Questioning biodiversity


The following letter was set to Dave Lasser from Sunshine Coast Community Forest and copied to Coast Reporter.

On the Sunshine Coast Community Forest (SCCF) website, under Forest Stewardship Plan, I read the following high-level statement: “Biodiversity will be managed on landscape and stand levels within the CFA tenure area.”

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Further to that statement, I have a few questions, which I hope you can clarify.

When referring to “managing” biodiversity, what models does SCCF use in assigning a metric to biodiversity levels within your operating areas? Biodiversity should include all of the environmental services that an intact forest provides. To that end, does SCCF know the carbon sequestering levels provided by each of the forests that are about to be logged? 

The SCCF statement sounds all good and fine; however, there appears to be no scientific rigour applied.

When Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) looks at SCCF’s logging operations they all occur in heavily logged out watersheds where a certain amount of biodiversity existed pre-logging (the baseline), and then over time biodiversity levels have declined as forest and vegetation was lost due to industrial-scale logging.

The Sunshine Coast’s natural legacy (biodiversity) is the image that is promoted to attract visitors and new residents. Local tourism is a solid, long-term industry. Unfortunately, there is a clash of interests between the competitions of these resources. One is sustainable approach, the other, a rip and ship approach.

ELF senses that some of the SCCF statements regarding biodiversity are mere window dressing, since they’re not backed up with third party models or studies. 

Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus

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