Forestry

A case study in folly #3 – the 2013 Wambelong fire 

“If you do not graze and/or burn the country, it will turn into scrub. It will turn into a time bomb and one day it will explode”. Vic Jurskis. “Burning small patches higgledy‐piggledy every 10 years or so doesn’t have much effect on wildfires”. Submission to the Wambelong fire Introduction My June 2022 forestry blog provided …

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A case study in folly #2 – the 2003 Canberra firestorm

“But there is a sad symbolism in the tragedy of the burning bush capital, for Canberra was not merely sited in the political middle ground between Sydney and Melbourne but in an environmental middle ground between two Australia’s: that of the bush and that of the metropolis. When slammed together, the matter and anti-matter of …

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Converting the sandy wastelands

Esperance is a vibrant coastal town. It has a temperate climate and rainfall, which produces a reliable growing season of between five and eight months each year. Despite the favourable environment, Esperance had little permanent settlement before 1950. This was mainly due to soil deficiencies on the sandplains that surrounded the town. Immediately north of …

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Helms arboretum

There is an interesting 4,000-hectare forestry reserve located just outside Esperance called the Helms Forestry Reserve. It protects one of the largest areas of sandplain heath near Esperance, known as kwongan. It is dominated by banksias, hakeas, grevilleas and woollybush.  Within this reserve is an 800-hectare arboretum named in honour of Andy Helms, a well-respected …

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Wooden gold

Introduction  Sandalwood is a highly aromatic timber that has been harvested in Asia over centuries for many uses. The main one has been burning powder from the tree in joss sticks as incense and forms a significant part of religious ceremonies. In Australia, Aborigines had many cultural uses for sandalwood. Some species can be carved …

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A tale of the Goldfields Woodlands where ideology triumphs professionalism, experience and history

“Think of forests of WA and you picture the green south-west; think of Kalgoorlie and you conjure thoughts of gold, not trees. But the green and gold are inseparable. The trees that kept the hearts of the mines pumping were cut from native woodlands miles from the goldfields and hauled along specially constructed bush railways”. Cliff Winfield …

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