 million hectares of native eucalyptus forests are logged under 10 RFAs[1]. The RFAs were an attempt to marry conservation, logging and recreation to bring an end to the ‘forest wars’ that pitted conservationists against the logging industry. They haven’t worked.

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Review of evidence concludes Regional Forest Agreements a failed model for forest management  (Parks Protection News)

Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) that have been the framework for public forest management in NSW for 20 years have failed to achieve any of their top-line aims, a new study has found.

The Agreements, which were the centrepiece of the peace deal that ended the “Forest Wars” of the 1980s and 1990s, were supposed to lead to:

  • Creation of a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of forest reserves;
  • Implementation and enforcement of ecologically sustainable forest management practices;
  • Development of a viable, ecologically sustainable timber industry;
  • Ongoing research into ecological, economic, and social aspect of forest management.