Saturday, April 4, 2009

The case for fuel reduction burning in Australia’s forests

Peter Attiwill
The Case For Fuel Reduction Burning in Australia’s Forests

The Adam Smith Club will host a dinner meeting (pdf) on Tuesday the 7th of April 2009, at the Malvern Vale Club Hotel, 1321 Malvern Rd, Malvern 3144.

Peter Attiwill retired from the position of Reader and Associate Professor in Botany, The University of Melbourne. He is Australian Centre Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow in Botany, University of Melbourne and Editor-in-Chief, Forest Ecology and Management. He is the author or co-author of some 120 papers in the scientific journals. Most of his research career has concentrated on sustainability of growth, productivity and nutrient cycling in forests.
Fire has been a major force in the evolution of Australia’s fauna and flora over tens of millions of years, and Victoria is one of the most fire-prone areas of the world. In the past 6 years, bushfires have burnt with high intensity over some 2.7 million hectares of public land in Victoria, and this is no way to manage the bush and its ecology. But these megafires – or feral fires – that we have seen in Victoria have also burned in other parts of the world. On a global scale, we are facing three major challenges: global warming and climate change, over-accumulation of forest fuels, and growth of populations in the interface between urban and forest areas (that is, more and more people wanting to live in the bush). While most fires are controlled, the few that burn out of control account for most of the area burned, and for most of the total cost of suppression. In meeting these challenges, should we reinforce current tactics with the emphasis on fire suppression, or should we redefine strategies?

Attendance is open to both members and non-members. Those desiring to attend should complete the slip on the pdf and return it to the Club no later than Friday the 3rd of April 2009. Tickets will not be sent. Those attending should arrive at 6:30pm for dinner at 7:00pm. The cost is $40.00 per head for members and $45.00 per head for non-members.


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