By Melissa Sheil
KALAMUNDA Mayor Margaret Thomas has spoken out against a move to harvest a large portion of forest in Pickering Brook.
About 50 per cent of the forest, named Barton 0418, is being harvested to produce products including structural timber, joinery and decking for house construction.
Cr Thomas said though she received a letter in late-2019 about the plans, set to take place next to her property, she was unaware of the extent until riding her horse through the area in December last year.
“I was riding through there and was just so shocked, the area for felling is the size of Kings Park,” she said.
“On the outside it looks all normal but inside, they’ve barely marked any trees for preservation.
“I don’t think anyone realises what’s happening, but they shouldn’t be allowed to harvest such a huge amount of native trees in a biodiversity hotspot, it’s not up to date with everything going on with climate change.”
The Barton 0418 coupe is a regrowth jarrah and marri forest stretching across 496 ha of Pickering Brook – 457 ha of that will be available for logging, to produce about 3000 tonnes of timber sawlog and firewood.
Convenor for conservation group WA Forest Alliance (WAFA) Paddy Cullen called the logging immoral and outdated.
“The floristic and native animal diversity in the forest is incredible,” he said.
“As well as removing the homes of all these creatures, we take out the valuable carbon sink the forest serves as.
“Australia is the only developed nation that makes the list for extensive deforestation which should be embarrassing.”
WAFA have taken the issue to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly.
Mr Kelly said the logging would align with forest management plans.
“Management of our native forests is a key pillar in our battle against climate change, and sustainable forest management can maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks, including by transferring carbon to wood products,” he said.
“The timber sustainably harvested from Barton 0418 will mainly be used by sawmills in the south-west providing valuable economic activity and jobs to the local community.”