Stories and photos of my Life in the South West

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Jarrah Forest

The photo above shows the start of some of our Jarrah forest in the south-west of Western Australia and I hold grave fears for this, the big mining companies have started to eat into it as the next couple of photo's show.The next photo's you will see are in the forest and shows you how healthy it is. If you drive through this forest when the blossom is out like you can see, you can smell the honey and you have to hear the bird life and the frogs to believe it, especially at day-break or evening and if there's summer rain around, it gets louder. I believe that there is no area of forest in Western Australia that can equal this. The creeks are fed by springs and soaks that run all year round, crystal clear as you can see in some of the photo's and beautiful to drink. The mines have already taken over some of the creek systems, like the ones I've just showed you. Another thing a lot of these creeks feed into water-catchments, like the Waroona ,  Samson, Logues Brook also Drakes Brook and Stirling Dam and that's why they still hold a good quality of water, but for how long I'm not too sure.

The next photo's show you the Samson Dam. I remember back in the 60's, 70's and 80's when I used to hunt all the surrounding forests of these water-catchments for wild pigs. Also a lot of trout fishermen used to fish these waters. Then the Authorities closed access to the Samson, you weren't  allowed to throw a metal lure into the water. I believe they were trying to make us think they were looking after the water-catchment and no doubt the quality of the water. Then as the photo shows you they put an open belt-line across the top of the catchment.  It doesn't add up, I think it was all put in place for the benefit for the mines.

The next photo shows you the gully that runs to the right, which is the back-waters and I don't know the purpose for the concrete dam that you can see. Maybe the mines are using it and to think they stopped people throwing a lure for trout. So maybe the reason they stopped access to the public was to keep the eye's out and it makes you think of that saying !what goes on behind closed doors! because these areas were never quarantined until the mines got there. The next photo shows a sign telling you what you can and cannot do in the catchment area that feeds the Stirling Dam. The last line reads No off-road vehicles.The photo above shows you four different machines harvesting the Jarrah forest in the same area as the sign said "no off road vehicles". The next photo is a close-up of what these machines do to the forest floor. I told a CALM officer one day I thought that this was wrong. Would you believe he said  "we're experimenting with aerating the ground". I've got to bite my tongue on what I would like to say here. But what possible chance did the little animals and reptiles have on surviving this, also the birds that nest and breed in this forest. I remember one day driving passed this sort of destruction with the wife and granddaughter who was maybe 5 or 6. I must have commented to the wife about it, my granddaughter said "Did a bomb go off grandad".

Stockpiles

The next sequence of photo's will show you how desperate these people are to get their hands on our forest and the destruction they caused while doing it and then there's  our flora and fauna. This has been taking place over the length and width of our Jarrah forest, hundreds of kilometres. They take the big dead trees, also the small ones, then there's the green trees big and small. The photo above shows what should have been trees for the future. I wonder what they used them for. You cannot see a fault in them and they're gun-barrel straight. I showed an old bushman this, he said "it's a sin". I said to him "I believe there's something more sinister taking place". The big companies are heading this way. 

No Limit

The photo above again shows  just how desperate these people are. It doesn't matter if these old dead trees are laying on the ground or standing, they will take it. Also it doesn't seem to matter if they are rotten to the extent when they're cut by the chainsaw that they fall in half.

As the next photo shows you, these are the Habitat trees, not the ones that they have left standing. The next photo shows the  stockpile that the logs from the photo's above were taken to. The trucks had already taken some of the stockpile and the next photo shows 24 hours later and they're all but gone. When you think this has taken place over 100's of klms, it must be in the millions that they have taken. And many millions they have trampled getting too them and then again there's the Flora and Fauna. I can't believe it was called CALM which the abbreviation stands for Conservation and Land Management. Chaos sounds more appropriate and maybe some of you intelligent people out there can work out the abbreviation of Chaos, that matches the photo's you have looked at. Also if you look at the photo's, it's hard to find a Habitat tree still standing. This was not done intentionally only when I was looking at the photo's and doing this story I realized.

Yes your right if your thinking I'm PISSED OFF.

Another thing what effect has this got on the run-off of  winter rains. I remember they stated, they were falling the big trees around the water catchments, so that it would allow more run-off in the winter. (I don't think so) especially when you look at the floor of the forest in the photo below. They gave their opinion this is mine.

 The next photo shows you looking from one hill to the next and the following photos show what they take off these hills. 

When you look at the size of the little Jarrah trees in the photo above it makes you wonder are they not treating our Jarrah forest like a blue-gum plantation. I remember a documentary on a company that made a mess of the Tasmanian Forest and then they were invited into our Jarrah Forest. ( check it out)

I believe dieback could not do what these people have done in the next 500 years, thats just my opinion and the next photo shows what those little jarrah trees were going to turn into, 500 years from now. I measured the base of the big tree and I'm not too sure if it was 48 or 52 feet.  

The Mighty Jarrah

When you look at the three photo's above, you realize how magnificent the Jarrah tree is and then you look at the fourth photo above, you see how wrong these people are.

The next photo's will show you something that I believe is many times deadlier than dieback and should never have been released in the Jarrah forest.
They designed this machine so it could walk up to any tree in our forest. The big fingers would twist or pivot, wrap around the tree then a cutting bar like a chain-saw would not only fall the tree it would dock it at required lengths. Then the machine itself would pivot around and stack it onto a pile it had already cut. So you can see where the destruction of the forest floor comes from.

 

They Changed The Rules.

I remember working for a local contractor in the 60's  R &N Palmers, my job was to snig the mill logs and power poles out of the forest with a bull-dozer. Each time I returned to get another log, I had to follow the same track that I'd already snigged the logs along, minimizing the damage to the forest floor.

Every couple of days a Forestry Officer would inspect the snig tracks. If I had marked the base of a healthy tree regardless of it's size that was still standing with the log that I was snigging or the dozer, he would tell the Contractors, if you mark another tree you will be kicked out of the forest. I shouldn't have to tell you they obeyed this command. The forestry officers were bushmen themselves and they were brought up to respect the forest and rivers.

So what has gone wrong.

 Was this done intentionally to deface the forest so there would be less resistance when they mine it for Bauxite.

Remember these are just my thoughts, we will know in the future, but it will be too late. If you go back to the start of my web-page and look at rivers you will see what I mean by too late. Also while your there look at Wildflowers, Animals and Birds, Insects and Reptiles, the photo's were all taken inside the Jarrah forest.

Marri or Red-Gum

The photo's above shows the size the Marri can get to and these aren't the biggest. They produce some of the finest timber there is for furniture. The growth you can see on the side of the tree is called a burl. When it is cut into slabs maybe 3 inches thick, the biggest of them  are turned into dining tables and the smallest into coffee tables. The end product is worth thousands of dollars from this one burl. Then if the tree is milled right into maybe boards that vary in size from say 3-6 inches wide and a half inch thick.

I think the value of this tree will scare you, would it be ten thousand or ten's of thousands, especially when you look at the finished product like the following photo's show you. The side-board was made from curly red-gum or marri, also the floor. The photo's were taken at Mr Colin Tonkins house, which he had built where the red-gum tree once stood. The gentleman that fell the tree said this is a curly red-gum and should be used as quality furniture wood, (how right he was).    How many of these would the big red-gum above have produced.

Another thing that has worried me, the big machine you looked at three photo's back cannot identify the quality of a tree it cuts down, neither can a mans eye. It's only when the big saws at a mill open it  up that you can tell if it's curly. So how many of these have been used for chip-wood or charcoal at nine or ten dollars a tonne. I don't know if the white collar or authorities know the meaning of the words value adding.

 

 When you read the statement above that was in the Sunday Times on the 13th January 2013 and you have looked at all the destruction I have shown you in the photo's previously. It  makes you think are they telling us this destruction has  been done for little or no profit.

 

Future Red-gums

The following photo's shows a truck load of what would have been top quality Red-gum trees in the future. There's not a fault in any of the trees.

 

 There all Red-gums. Personally I cannot justify any reason for them to be cut down. What were they used for ?

The next couple of photo's show you, the Red-gum in blossom. As you can see the little one on the left of the photo is in heavy blossom also the big tree and they are a vital link in the food chain of many birds also insects and some of the small animals like the pygmy possum or possums in general. Like I've said before when you drive through the forests, you can smell the sweet nectar or honey from the Red-gum also the Jarrah and the  Black-butt and the many other trees that blossom in our forest.

The photo below is a close-up of the Red-gum blossom.

 The photo below is the pygmy possum. The next photo shows I'm not too sure if it's called the ring-tail.

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