The Eden woodchip scheme and its implications for forest fauna: a political ecology perspective
Ian Penna, 2004. "The Eden woodchip scheme and its implications for forest fauna: a political ecology perspective", Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna, Daniel Lunney
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A ‘political ecology’ perspective was used to examine the implications of the export woodchip scheme located near Eden in south east New South Wales (NSW) for the region's public forests and their fauna. The modern paper industry's political economy emphasises the importance of a large supply of wood fibre of suitable price and quality for competitive papermaking. The evolution of the Japanese paper industry and the exploitative history of forests in south east NSW interacted to create the opportunity to establish such a supply in Australia for the Japanese papermaker Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co from 1970. The ‘Harris-Daishowa’ export woodchip scheme at Eden was based on the guaranteed supply of large volumes of pulpwood from the region's public native forests. Meeting this supply entailed restructuring available forests through clearfell logging over about 40 years. Features of the regime used to manage these forests and supply pulpwood were examined within this context, and the consequences of woodchipping for fauna protection are discussed. Fauna populations were being restructured by this regime, which ‘squeezed’ them between priorities for wood production and fire management. In particular, forest-dependent fauna, such as gliders, some possums and koalas, have been detrimentally impacted. Substantial changes to public forest management in south east NSW took almost 30 years to achieve. However, while export woodchipping continues, the ‘political ecology’ of local forest fauna will be influenced by international pulp and paper markets.