Green extremists plan to convert Australia into “tree heaven”. They will bully this through, no matter what the cost.

Huge areas of forest are already converted to “locked-up-land” – national parks, world heritage areas, Kyoto protected trees, remnant vegetation, aboriginal reserves, wildlife habitat and corridors etc.

Many lock-ups are so large and so poorly managed that they have become extreme bushfire hazards and a refuge for wild dogs, cats, goats, camels, pigs, lantana, groundsel and other weeds and pests.

Now Australia faces a shortage of timber for farms, industry, homes and furniture. While our vast forests lie idle or burnt, we import timber.

Aboriginals and early settlers used forest timbers without asking permission from anyone.

Aboriginals used timber and bark for warmth, cooking, weapons, shields, and gunyahs. Settlers used bark, dead timber, slabs and logs in open fires, stoves, boilers, huts, sheds and bridges.

Then with axes, saws, mauls and wedges they made split posts, rails and strainers for yards and fences. And foresters and sawmills produced sawn timber to build towns and cities.

Aboriginals managed the whole landscape with fire – they burnt grasslands and forests at irregular but frequent intervals.

They lit fires at any time for many reasons – grassland regeneration, wildlife hunting, tribal warfare and fire stick maintenance. There were no burning permits or vegetation protection orders, no central plans and no fires were extinguished or mopped up.

Man-made fires were augmented by lightning strikes, and no one tried to put them out either. Fires were observed day and night by early explorers such as James Cook who recorded in his log in 1770:

” .. a point or headland, on which were fires that Caused a great Quantity of smook, which occasioned my giving it the name of Smooky Cape.”

As Australia became more settled, squatters needed to protect fire-vulnerable fences, farm animals, machinery and homesteads as well as neighbours and towns. They soon learned to use fire with more care and planning.

They used roads and firebreaks, took account of expected temperature, wind and vegetation conditions, and collaborated with neighbours.

They aimed for annual cool-season burns. And when lightning or vandals lit dangerous fires at the wrong time or place, they fought fire with fire – using back-burns to protect homesteads and other infrastructure. Squatter fire management was far superior to aboriginal management for a settled Australia.

Then came the foresters with the motivation, equipment and knowledge to protect their forests, sawmills, neighbours, equipment and villages. The sale of timber products funded effective forest management.

Foresters made and maintained roads and tracks, built and manned fire lookouts, managed woody weeds and undertook fuel reduction burning.

But Australian foresters have been forced out of most forests which are now in the hands of green zealots.

The new forest policy is – “control everything, debate endlessly, allow nothing and do nothing. Then, when everything burns, call an enquiry and ignore the findings.”

Under bureaucratic forest management, new roads are banned, old roads are closed, dead timber and weeds are allowed to accumulate, and water catchments are choked with trees and lantana.

Graziers are locked-out and action is constipated by never-ending bushfire royal commissions, green-black corroborees, urban activists and federal, state and local bureaucracies.

Then, when flames are leaping through the tree-tops, money and water are wasted on flashy water bombers. As a result, too many forests, animals, farms and houses go up in smoke.

Australia’s flora and fauna evolved to survive and thrive in the grasslands and open forests created in “the Land of Smoke”. They were not threatened by the many small fires of aboriginals or squatters.

But the infrequent Mega-fires created by Green Policies in Locked-up-Lands are a lethal threat to all forest dwellers and their neighbouring farms and towns. It is time to open the sawmills, unlock the gates and roads and put foresters back into the forests.

Even climate crusaders should support these reforms. Logging will boost carbon capture as old slow-growing trees are replaced by vigorous new trees. Fewer trees will be burnt in wild-fires, thus minimising release of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Harvested timber will store carbon in long-life houses, fences, bridges, power poles and furniture, while tree tops and trimmings will produce mulch, paper and cardboard. Renewable and recyclable timber can replace much steel smelted with the coal that greens detest.

Forestry will improve bushfire protection as foresters clear roads, add tracks, clean up flammable undergrowth, reduce fuel loads, maintain the equipment and train workers to locate and isolate any fire outbreaks.

This article first appeared at The Saltbush Club

Further reading:

An Inferno of Incompetence and Obfuscation:

Maps of indigenous Australia:

National Parks Australia:

Australia tied to Imported Timber:

The Red and the Green – China’s useful idiots:

Man made Mega fires:

Viv Forbes is a geologist/pastoralist who has walked along or been flooded by many rivers of Qld and NT. He and his wife have fed starving stock in the droughts and carted water for them. They have built, deepened or repaired at least 23 farm and station dams and managed construction and operation of mine dams. When Viv was employed by the Queensland State Government as a field mapping geologist they inspected the Nathan Gorge Dam site in 1964, 60 years ago. This dam was first proposed in 1922. It is still undeveloped over 100 years later.