WESTERN AUSTRALIA FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN DOUBLES LOGGING AREA
A new 10-year Forest Management Plan for Western Australia will double the area previously allowed for logging. The plan, which will be in effect from 2014 to 2023, will open up more than 2,000 square kilometers of old jarrah and karri forest in the southwest for logging, while protecting an extra 4,000 hectares in Whicher National Park and over 334,000 hectares of old-growth forest. According to Environment Minister Albert Jacob, the plan is based on “scientific knowledge” and will protect biodiversity, but conservationists feel that it will further endanger threatened wildlife. Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen called the logging “unsustainable,” pointing out that 600-year-old trees—a habitat for wildlife including endangered species—are currently being destroyed. Some environmentalists have taken matters into their own hands; last week, one protestor demonstrated his opposition to the logging by suspending himself in a bathtub tied to two logging machines. For the full story, see http://www.smh.com.au/wa-news/logging-area-doubles-under-new-plan-20131206-2ywio.html.