Earlier this month El Grande, Australia’s biggest tree and the world’s largest flowering plant, collapsed after a controlled burn a few years ago prescribed by Forestry Tasmania (the government’s forest management department) got out of control and burnt El Grande causing it to collapse earlier this week. They even admit it. So why not overhaul a forest management policy that has been greatly criticized by both the public (the reason any forest policy is enacted) and forest practitioners everywhere?
The management that Forestry Tasmania uses is one that is favored by industry and loathed by local wilderness advocates. Once again, the fate of industry and government in bed together removes the people from the equation all together. The bottom line here is that, “At the hands of Forestry Tasmania and despite its official protection, Australia’s greatest tree is now Australia’s biggest log.”
“El Grande’s collapse is the last chapter in a sorry tale of mismanagement by Forestry Tasmania and a perfect example of the logging industry’s inability to protect the unique values of Tasmania’s World Heritage-value forests,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.
Here’s the kicker: a forest industry website decided that the tree was fine after the fire incident and would continue to flourish demonstrating the “natural resilience” that eucalyptus have to wildfires. Whoops.