Much of our unique wildlife are also suffering from these busfires. We need to halt blanket clearing of safe old growth trees and removal or chipping of large logs that provide wildlife habitat

The following was written by a good friend, a bushfire suvivor who is also an ecologist.

"Large-scale clearing is a wrong approach to fire safety. It is a hysterical reaction to blame trees and greenies for the severity of fires. Large-scale clearing threatens many native plants and animals that are already well on their way to extinction and does not guarantee fire safety. Post-fire indiscriminate removal of trees and salvage logging removes habitat that is critical for the persistence of wildlife populations after fire.

There must be an immediate halt to indiscriminate roadside clearing and removal of logs in post-fire areas in Victoria. It should be replaced with a more considered approach – using experts to determine which fire-damaged trees absolutely need to be removed for public safety. Logs should be left behind.

We need to inform the public that trees and logs provide habitat for local fauna. They also provide great refugia for many small animals during fires. Much of our unique fauna is hollow-dependant. Fallen timber and understorey or low lying vegetation are the last remaining habitats in these scorched areas though they are mistakenly referred to as ‘rubbish’ and ‘scrub’ respectively."

I need to stress that I personally agree that people need to be allowed to create suitable fire breaks around their homes and fell trees that have become unsafe. I am also pro control burns and fuel reduction when done in consideration of the ecosystem dynamics or as is required now for fire suppression. Fire is an extremely influential driver of ecosystems across Australia. I just feel we need to think a bit more before we destroy remaining habitat. We are referring to large old growth trees that are being felled when they are still structurally sound, just fire scarred and retuning the large unsafe timber or fallen timber to the land – even if it is has to moved to another site in the region.

I also want to say that I am not just another city dweller passing opinion. I work in the bush, I have friends that have been directly affected by the fires in Kinglake and family and friends that live in surrounding towns. I am very sad for all the people affected. It also saddens me though that there is a real risk that future generations wont get to enjoy the bush and native wildlife that we have grown up with. The woman driving this cause (outside facebook) successfully defended her home with her partner, surrounded by bushlands despite many of her neighbours and friends loosing theirs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Photo by Q Lang

1. Protecting wildlife and their habitat

2. Finding the balance between what is absolutely necessary for public safety & wildlife needs

3. Not anti control burns or fuel reduction when done in consideration of the ecosystem or as is required for fire suppression

4. Not anti people creating fire breaks around their homes or felling of unsafe trees

5. Trying to salvage what is left for the animal survivors