If you want to stop wildfires, put qualified people back in charge of forests

There was a time when Australian foresters kept Australian forests safe and productive.  They maintained access tracks bridges and fire breaks, undertook prescribed burning, cleared flammable litter from the forest floor, cut suckers, manned fire lookouts, and maintained their own fire-fighting crews in decentralized districts.  University-trained professional foresters were supported by tough, experienced rangers who learned their job in the bush.

Almost every advance in bushfire management in Australia, from the science of fire behavior to aerial burning, was thanks to our foresters.  Into the 1980s, they were regarded as international leaders.

To pay for good forest management, sections of the forest were logged, allowing ground space and sunlight for the swift re-growth of new trees.

And those fading die-hards still beating alarm drums about man-made global warming should be reassured — the use of hardwood and softwood timber in power poles, telephone poles, bridges, wharves, posts, sleepers, haysheds, and houses provided long-term sequestration of the dreaded carbon.  Moreover, growing trees extract CO2 more quickly than mature trees.  Win, win, win.

Then we entered the Green Era.  Foresters and timber-getters were demonized by urban greens, their tame bureaucrats and academics, and their state-run media mates.  State forests were converted to national parks and wilderness areas, and John Howard created the hated Kyoto Protocol Forests on private land.  Timber imports rose.

Every locked up, un-managed, un-burnt forest inevitably breeds disastrous wildfires.  The combination of heavy fuel load, poor access for firefighters, drought, hot winds, arsonists, and dry lightning has only one assured outcome: a bushfire tragedy for the forest and the neighbors.  (Why are no greens chaining themselves to trees now?)

This must change.  No enquiries are needed.  Anyone without green blinkers can see the evidence daily.  So cut the locks, open the tracks, and remove the trash.  Then call tenders from local people to use recreation, tourism, timber-getting or hunting feral animals to fund proper care and maintenance of our forests.  A well managed forest can pay for its own management and also keep the community safe and happy.

Control must be local.  Local foresters and local fire wardens must call the shots on when and how to reduce flammable litter, weeds, and suckers.  Everyone should have the right (maybe the obligation) to fireproof his own properties and boundaries.  There should be no more national parks — just local parks.  And arson should be treated as terrorism.

The state governments can provide weather forecasts, bushfire warnings, radar information, aerial support, and TV performances.  The Feds should return some of their tax receipts to help us to restore the forests we have lost, but otherwise, they should keep out of the way.

The urban greens have had their moment in the sun.  They seized management of Australian forests from Australian foresters and have had every opportunity over the last 25 years to apply their evergreen theories on bushfire management.  The result is there for everyone to observe: total and tragic failure.

Far too many bushfires start in national parks.  Few stay in the parks.

It's time to get sensible forest policies and professional forest managers back on the job.  Get rid of the Red Bull and the Green Fairies — bring back the White Knights.

Viv Forbes has been an explorer and pastoralist in Queensland and N.T. for most of his long life.  He has lit fires (accidentally and deliberately), and he and his wife have fought fires and had their camps, fences, and pastures wiped out by fires.  They were both members of a local bushfire brigade for over 25 years.  (Judy was even qualified.)

This article has benefited from suggestions from experienced forest professionals and others.

Further Reading:

Green ideology, not climate change, makes bushfires worse:
https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/green-ideology-not-climate-change-makes-bushfires-worse

Tasmanian Arson suspected:
https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6119161106001

Here are the culprits:
https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/01/greenies-on-hazard-reduction-burns.html

While our ABC amends the past:
https://www.theunshackled.net/rundown/abc-attempts-to-memoryhole-story-on-backburning-protestors

Timber Imports to Rise:
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/import-forecast-fells-domestic-timber-20101116-17w1p.html

Some Background:
https://saltbushclub.com/category/bushfires/

There was a time when Australian foresters kept Australian forests safe and productive.  They maintained access tracks bridges and fire breaks, undertook prescribed burning, cleared flammable litter from the forest floor, cut suckers, manned fire lookouts, and maintained their own fire-fighting crews in decentralized districts.  University-trained professional foresters were supported by tough, experienced rangers who learned their job in the bush.

Almost every advance in bushfire management in Australia, from the science of fire behavior to aerial burning, was thanks to our foresters.  Into the 1980s, they were regarded as international leaders.

To pay for good forest management, sections of the forest were logged, allowing ground space and sunlight for the swift re-growth of new trees.

And those fading die-hards still beating alarm drums about man-made global warming should be reassured — the use of hardwood and softwood timber in power poles, telephone poles, bridges, wharves, posts, sleepers, haysheds, and houses provided long-term sequestration of the dreaded carbon.  Moreover, growing trees extract CO2 more quickly than mature trees.  Win, win, win.

Then we entered the Green Era.  Foresters and timber-getters were demonized by urban greens, their tame bureaucrats and academics, and their state-run media mates.  State forests were converted to national parks and wilderness areas, and John Howard created the hated Kyoto Protocol Forests on private land.  Timber imports rose.

Every locked up, un-managed, un-burnt forest inevitably breeds disastrous wildfires.  The combination of heavy fuel load, poor access for firefighters, drought, hot winds, arsonists, and dry lightning has only one assured outcome: a bushfire tragedy for the forest and the neighbors.  (Why are no greens chaining themselves to trees now?)

This must change.  No enquiries are needed.  Anyone without green blinkers can see the evidence daily.  So cut the locks, open the tracks, and remove the trash.  Then call tenders from local people to use recreation, tourism, timber-getting or hunting feral animals to fund proper care and maintenance of our forests.  A well managed forest can pay for its own management and also keep the community safe and happy.

Control must be local.  Local foresters and local fire wardens must call the shots on when and how to reduce flammable litter, weeds, and suckers.  Everyone should have the right (maybe the obligation) to fireproof his own properties and boundaries.  There should be no more national parks — just local parks.  And arson should be treated as terrorism.

The state governments can provide weather forecasts, bushfire warnings, radar information, aerial support, and TV performances.  The Feds should return some of their tax receipts to help us to restore the forests we have lost, but otherwise, they should keep out of the way.

The urban greens have had their moment in the sun.  They seized management of Australian forests from Australian foresters and have had every opportunity over the last 25 years to apply their evergreen theories on bushfire management.  The result is there for everyone to observe: total and tragic failure.

Far too many bushfires start in national parks.  Few stay in the parks.

It's time to get sensible forest policies and professional forest managers back on the job.  Get rid of the Red Bull and the Green Fairies — bring back the White Knights.

Viv Forbes has been an explorer and pastoralist in Queensland and N.T. for most of his long life.  He has lit fires (accidentally and deliberately), and he and his wife have fought fires and had their camps, fences, and pastures wiped out by fires.  They were both members of a local bushfire brigade for over 25 years.  (Judy was even qualified.)

This article has benefited from suggestions from experienced forest professionals and others.

Further Reading:

Green ideology, not climate change, makes bushfires worse:
https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/green-ideology-not-climate-change-makes-bushfires-worse

Tasmanian Arson suspected:
https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6119161106001

Here are the culprits:
https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/01/greenies-on-hazard-reduction-burns.html

While our ABC amends the past:
https://www.theunshackled.net/rundown/abc-attempts-to-memoryhole-story-on-backburning-protestors

Timber Imports to Rise:
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/import-forecast-fells-domestic-timber-20101116-17w1p.html

Some Background:
https://saltbushclub.com/category/bushfires/