Forestry

Ignoring the legacy of active management to create a “wilderness”

Introduction The south-west forests of Western Australia have a rich history in timber utilisation, being one of the longest traditional industries in the state. Several timber towns that housed the timber workers and their families were established in the Darling Range close to the newly constructed Perth-Bunbury-Bridgetown railway line to utilise the timber from the …

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The McGowan logic – sustainable native forest logging is not acceptable for the environment, but the widespread clearing of jarrah for bauxite is

Introduction In September 2021, the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, made a shock announcement that all native forest logging would cease in 2024, at the end of the current 10-year Forest Management Plan. The decision was made without consultation with the timber industry, public, or government agencies. The reasons for the decision were to save …

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Who was Jack Rate?

While I stayed at Walpole, I read about a local forester named John “Jack” Henry Rate. Jack was the first forester in the area and has a tree, lookout, road and a forest block named after him. I had never heard of him before, and I thought he should be more widely known with that …

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Who are the real forest saviours in Western Australia?

“Surely there can be no greater cathedral as forests such as those of the karri.” Vincent Serventy  “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools” Rudyard Kipling The “defenders of the South West forests” are celebrating the recent announcement by the Western Australian Premier …

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Cabins in the sky

Introduction Early in my forestry career, I recall reading the fantastic story about building fire towers on top of karri trees in Western Australia. I got to see and climb one of them around the turn of last century when I had a brief visit to the south-west forests. I am in awe of the …

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Grass rings of the outback and trees of the artificial wilderness

“Fire has helped the flammable spinifex invade this vast land, and that spinifex has helped fire to dominate the landscape”. Peter Latz So I’ll see you out on the mulga and spinifex plain; Anytime, Tjilpi, I’ll be coming back this way; See you out on the mulga and spinifex plain; Just light me a fire …

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Should we cull crocodiles?

Crocodiles are ancient reptiles with their ancestors around before the age of the dinosaurs. What makes them so durable is they are perfectly adapted to their environment. The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is most likely encountered in tidal rivers and estuaries, billabongs, and floodplains. However, they can also be found in the open …

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A tale of two grasses

How buffel grass changed the dead heart of Australia When you enter the Northern Territory from South Australia the landscape changes immediately from mulga scrub to more open savannah woodland dominated by the introduced buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris).  Buffel grass is a deep-rooted perennial native to Africa, the Middle East and India. This makes it …

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