2016, some things may change, some may stay the same

Further to my whining about FCNSW and its approach to koala prescriptions in Glenbog SF, the EPA has advised that an environmental incident report has been created (Ref No C16939-2015). What happens next is anyone’s guess, but as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, calls from the NCC and NEFA for a government inquiry into the running of NSW Forestry Corporation and its regulation are clearly overdue.
Back on the south coast there is none of that, rather Chipstop have started a petition calling on the chipmill to stop logging native forests. According to spokesperson Harriet Swift –
“ . . . The change in ownership of the Eden chip mill presents a wonderful opportunity for a fresh start, to leave behind the conflict, cruelty and catastrophic carbon emissions of native forest woodchipping. ANWE will be welcomed in the region as a plantation wood only facility, bringing new hope and a future for the region’s forests, their wildlife and communities. It is time to leave behind this outdated industry.”
Great in theory, although there isn’t much plantation hardwood around these parts. The chipmill owners did plant a couple of hundred hectares some years back, but the trees simply don’t grow.



At a local scale, it’s possible the NSW Scientific committee will release a preliminary determination on koalas from Dignams to Wapengo in coming months. Should this be the case, there are likely to be several implications for the IFOA ‘rewrite’ and forest management generally. Particularly with regard to soils.
Hence, my quest to implement restoration management continues with the latest bio-char unit in photo above. Some cement, mudbricks, corrugated iron, a 44 gallon drum and an old 100lb gas cylinder.
It doesn’t produce much char, on this trial 5.4kg. Based on a carbon price of $20 a tonne, it’s worth about 10 cents. However, the unit is designed so the ‘syngas’ exits the cylinder via a pipe, initially  venting under the cylinder to  assist in the heating process .
What surprised me is the volume of gas it produces and the roar it makes when burning sounds like a blast furnace. On the basis that more gas is produced than is necessary for the bio- char, the next step is to cobble together a gas storage tank – when it stops raining.


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