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Forest and Bird sends landowners a Wake-Up call

Press Release

Forest and Bird sends landowners a Wake-Up call.

Press Release from Brian Swale, campaigner for sustainable forest management.

Now that Forest and Bird has State native forests locked up against sustainable forest management, Maori and private forests are next. Action on other private land uses will follow, according to Eugenie Sage, concluding a talk she gave on Friday 2nd, reports Brian Swale, who attended.

The one final question that wasn’t asked but should have been was “What place, if any, Forest and Bird sees for humans in the New Zealand scheme of things”. Outside walled cities, that is.

The scene was a packed auditorium of 200-plus students, business and government leaders, scientists and others who came to hear Ms Sage deliver the second of a series of lectures on sustainable forestry, which she claims is a myth.

The subject was examined using the Timberlands sustainable beech management plans for the West Coast as an example, and Ms Sage began by putting these forests in a geological and botanical context.

The delivery, however, began to seriously lose connection with actual facts of the matter, reports Mr Swale, when topics recently debated publicly and in scientific literature, were traversed.

For example, the Landcare forest growth model, now thoroughly and publicly discredited as inaccurate especially in the hands of novices and misleading as presented, was represented as being accurate and showing the faults of TWC management. Enhancement of native wildlife under TWC sustainable management, recently proven, was repeatedly denied. To back up claims on this, Ms Sage used faulty reports that Dr Henrik Moller soundly discredited 7 months ago. These are but two of many instances during this talk where Ms Sage took a forestry situation, applied wrong data to it, drew a wrong conclusion, and gave out the conclusion as coming from a factual, reasoned and valid analysis, added Mr Swale.

Once again, by denying that sustainable forest management works and should be applied to our indigenous forest, Forest and Bird, through the statements of Ms Sage, broke the contract within the New Zealand Forest Accord they signed in 1991. This Accord is designed to protect private native forest.

Coming as it did in the midst of a public call for contributions to the ‘Bio-What? discussion paper, and following the fiasco of politicisation of West Coast sustainable forestry, and at a time when New Zealanders need sound information about the environment, this presentation was extremely disappointing.

If it did nothing else, this talk showed that Forest and Bird will use every rhetorical technique available to deny us, the public, access to good science and sensible discussion on this vital topic, Mr Swale concluded. Forest and Bird Protection Society members are the most vulnerable to this misinformation, since they get it with every issue of the Society journal.

Brian Swale is a forestry professional who supports the practice of environmentally sound sustainable forestry.
He can be contacted at

http://www.caverock.net.nz/~bj/beech/ and 03-326-7447

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