Over this past weekend, many concerned citizens from Perth Metro, Margaret River and Denmark toured through some of the most threatened forests in the Southwest. They did so because they wanted to witness the truth with their own eyes and find out what can be done to protect the forests.
On Saturday the 29th of May, 2021, the group visited Perup Forest near Manjimup. This forest has been recently charred by the DBCA’s planned burn which had gone horribly wrong. The burn which had gotten out of control decimated countless numbats and their habitats, an endangered species in the Southwest. Later in the day, tour-goers learned from a local farmer, Bill Smart, that this once thriving biodiverse Jarrah forest in Perup was one of the last two remaining strongholds for the numbat – but the DBCA’s burn had obliterated it. If any numbats did escape, their troubles are far from over as the government are currently logging, and have plans to log, three bush blocks in the immediate Perup-Tone region that are near the burn zone. Those who attended the tour also learnt that urgent action is needed to redesign burning practices to ensure that disasters like Perup never happen again.
On Sunday the 30th of May, 2021, tour-goers visited Treenbrook Forest near Pemberton to see the destruction and degradation being caused by the mass clearing of Karri giants. A local Pemberton business owner, Mikey Cernotta, of Pemberton Honey, educated those who went on the tour about how economically and environmentally unsustainable the logging of Treenbrook Karri truly is. It shocked many of the tour-goers to find out that Karri woodchip sells for just $35 a tonne, while Karri honey sells for $10-15,000 a tonne at bulk wholesale prices (that’s before value add or testing for medicinal purposes)! Not only is logging making it harder and harder for honey producers to make their honey, but it’s also threatening WA’s food security by giving the bees fewer options to pollinate. This places WA’s agricultural industry in danger as it relies on bees to pollinate its crops. This is an industry that is estimated to be worth $1.4 billion and is something many West Australians rely on to survive. Knocking down this Karri makes no sense from any way you look at it.
This event had an overwhelming amount of support which shows that people truly care about the Southwest forests and want to know what they can do to help protect them. More tours such as this are coming up in the near future so stay tuned!