What’s happening in WA’s forests?
We can be proud of the forest protection we achieved in 2001. Since then however, continued logging, climate change and forest diseases have combined to have profound impacts on forest health and wildlife.
Our karri and jarrah forests are still being logged despite the industry continually running at a loss to the State. As taxpayers we are paying to see our forests destroyed.
For the past 10 years, about 90 sq. km of forest have been logged every year. If the proposed Forest Management Plan is implemented, twice that area of forest could be logged every year for the next decade. That’s the equivalent in size of 10,000 Subiaco ovals every year.
More than 80% of the wood from our forests ends up as firewood, woodchips, charcoal and railway sleepers.
Does old growth forest still get logged?
Old growth forest was officially protected in 2001 after a very successful community forest campaign. But a biased definition is being used and forests that are old growth by all meaningful considerations, and according to the nationally accepted definition, are still being logged.
- Mapping of old growth forest is incomplete.
- Old growth jarrah forest that is affected by Phytophthora dieback is disqualified and can be logged.
- Old growth karri forest that has been even very lightly logged and has as few as one stump per hectare is disqualified and can be logged.
All our native forests are special and should be protected whether they are deemed old growth or not. Far too much intensive logging has already occurred in the south-west and it is time we protect our vulnerable and irreplaceable native forests.
A bright future!
There are alternatives so let’s create a bright future for people and environment.
The truth is that the native forest logging industry is not financially viable, operates at a loss to the State and is subsidised by tax payers. This means that a change is required and it gives us a real opportunity to create the future we want to see for our south-west forests and communities.
The transition into sustainably managed plantations and farm forestry needs to be completed and remaining native forest timber workers redeployed into these and other sustainable industries.
Our forests are worth far more as habitat for wildlife, carbon stores and community heritage than as low value products like firewood, woodchips, charcoal and railway sleepers.
The WA Forest Alliance is working to protect all our remaining south-west native forests.
Please help and Act Now.
WHAT DO THE SCIENTISTS SAY?
More than 30 forest and wildlife experts have called on the State Government to enact urgent protection measures. You can read their statement here.
Images T-B: WA Forest Alliance, Steven Doig & Robert Frith.