Climate Change and Logging NOT Compatible!

Wildlife conservation has frequently been at odds
with logging, but the main argument in its favor
has often prevailed. The main argument about
logging is that forests are a renewable resource,
that they can recover from fire and cutting, that
they can be restored. This argument has been
progressively weakening, but the new trend toward
unsustainability seems still ignored by at least
a few in the wildlife conservation community,
despite a growing shift in mainstream
conservation thinking.

Logging is both more energy-intensive and
capital-intensive than letting (increasingly
endangered) forests stand where they are.
Lance Olsen

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“In 1991, a report said logging would have to be
reduced because changes in temperature and
rainfall in the South-West would lead to a drop
in productivity and a natural loss of trees.

“Dr Schultz said the report was never published
because the Government said that its climate
predictions were too severe and outdated. But the
estimates of a 20 per cent drop in rainfall and
temperature rises of 1C-2C in the next 50 years
were conservative compared with the latest
experiences and predictions.”
—————————————–

http://www.thewest.com.au/printfriendly.aspx?ContentID=57016

Climate change forces cut to logging quota
4th February 2008, 6:00 WST

Logging of WA native forests will have to be
reduced in response to worsening climate change
but nothing is likely to happen for six years
because of a lack of scientific data,
Conservation Commission chairman John Bailey has
said.

Conservationists and scientists said it was not
acceptable that the research had not been done
and action was not under way because climate
change had been in mainstream planning and
management for at least 20 years.

Associate Professor Bailey said the impact of
climate change on sustainable logging rates would
be a focus of the mid-term review of the
2004-2013 Forest Management Plan due by the end
of the year.

While he believed changes would be needed, it was
not likely that enough solid information would be
available to alter the existing plan and changes
would instead be put in the next plan due in 2014.

It was not imperative that logging alterations
were made any earlier because the slow growth
rate of jarrah and karri meant climate impacts
would not be felt for 50-100 years. “I suspect
that there will be too many uncertainties and too
little need to act immediately but I suspect
there will be increasing need and an increasing
quality of science to be able to do that for the
next plan,” he said.

Conservation Council vice-president Beth Schultz
said logging rates had to be sustainable in
perpetuity and the climate change information
needed to ensure that should already be
available, given that government scientists had
warned that action was needed as early as 17
years ago.

In 1991, a report said logging would have to be
reduced because changes in temperature and
rainfall in the South-West would lead to a drop
in productivity and a natural loss of trees.

Dr Schultz said the report was never published
because the Government said that its climate
predictions were too severe and outdated. But the
estimates of a 20 per cent drop in rainfall and
temperature rises of 1C-2C in the next 50 years
were conservative compared with the latest
experiences and predictions.

University of WA school of earth and geographical
sciences researcher Ray Wills said to not have
the necessary science to make proper management
decisions in 2008 was “nothing less than
deplorable”. “A lot of our current distribution
of forest is determined by climate patterns that
reflect last century Š the climate this century
will be very different and as a consequence we
can’t afford delays on knowing what we’re doing,”
he said.

South-West scientist Peter Lane has lodged a
complaint with the Auditor-General about the way
climate change was considered when setting
current native timber logging rates.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment and
Conservation, which manages the forests, said a
lot of research into climate change and its
impact had been done and was continuing. Forest
plots were being monitored to measure change and
contribute to the next revision of the sustained
yields. Fire, dieback and the impact on
biodiversity also were being investigated.

SUELLEN JERRARD
http://www.thewest.com.au/printfriendly.aspx?ContentID=57016

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