Gains hard to price

Published “Letter to Editor”

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VICFORESTS’ David Walsh says that wood would have gone to waste had the trees killed or severely damaged in the 2009 bushfires not been harvested (”Call for inquiry as salvaged wood exported”, The Age, 20/6). What a profit-at-all-cost mentality.

Leaving fire-killed or damaged trees standing is not a waste. They create structure in the regenerating forest, sheltering new growth and providing homes to badly affected wildlife. Leadbeater’s possum, for example, will rely on the protection provided by the hollows created in these trees to recover their populations over the ensuing years. And these trees will continue to store the carbon they have absorbed from the atmosphere for years to come.

We all enjoy the benefits of a healthy natural environment, even though it is not always recognised by some as an economic benefit.

Jeff Dickinson, Tecoma

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