13 November, 2008

LETTER: Conservation, not preservation

Max Rheese, executive director, Australian Environment Foundation, Benalla
Letter, The Age, November 13, 2008

Surely, the aims of "environmentalists" in their outcry over timber harvesting at Brown Mountain would fall within the "wise use principles" of conservation? Full protection for a portion of the forest for all time, sustainable use of a portion of the forest for human endeavour and the regeneration of harvested forest.

This is what happens now. Australian forestry is among the best and most regulated in the world and we should all support the good environmental outcomes that flow from that. We do not have to look far to see the alternative.

The emotional claptrap put forward by various writers (Letters, 12/11), — failing to recognise that more than 90% of Victoria's forests are permanently reserved — does little to foster the integrity of the environment movement.

The fact is fire is the ultimate determinant of forest structure in Victoria; therefore the environment movement should be bringing pressure to bear on land managers to better manage our forests for fire, rather than campaigns based on ideology that aim to have the remaining 9% of forest locked up.

Sustainable use with adequate protection, not preservation, is the key to conservation.

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