TAP Public Forum - To pulp or not to pulp; alternative futures for our forests

The next TAP public forum in the series will be on alternative futures for our forests. When 7pm - 9.45pm Monday 25 February 2008. Where Riverside Community Centre, off Brownfields Lane behind the Riverside High School, West Tamar High way, Launceston. Speakers Speakers Mike Scott (engineer) email - Mike_Scott@acl.com.au Frank Strie (master forester) email - schwabenforest@connect.net.au Kim Booth (Greens MHA) email - kim.booth@parliament.tas.gov.au Decisions by Forestry Tasmania about the State's forests centre on producing one main low value product – pulp wood, but at what cost? Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill (TAP) is holding a public forum on alternative futures for Tasmania's forests including as a source of energy, as a carbon store and as protector of water supplies. Engineer and co-presenter Mike Scott said, “By committing long term to pulp wood, we lose the use of forests as a source of energy (biofuels) to replace fossil fuels in a post peak-oil future”. “Focusing on one main product discourages diversity and stifles our ability to adapt to rapidly changing demands.” “In contrast to Tasmania, progressive nations are looking towards a variety of products to extract the maximum value from the forest for all users and with superior environmental benefits,” he continued. “Biofuels will become an increasing necessity in the fight to reduce carbon emissions and we must fundamentally rethink our lifestyle choices in the face of escalating damage to our planet from profligate use of fossil fuels” . Co-presenter Kim Booth, Greens MHA, said, “Native forest woodchipping in Tasmania is like mining, but our forests are important in many other ways such as for landscape, biodiversity, tourism and eco-tourism, water supplies, specialty timbers and environmental services such as carbon stores.” Master forester Frank Strie will also discuss uptake of carbon, responsible forest and catchment management. “The silt in the Tamar basin was once soil further up in the catchment, on the slopes and on the bank of streams and rivers. We must have new thinking about the ways of managing the forest to bring genuine environmental, economic and social benefits,” he said. The forum will also examine the economics of a future forest-based biofuels industry. Go to biofuels for more information on this topic. 8 February.