Aboriginal Groups Propose to Manage Forests


The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre proposed a plan last week that would result in 430,000 hectares of forest reserves being managed by Aborigines instead of the Parks and Wildlife Service. Any agreement would have to pass through Tasmanian parliament, and Premier Lara Geddings has stated that she is concerned that a deal would derail the agreement to end nearly all logging in public native forests. "We want all parties to be focused on the process that is at hand and not try at this point in time to bring in alternative suggestions, alternative ideas," she said, indicating that she wanted to focus on forging an agreement for a peace deal. Green groups have called into question whether an agreement with Forestry Tasmania will jeopardize the future of the plan, and leader Nick McKim said that the issue should be negotiated with members of parliament, not a government-owned business. The state government has until June 30 to start formally protecting the reserves, but the conservative upper house has threatened to veto the reserves unless green groups stop lobbying in Japan. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/aborigines-enter-talks-20120301-1u5yz.html and http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-01/land-deal-a-peace-wrecker2c-says-premier/3862922?section=tas.