Hobart

Fudging the figures

“The fundamentals of science are you do not tamper with the original evidence. That has happened with our temperature record, where the past has been cooled and it makes it look as if we’re warming. That is fraud.” Ian Plimer

BOM are right often enough to be considered, but wrong often enough not to be relied upon.

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Extending the railway to the west coast

Introduction

In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I dedicated a chapter to outline the construction of a horse-drawn wooden tramway in the mid-late 1870s. The chapter focused on the monumental task of constructing 74 kilometres of a new line through some sections of dense rainforest, all cleared by hand.

As I wrote in the book, I believe it is the longest wooden tramway built in the world.

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Three days of hell in the valley

Introduction

This month marks the 55th anniversary of the worst fires experienced in the Bellinger Valley since European settlement. The late spring and early summer of 1968 was one of the worst fire seasons experienced in New South Wales. Spring was exceptionally dry in coastal areas, with Sydney only receiving 29.5 mm for the season, easily the driest on record.

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The Hills of Surrey Hills

When writing the book on the history of Surrey Hills, many people worked at AFH who were not mentioned but deserved praise for their contributions. 

One of those was Ross Hills, a Burnie local who rose to a senior position in AFH. As a manager at Burnie during the 1980s, Ross was part of expanding the eucalypt plantation program.… Read more

Training for bombing raids that never came

In September 1939, at the start of World War II, Japan was embroiled in its invasion of China, and Australia committed its troops overseas to help Britain. By early 1941, Australia had sent three infantry divisions and substantial air and naval resources to the Mediterranean and European theatres. Thus, in December 1941, when Japan entered the war against the Allies, much of Australia’s armed forces were heavily involved in campaigns far from home.… Read more

The formation of Bush Watch in Tasmania and its direct links with Surrey Hills

Bush Watch is a community policing initiative which encourages bush users to report unusual or suspicious activities. It was set up like Neighbourhood Watch to deal with the spate of sabotage on equipment, logs etc. 

The Bush Watch idea was first developed by the now defunct Forest Protection Society (FPS). FPS started from humble beginnings in 1987 in frustration at government policies that increasingly destroyed small timber communities and their families.

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What does a forester do? (Part 2)

Because the forestry profession is far from simple and the work highly variable, I have tried to describe what a forester does by outlining the development of the profession in Australia. In Part 1, I outlined the broad principles of forestry and the development of the forestry profession up until WWII.… Read more

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 forester and academic.… Read more