The Talking Point in today’s Mercury newspaper by furniture designer/maker and artist Peter Adams is a rare and much welcome alternative opinion in the ongoing nonsense around special timbers and the prospect of logging the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
It is just so rare for someone within the forest industry to come out and publically challenge the current industry and policy orthodoxy.
From today forward, all timber workers, myself included, have to re-examine their use of speciality timbers.
That said, what I will never do is use any timber cut within the boundaries of a World Heritage Area. Nor should anyone.
My suggestion to Peter Adams and others (including consumers) is to:
- Use only farm-grown Tasmanian timbers;
- encourage Tasmanian farmers to grow more quality wood;
- pay Tasmanian farmers a price for their wood that reflects its real value and encourages more tree planting;
- support organisations such as mine that seek to encourage and teach farmers how to grow commercial blackwood in both plantations and remnant native forest.
Wood is not a taxpayer-subsidised community service. It is a commercial product.
Planting trees and managing plantations and forests costs real time and money.
The only way for Tasmania to have a successful forest industry, and realise the vision of Peter Adams, is for tree growing to be blatantly and transparently profitable.
Only Tasmanian farmers can make this happen; farmers who are passionate about growing a quality product.
I was up in the north west of the State this week for the first time in a while, and driving around imagining a rural landscape dotted with well managed forest remnants and plantations of blackwood. Instead I saw opportunities being wasted. Most farms have wet gullies, steep slopes and small areas too difficult to manage. Good land going to waste. These areas are just ideal for growing commercial blackwood.
One of the key things missing is the right commercial and political context to get these areas planted.
Peter Adams points the way to the future.