Last week in Victoria, the Institute of Foresters -Australia (IFA) held a conference with the theme ”Beyond tenure: managing forests across the landscape”. Coinciding with accusations that Vic forests has been illegally logging rainforest in east Gippsland, the IFA suggest ‘Foresters provide the professional capacity to manage trees across public and private ownerships’.
According to the IFA ” . . . we will need to look beyond parks and reserves to meet conservation objectives and to protect trees and forests from the risks of fire, insect pests or disease” and ” Biodiversity and water need to be managed across tenures if we are going to provide these values in future.”
While agreeing with the theme generally, at a regional scale the proposals are consistent with FCNSW and industry efforts to reopen National Parks for logging and legitimize current and future logging on private land. Achieving this will require the support of the regulators, EPA/OE&H. Although logging NP’s is a bit of a hurdle, private land is another matter. Particularly given the EPA has indicated its commitment to unsustainable logging and all indications suggest BMAD forests will be targetted for ‘restoration’.
However, at some point it’s necessary to consider local conditions, within the context of the Federal koala referral guidelines. With regard to water the guidelines specify ‘Degradation of habitat critical to the survival of the koala through hydrological change’.
In some developments, like abandonded quarry rock face in Lismore above, changes to hydrology are inevitable and obvious. Although in this case the fig rooted mostly in rock, may only there because of the type of rock – basalt. The trunks in the foreground and the species that generally dominates the area, where soil remains, is the tree weed Camphor laurel.
Back on the south coast, the evidence indicates significant hydrological change at a catchment and landscape scale over the past 50 years. Along with BMAD, the spread of the weed Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) in riparian areas across tenures, seems likely to partly reflect these changes.
It is still some months until the regulators produce the rewritten IFOA, although it seems unlikely these matters will be given much, if any consideration. So it will be up to locals to ensure continuous improvement, based on credible science, is on the agenda.
Thanks to Aaron for the pic.