Environment Essay: Old Growth Forests in Western Australian

760 Words 4 Pages
How does one rationalize reducing majestic, centuries old, life-giving trees to piles of woodchips, sawdust, timber or waste? Examine where these products end up and you will realize that the plight of Western Australian (WA) old growth forests is more than just a local issue.

The message from conservationists is loud and clear - "Stop logging and save our trees". This is the notion at the heart of what has become a bitter, bureaucratic argument in Australia, centered around the Government's recently signed Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).

However, implementing this apparently simple plea has complex repercussions. Surely, the first objective we should have if attempting to preserve our forests is to reduce demand. To simply
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Another question that should be considered is what would happen to old growth forests if they were not logged? Some people claim that forest management procedures such as clearing, road construction, clearfelling and prescribed burning have directly led to the destruction of WA forests (Endangered species and Our Old Growth Forests, 1998).

To prevent risk to human lives, wildfires are now strictly guarded against. An old growth forest existing before human settlement would typically be swept through by a major bushfire about once every decade (Facts About WA Forests, 1996, p. 6). The forests depend on fire for regeneration and survival and without intermittent natural fires; human designed forest management programs must be implemented if the forest ecosystems are to remain productive.

Prescribed burning is a technique that goes hand in hand with logging in the forest management process. These are measures that are contained in the RFA and described by Conservation and Land Management (CALM) supporters as aiming "to fulfill biodiversity conservation" (Australia's Forests - The Path to Sustainability, 1998). Anti-logging promoters such as the Conservation Council of Western Australia maintain measures are "fudged definitions, maps, data and information ... [and that] the Government is trying to sell the whole charade to the public with a massive public relations campaign" (Green View, 1999).

Perhaps the main issue is a blurred

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