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Clear-Cut Loophole Enrages Oz - 1 Stump/Hectare Clears Entire Old-Growth Block For Clear-Cutting

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:15 PM
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Clear-Cut Loophole Enrages Oz - 1 Stump/Hectare Clears Entire Old-Growth Block For Clear-Cutting
Logging companies are being allowed to clear-fell ancient jarrah and karri forests in the South-West because of a manipulation of the definition of old growth that allows logging in areas where as little as one tree per hectare has ever been cut down. The Conservation Council has labelled the protection of all oldgrowth forests a big fat lie.

It claims the definition of old growth has been fudged since the introduction of the National Forest Policy Statement in 1992. The statement commits governments to an agreed approach to conserving and managing native forests, including old-growth forest. It defines old-growth forest as unlogged forest or forest with negligible unnatural disturbance.

However, in WA finding one stump in a hectare of karri or wandoo forest could consign the native trees to the chainsaw. Conservation Commission assessment criteria require karri and wandoo forests to be uncut to qualify as old growth. For jarrah forest, finding one or two stumps in a hectare may ensure it is identified as old growth.

Jarrah forest with more than two stumps per hectare, but fewer than 10, is subject to more analysis by the Conservation Commission before it is categorised as old growth or open for logging. "For all intents and purposes this is old-growth forest, Conservation Council vice-president Beth Schultz said last week.

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