Ex­tinc­tion risk re­duced

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

BUF­FER ZONES to pro­tect Vic­to­ria’s en­dan­gered fau­nal em­blem have helped re­duce the risk of ex­tinc­tion but will cost the state’s tim­ber in­dus­try nearly $15 mil­lion in lost rev­enue.

A re­port by the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) found es­tab­lished zones for the Lead­beater’s pos­sum were ef­fec­tive in slow­ing ex­tinc­tion, how­ever, it also found the zones would re­sult in lost rev­enue for sawlog har­vest­ing of $14.77 mil­lion by 2030.

“While the Lead­beater’s pos­sum re­mains at a high risk of ex­tinc­tion un­til 2050-70, that risk has been re­duced within the Lead­beater’s pos­sum re­serve by 34%, thus demon­strat­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness and ef­fi­ciency of this ac­tion in con­tribut­ing to [its] con­ser­va­tion out­comes,” the re­port found.

Cur­rently the sight­ing of a pos­sum cre­ates a 200-me­tre buf­fer zone for all tim­ber har­vest­ing and the is­sue re­mains en­vi­ron­men­tally and po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive in Vic­to­ria’s cen­tral high­lands.

Vic­to­rian As­so­ci­a­tion of For­est In­dus­tries chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim John­ston wel­comed the re­view but said it did not of­fer im­me­di­ate so­lu­tions to shore up fu­ture tim­ber sup­ply.

“In­dus­try has worked hard to bal­ance the val­ues of the forests in which it op­er­ates, from the en­vi­ron­men­tal value to the eco­nomic value,” Mr John­son said in a state­ment.

“Any species con­ser­va­tion ac­tions must bal­ance the needs of the species and achieve a vi­brant for­est, fi­bre and wood prod­ucts’ sec­tor that is grounded in sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment.

“Our forests need to be ac­tively man­aged for all val­ues … and to achieve this, the reg­u­la­tory sys­tem the in­dus­try op­er­ates un­der must be more flex­i­ble and give con­sid­er­a­tion to the adapt­abil­ity of in­dus­try to any changes.”

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