Bob Brown finally acknowledges harvested forests do regenerate

DATE 23/04/2012

Claims by environmental groups that harvesting destroys native forest and habitat have been debunked by their leader, Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown.

The Mercury newspaper yesterday published on its website a story promoting the proposed walking track from Hobart through previously harvested native forests to the Styx Valley

Forestry Tasmania's General Manager Corporate Relations and Tourism Ken Jeffreys said the story was significant because it contained a rare, if not unprecedented, admission by Senator Brown that forests that have been clearfelled, burnt and re-sown, are not destroyed but regenerate, complete with biodiversity values.

"Much of this walk is not wilderness, it's logged areas but it has great potential," Senator Brown said.

"Some people will say it's been too trashed but I think it's got potential to recover quickly. In springtime there's waratahs, massive flower displays, masses of birdlife, devils, quolls, wombats.

Mr Jeffreys said that simple truthful statement by Senator Brown makes a lie of 30 years of Green propaganda that has convinced sections of the community that the forest and the wildlife habitat it supports are destroyed by harvesting.

"We are not at all surprised, and neither should Bob Brown, that footage of a healthy Tasmanian Devil has been captured on video in an area of forest smack bang in the middle of a wood production area.

"The Devils' plight is not caused by harvesting - it is caused by a facial tumour. Devils do frequent forests that have been regenerated, as Bob Brown acknowledged in the Mercury article.

"If harvested forests were destroyed as claimed by radical environment groups, Bob Brown would not have seen the waratahs, the massive flower displays, the masses of birdlife, devils, quolls and wombats in areas he says some people regard as having been trashed.

"The truth is finally out. It is time for activists to get out of their trees, and face the fact that forestry is a truly renewable industry, that forests regenerate after harvest and that wildlife habitat is not destroyed.

"Why are activists continuing to target native forest harvesting, when their leader has now acknowledged that harvested forests recover quickly, and continue to provide habitat for endangered species like the Tasmanian Devil?

"Thousands of jobs have been lost on the back of the demonisation of the forest industry. Forest managers have been vilified for three decades by Senator Brown. How will they be feeling this morning when they read Senator Brown's remarks?

"'I told you so' seems so inadequate."