This is Warrup, an area of jarrah and marri forest in the south-west of Australia, south-east of Bridgetown. Much of it is scheduled to be chopped down this year. I was there recently, and can report that it is a beautiful, healthy and biodiverse ecosystem, far from the madding crowds.
The jarrah forests of the south-west of Australia have been overcut for the majority of the twentieth century. At Warrup there are two areas of old-growth jarrah forest, something very hard to find in 2010. These areas will not be logged, but anything around these areas will be. This will open up the old-growth left to the effects of heat, wind and invasive weeds, as well as quite probably spreading die-back into the area. It will also impact on threatened animals such as the woylie that are not unknown around here. At Warrup we had found an area of Australia that deserves to be part of the national park system, but that, unless the Department of Environment and Conservation gets its act together, is going to be basically clear-felled.
Tune into RTR 92.1FM in Perth, or online, on 26 May, 11.30am, to hear me interviewing Russel Catomore, a representative from the Bridgetown-Greenbushes Friends of the Forest group, about the future of Warrup.
This forest has only been logged once back in the 1940s and today it contains massive trees and a rich understorey.
The sounds of quiet bird song fluting in the canopy in the areas adjoining the old-growth were an elegy in my ears. Soon we won’t hear song in this old forest if the Department of Environment and Conservation gets its way.