Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mixed Feelings

This evening Deb and I took advantage of the lengthening days and spring weather to go for a stroll across our place and into our neighbours property.
The block next door is a bush block entirely covered by a mix of regrowth wet sclerophyll forest and temperate rainforest. The block is owned by family friends who I have known for ever.

R and M are former hippies who moved up into the area with a hippie wave in the 1970s. In the late 70s early 80s they set up a small scale timber milling business that initially specialised in salvaging fallen timber.

As time went by their business expanded and salvage timber just wasn't providing enough timer to keep them going.

So they bought the forest block next door to us to log.

Does that sound like a contradiction in terms?
A hippie run timber industry?

Well R and M argue that well run forestry is the most sustainable industry in the world.
I have to admit that I mostly agree with them.

As you walk along the track into their private forest you are surrounded by towering Blue-gums at least 30 metres (100 feet) tall.
To my knowledge this forest has been worked over by loggers five times since 1920, the last time was by R and M in the late 1990s.

Despite that, because of the methods the loggers use there is still plenty of habitat and teeming wildlife, both flora and fauna.

Yes, areas like this new trail cut in to get access look pretty stark, but eighteen months after the loggers stop using this trail in this high rainfall area the forest will be reclaiming it.

Yet, walking through the area you find ghosts of what was here a hundred years ago.

This chunk of a tree isn't a stump but a section cut of the base of a log to make it light enough to tow away using a bullock team some time before 1920. 
I have leant my walking pole (4 feet long) against it to give a scale. The forest that was here once must have been spectacular; the like of which we will not see again, at least not for generations.


mshatch said...

It would be cool to get a glimpse of what THAT forest might have looked like. Imagine how immense it must've been...

Lisa said...

Wow - the forest does look quite nice ... until you realize what it once was.

Kathleen Jones said...

Fascinating Al. I'm all for sustainable forestry. But I feel sad for the very big trees that are probably gone for ever.