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It was time professional management and conservation efforts of the State's foresters were recognised, encouraged and publicated, rather than the mistaken and unfounded conclusions of sincere but misguided conservationists, a Victorian Sawmillers Association spokesman has claimed.
Writing in the Natural Resources Conservation League of Victoria publication, "Trees", Mr Tom Brabin denied that forests were being permanently damaged by forest product industries, particularly woodchipping.
"Claims are being made that our forests are being destroyed by the forest product industries; that wildlife is being eliminated, that erosion is speeded up - and so on.
"In simple terms these accusations are just not true," Mr Brabin said, "No conservationist has yet been able to name one area of Victoria where forests have been permanently eliminated by logging."
Too often people taking a conservation stance formed conclusions without the understanding and knowledge to form such conclusions, regardless of how sincere and genuine they might be, Mr Brabin claimed.
"What few people realise is that out forests are our major renewable natural resource and despite utilisation for production of timber and pulp products for 150 years, their productive potential is greater now than it was 40 years ago."
The cries against woodchipping were misleading, he said.
Unless the older trees were removed, they effectively shut out the light to the younger trees, supressing natural regeneration.
It had become obvious that natural nature used totally destructive fires to kill the old forests, thereby permitting full sunlight and creating a clean seed bed for the seedlings to grow and develop into forests.
Mr Brabin said some eucalypts had earned the description of fire climax species.
If they were not subjected to destrucrtive fires at least every 200 to 250 years, which was natures clearfelling method, or their regeneration was not fostered by man, they would die out.
The extensive myrtle and blackwood forests of Tasmania, where eucalypts were once the major species, was an example of this.
"It is doubtful if the critics of clearfelling realise that many of the ash forests they are arguing about are the result of clearfelling," Mr Brabin said.
"Much has been claimed concerning the damage to streams, wildlife and ecosystems as a result of logging," he said.
"It is true that there is disturbance. The aftermath of logging is unsightly for two or three years untill replaced by a regenerated forest.
"But only small well spaced pockets are felled at anytime, usually from 20 to 60 hectares.
Stream sides were left unlogged to protect water quality and preserve wildlife habitats, areas of special scenic significance were not logged, trees acting as homes for wildlife were retained and roads and tracks were constructed to minimise erosion risks.
What was most disturbing to forest managers was the spate of unfounded accusations frequently made against clearfelling.
"Nutrients are supposed to be lost by removal of logs," Mr Brabin said.
This was true, but what was not appreciated by critics was that the bulk of the nutrients absorbed by the tree during its lifetime were deposited in the leaves, which were not removed from the site.
There was also no evidence that any species of wildlife was threatened by logging.
"In reverse the Fisheries and Wildlife Department has said that many forms of forest dwelling wildlife, once thought to be extinct or near extinction, are increasing in numbers," he said.
"It is time the professional management and conservation efforts of our foresters were recognised, encouraged and pulicised rather than the mistaken and unfounded conclusions of sincere, but misguided conservationists, who have no professional training or experience, and no responsibility for the management and regeneration of our forests," Mr Brabin said.