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The Forum > Article Comments > Myths, politics, and Leadbeater’s Possum > Comments

Myths, politics, and Leadbeater’s Possum : Comments

By Mark Poynter, published 29/10/2012

The truth about logging and Leadbeater’s Possum remains obscured by the media’s unwillingness to look beyond the ‘green’ agenda.

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The basic cause of the need to log anywhere, let alone high quality environmental areas which are home to many of the fellow animals we (should) share this planet with, is usually the requirement for more dwellings.
This, once again, takes us to the major problem we, as a species of animal, face.
There are just too many of us.
Until such time as our out of control population growth problem is recognised and controlled then any discussion on subjects such as this article are but a waste of time.
The human virus marches on.
Posted by ateday, Monday, 29 October 2012 8:33:52 AM
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You shot yourself in the foot in this overly long, tendentious post., when you wrote: "...[the govt was] actively working to end resource use activities such as native forest timber production."
That's the whole point! No one would mind if the loggers were producing hardwood timber with plantations - but they aren't, they're raping the planet, removing the last vestiges of the old growth forests that precariously sustain a host of endangered living species.
There's no such thing as sustainable logging. No human can ever replicate the mind-boggling complexity of an old growth forest that has evolved over millions of years. As soon as felling begins, the decline commences. Your lust for destruction of irreplaceable nature is shameful. When population levels of species shrink, so does their susceptibility to climate variation. I guess you'd be happy if there was one possum left in a cage in the Melbourne botanic gardens.
What do you want? A planet of farms in which the only animals left alive are humans and the few species they want to eat? Because that's where your philosophy is leading us.
Posted by ybgirp, Monday, 29 October 2012 10:02:18 AM
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You clearly didn't read past the quote you took from the article. If you had you would have seen that most forests (>90% in Vic) won't be logged. If every forest was to be logged you may have a point, but it isn't and so you don't.

No-one is advocating logging every forest, but I guess much of the over-the-top opposition to timber production comes from that blinkered perspective. Your articulation of such an irrational fear simply reinforces the need for explanatory articles such as this, which will always be overly long and tedious to those who are not open or receptive to challenging facts.

We are many decades away from producing significant quantities of high quality Australian hardwood sawn timbers from plantations.
Posted by MWPOYNTER, Monday, 29 October 2012 11:00:59 AM
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Myths and highly emotive politics, that have very few facts incorporated, are the real reasons, we are losing both habitat and endangered species?
The cloud dwellers got their way and upland grazing was banned in Vic's high country!
Millions of hectares were locked away, to simmer and slowly sizzle in repeated and worsening summer heat, the un-grazed fuel load building and building!
As history records, lightening stuck and fires lit up the skies as unstoppable wild conflagrations that crowned and burnt down millions of hectares; and possibly thousands of remnant Leadbeater's Possums?
And indeed, all manner of rare or endangered flora and fauna!
Today, the burnt out areas are home to many feral species!
David Suzuki, world famous conservationist, is on the public record as saying, natives have been selectively logging native forests for millennia, without harm to either flora or fauna! Literally!
In fact, carefully managed selective logging does nothing but good!
Ditto managed grazing that reduces dangerous fuel loads and or, the possibility of wild fires that have no respect for any endangered or threatened species.
Similarly, small family saw mills that created roads and fire breaks, to allow limited logging in native forests, did far more good than harm, ditto summer grazing!
Plantations, monoculture, are the single cause of why we now have virtually no northern Elm forests and Ash that is now on the endangered list!
Plantations are okay, but only if they mimic as closely as possible, the very biodiversity of our native forests, and then managed with properly structured and professional selective logging!
I prefer the NZ model, where loggers are or were obliged to replace every tree felled, with two more of exactly the same species!
If anyone has threatened to exterminate Leadbeater's possum, it has been the ignorant, lock it away and leave it rabble, merely masquerading as genuinely concerned and erudite, educated, knowledgeable conservationists!
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 29 October 2012 11:39:40 AM
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I don’t normally participate in online forums, particularly with respect to this subject matter as I find it hard to cope with the lack of perspective. I suspect this will be my first and only entry. However, I just could not resist after reading a comment concerning one of the previous articles written by this author.

The comment was “nothing we can do will ever replace these biologically diverse, world class -100 year old forests”.

The irony of course being that all we have to do is wait 100 years, which is the perfect rotation length of a native forest stand. The comment is also ironic on 3 other levels:

1. It acknowledges that the particular area was clear fallen 100 years ago and is not a pristine pre European site, although it would not be far off.
2. It recognises the ecosystem health and vitality is of an extremely high standard, notwithstanding it was logged and regenerated 100 years ago
3. Perhaps the most ironic point of all is that the individual who made the comment (clearly someone very much opposed to logging), unknowingly provided one of the most pro logging comments in the blog.

I am a big believer in climate change and one of the most popular comments from the environmental movement with respect to this, is “you cannot deny the science behind climate change”, which I 100% agree with.

To that end, Forestry is a science that has been studied for centuries and continues to be studied all over the globe, including Oxford University and countless other notable tertiary institutions, including Australian.

At the end of the day, if someone can suggest a more environmentally sustainable natural resource, I would love to hear it.

Lastly, to the protestors, why aren’t you protesting broad scale agriculture, urban development or any other land use that is not native scrub, as in most instances, the only difference between these and previously logged forests is 50 years of growth – shouldn’t the rolling green hills of Tasmania be just as much of a disaster
Posted by jmsc, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:22:08 AM
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Hi Mark: I would question your opening comment regarding Lead Beaters only living in E.regnans and E.nitens wet forests.

I note you mention two known exceptions. One of which is in snow gum where they were found living close to ground level at Lake Mountain.

Having worked in the forest area involved in planning commercial harvesting, and having heard the anecdote regarding the snow gum population, I tried to get some research time/funds to review some of the other forest systems beside areas known to have LB possum. These included old growth E.viminalis forest with wattle understorey – for all intents and purposes phenotypically identical to the regnans population next door, old hollow bearing trees with food species underneath.

Neither the Flora and Fauna experts within DSE/DPI, nor the production side of VicForests wanted to find LBP in those forests.

One side - because finding it there would show it was not as vulnerable as expected; and

The other side - scared that if they did, they would potentially lose access to even more forest.

The debate about these issues is 100% media and public opinion centered. Lindenmayer has dedicated his life to proving LBP are vulnerable and rare. If it can be shown they are not, then he does not have any voice.
Posted by Nervous Nellie, Wednesday, 31 October 2012 2:08:06 PM
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