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TAS Country : September 23rd 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010 Tasmanian Country 11 Your Say firstname.lastname@example.org Can't see truth for the trees PRIVATE Forest Tas- mania director John Lord's gospel on the glories of farm forestry has air- brushed a good real of a landowner's reality (''For- est future'', Tasmanian Country, September 17). For most landowners, forestry means an obliga- tory legal partnership with the forestry industry, usually a plantation man- ager, and usually in the form of a private timber reserve (PTR). While PTRs are marketed as a legal guarantee that the (usually plantation) land cannot be blocked, they are actually a long-term legal easement to the forestry company involved, which prohibits the land from being used for other pur- poses, usually for a mini- mum of 30 years. It is perhaps the only easement the grantor (landowner) is required to pay for. For the plantation man- ager, a major bonus is the clearance of native forest on private land, for which they normally pay the landowner a very modest, woodchip-quality price. This clearance also pre- vents the landowner from ever claiming the sub- sequent plantation or re- growth as a carbon credit. Non-industry scientists will tell you that forestry of even modest intensity, much less intensive plan- tation development, is a major carbon emitter. It is the world market's growing perception of a pending environmental disaster, rather than Tas- mania's ''long-running for- estry debate'' , which is the ''catastrophic'' problem for Mr Lord's industry. JOHN HAYWARD Weegena Our debt to Rick WHAT an excellent article on Rick Campbell by David Byard on Sept. 10 (back page). Nearly two years ago after purchasing a cow and calf in Queens- land, we ran into a great deal of red tape problems with the Department of Primary Industries in that state. On contacting Rick to seek guidance, he could not do enough to help us, going so far as to contacting the Queensland department to inform them of the updated Tasmanian legis- lation. As a result of his assistance and assistance from Pages Transport, our stock were soon on the way and arrived safely at our property. Rick is highly respected in the industry and we know of many people he has helped in similar circumstances to ours. We thank him and wish him well in his retirement. JOHN and JUNE PILCHER Neelai Santa Gertrudis Stud Bothwell Stop converting native forests to plantations THE International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations is a good time for Forestry Tasmania to recognise the serious is- sues associated with monoculture tree plan- tations and scrap all plans to convert native forest to plantations immediately. Monocultural plan- tations invite insect infes- tations, requiring excess- ive use of pesticides, massive doses of Triazine herbicides during estab- lishment, and the director of Public Health has made it clear he's uneasy about the health risks associated with aerial application. Forestry Tasmania was supposed to cease the con- version of native forest to plantation in 2007. KIM BOOTH Greens MP Lamb fear for devils big island relocation LIE OF THE LAMB: There are many islands around Tasmania where the devils could be safely located and the species saved. JAMES Packer has offered 340 hectares of land in NSW to house 1000 or more healthy Tasmanian devils. While we commend Mr Packer's generosity and endeavour to save the species from extinction, we must also be aware that devils can devastate a lamb population. Should healthy devils escape from Mr Packer's property (and it is almost inevitable that this will happen) then devils could become a problem as grave as foxes. Devils have been known to take all lambs born at night, obviously being attracted to the afterbirth and while the ewe is lying down. Lambs born during the day are not at such risk. The problem can vary on location and from year to year and depends on the size of the devil population --- experience has shown lambing percentages as low as 40 per cent rather than the expected 80 per cent or more for Merino ewes. There are many islands around Tasmania where devils could be located and the species saved. The mainland does not need devils! Is the National Farmers' Federation fully aware of the potential threat (should the devils escape) and if so, why does it remain silent? 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