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Independent Scientists Sound Warning Over Logging and Bushfire Risk

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Tags: Bushfires, Native Forest Logging, Forests, Environment, Climate Change

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

A group of independent scientists has written to all Tasmanian MPs highlighting studies that show a clear connection between native forest logging and increased bushfire risk.

The letter points to the most recent research published by two Science Council members which focusses specifically on recent fire events in Tasmania.

Their research examined the area scorched in the January 2019 Riveaux Road fire in the Huon Valley.

They found that logging regrowth and plantations burned at a higher severity than mature forests and old growth, with a higher propensity for severe intensity crown fires.

Another recently published study undertaken by researchers from Australian National University have found similar results from logged forests in Victoria.

A total of four Australian studies into logging and bushfire risk confirm logged and replanted forests are more than eight times as likely to burn than old, intact forests.

The independent Science Council also calls on government to immediately protect the 356 000 hectares of high conservation value, carbon rich forests set aside under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and now under threat.

The mendicants in government, Labor and the native forest logging industry can’t keep pretending there is no risk associated with logging.

In total, there have been six peer reviewed independent studies confirming the link between industrial logging practices, such as those practiced in Tasmania, and the risk of extreme bushfires that threaten life, wilderness and property.

It is well past time the logging old guard in both major parties and the industry started listening to the science. It’s a matter of life or death for Tasmanians who live near logged forests.

The available science is rock solid. This is a duty of care issue that demands an end to native forest logging