OPINION: Why are today’s logs so small?

DEAR News Of The Area,

TWO letters in NOTA on January 26 claimed the timber industry was sustainable.

Clearly they don’t have an understanding of post-war logging history and the current resource’s maths.

At the end of the 60s log diameters began to shrink, it was clear that logs suitable for large gauge framing timber were scarce.

Most frame timber today is from Australian steel or pine, often from New Zealand where they instigated plantations.

I spoke to north coast mill owners and workers in the 70s: “All we’re getting now are matchsticks”.

That was then, diameters have declined since.

I’d suggest to readers they observe the small diameter of logs on passing jinkers – diminishing matchsticks.

In earlier times you’d need two jinkers to cart one tree.

Poor quality timber comes from the skinny resource: pallets and wood chips.

The products themselves are the legacy of overcutting for decades.

At the present rate of milling the industry will finish of its own accord.

I’m asking questions of last week’s defenders, and I’d like answers that aren’t evasive, stick to diameters and facts.
Why are today’s logs so small?

Surely it suggests decades of over-cutting?

How can this be (and I’ll use your word) “sustainable”?


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