25 October, 2010

Woodchips are the main game

Judith Wakeman, Templestowe
The Age (letter), October 25, 2010

ACCORDING to the most recent Monitoring Annual Harvest Performance report, published by the Department of Sustainability and the Environment (August 2008), 1,667,600 cubic metres of commercial timber was harvested from Victoria's state forests in 2006-07. Of this, 24.7 per cent became sawlogs and 68.5 per cent became woodchips. (In fire salvage areas, 11.5 per cent became sawlogs and 75 per cent became woodchips.) It would seem that sawlog production has become a byproduct of the woodchip industry. There has to be a better way to produce paper.

The same report stated that ''sufficient information on regeneration and thinning operations [within Victoria's state forests] was not provided to allow adequate reporting'' of regeneration operations. Surely it is not possible to regenerate 600-year-old trees in 120 years. And it is certainly not possible to regenerate extinct wildlife.

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