In the beginning, when the Eden chipmill was set up, corporations and governments claimed that woodchipping would be a by-product of sawmilling. It would use the "waste" from "useless" parts of a felled tree that would otherwise rot on the forest floor. This was wrong then and it's wrong now. In the Eden Region, over 90 per cent of all timber cut goes to the chippers. Even in the face of this statistic, Governments and corporations maintain the fiction that woodchipping is a by-product of sawmilling. This aerial view of the Eden chipmill shows the stockpile of large whole tree logs, waiting to be chipped. How can a whole tree be waste? How can over 90 percent of the forest be waste?
woodchipping creates jobs
When forests are clearfelled, they do regrow. But
the regrowth forest is quite different from the old forest it replaces.
It has been estimated that it will take 1400 years for a regrowth forest
and several generations of most tree species - to regain the diversity
of age and species of the forest it replaced. A regrowth forest of
uniform age and much more uniform tree species replaces a mature
"multi-aged" forest. Not all eucalyptus species regenerate at the same
rate. Some, such as the silvertop ash (eucalyptus sieberi) behave almost
like weeds after clear felling, while less vigorous species virtually
disappear in the regrowth forest.
A license to woodchip is a license to kill.
Literally. Native animals that do not die when their homes and food
sources are destroyed are likely to die slow painful deaths as they
starve in areas that can no longer sustain them. Most native animals are
territorial and cannot easily move to another forest area, even if one
is available. Some species die out because they no longer have shelter
from the hollows that only old trees can supply.