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save the Blue Tier

press release, 12 march, 2004

Community Audit Of Forestry Plan Shows Zero Soil Sustainability

Entire north east plantation Industry Seriously Implicated By Independent Science

The Friends of the Blue Tier today released publicly their independent audit of the Anchor Road coupe in the Blue Tier region, concentrating on the damning soil analysis by eminent scientist Dr. Owen Ingles which reveals that soil erosion under clearfelling regimes in the state’s north east is at least ten times the rate of soil accumulation and could be as high as one hundred times as great.

Dr. Owen Ingles examined soil conditions on site and apart from concluding that the practice of clearfelling was self evidently unsustainable in the long term also questioned the basis upon which Forestry Tasmania has decided that slopes of up to nineteen degrees can be safely clearfelled when this seems to ignore totally, gully and sheet erosion.

'Irrespective of how Forestry label the soil in the Anchor Road coupe, it is highly erodable and has shown to be so by the government’s own agencies,' Dr Ingles said.

'In a 1980 Tasmania Agricultural Department publication ‘Land Systems of Tasmania Region 4’ it states in black and white that soils in the region are highly erodable. There will only be a limited life to growing trees or anything else for that matter.'

'How can a system be sustainable when forestry operations are depleting soil at at least ten times the rate that the eco-system itself is accumulating them?' Dr Ingles asked.

'I also question seriously the figure of 19 degrees which is the slope angle, up to which Forestry believes it is safe to clearfell.'

'It appears to ignore gully and sheet erosion and the only science I have seen to support it is highly questionable.' Dr Ingles said.

Friends of the Blue Tier spokesperson Lesley Nicklason said that this was just the first of the scientific reports that the group were highlighting and that more will be released in the coming days.

For further information contact Lesley Nicklason 6373 6195 or 0400 557 418

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