“Despite being portrayed as a villain, timber harvesting in the form of thinning can substantially counteract the impact of fire regrowth on water yield. The benefits of regrowth thinning have been widely studied throughout Australia. In Melbourne’s catchments, strip-thinning trials have shown that up to 2.5 million litres a year of additional run-off can be generated from each hectare of thinned regrowth. A program of thinning the 1939 regrowth could add billions of litres of water to our storages.
Western Australia has been quicker to take advantage of thinning as a water management tool. Earlier this year, a $20 million, 12-year thinning program was initiated in a substantial segment of Perth’s catchment following four years of exhaustive public and stakeholder consultation. Every 1,000 hectares thinned is expected to deliver an additional one billion litres of run-off into the Wungong Dam a year.”
This is an extract from an opinion piece by Mark Poynter first published in The Age and just republished by On Line Opinion, entitled ‘Fired-up Forests, Have More Impact Than the Loggers‘. Read the full article here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=5213