Forests & plantations

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rev
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Forests & plantations

#1 Post by rev » Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm

We have a number of man made forests obviously in SA, such as Kuitpo.
Given how barren of trees a lot of our landscape is, even an hour or three out of the metro, why haven't more forests been planted?
There's lots of areas between Adelaide and Murray Bridge that could do with tree planting, down at Victor Harbor as well the hills just north of the town.
Around Deep Creek conservation park there's plenty of hills that have no trees, just grass, and even beyond down to Cape Jervis, up to Myponga.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills there's quite a few areas with little tree cover. Whatever isn't being used as a winery or farm should be covered in trees.
The south-east whatever isn't a farm or has some other use, turn it into forests.

Should even try and push back the 'desertification' beyond the hills, and green up the landscape up to the Vic border.
Perhaps even build desalination plants around the lower lakes/Victor, drop some pipelines for irrigation all the way up to the Riverland. What would pumping that water into the Murray up around the Riverland, what effect would it have?
Could expand agriculture in the region.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#2 Post by Norman » Fri May 22, 2020 12:59 pm

It's a good question, and not something I am particularly familiar with.

My guesses are:
- Bushfire risks
- Lack of water resources & rainfall - Murray Bridge receives half the rainfall of Adelaide and Mount Gambier, and a third of Mount Lofty's total. The Mount Lofty Ranges act as a barrier where low clouds hit the hills and fall as rain, leaving only high clouds to take the miniscule amount of rainwater left to the other side of the ranges
- Excessive cost of desalination
- Low returns compared to other agricultural products
- Long-term investment compared to other short-term agricultural products like grains and livestock

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Re: Forests & plantations

#3 Post by SBD » Sat May 23, 2020 9:41 pm

rev wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm
We have a number of man made forests obviously in SA, such as Kuitpo.
Given how barren of trees a lot of our landscape is, even an hour or three out of the metro, why haven't more forests been planted?
There's lots of areas between Adelaide and Murray Bridge that could do with tree planting, down at Victor Harbor as well the hills just north of the town.
Around Deep Creek conservation park there's plenty of hills that have no trees, just grass, and even beyond down to Cape Jervis, up to Myponga.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills there's quite a few areas with little tree cover. Whatever isn't being used as a winery or farm should be covered in trees.
The south-east whatever isn't a farm or has some other use, turn it into forests.

Should even try and push back the 'desertification' beyond the hills, and green up the landscape up to the Vic border.
Perhaps even build desalination plants around the lower lakes/Victor, drop some pipelines for irrigation all the way up to the Riverland. What would pumping that water into the Murray up around the Riverland, what effect would it have?
Could expand agriculture in the region.
What species would you propose to plant, and with what purpose?

Quite a bit of plantation Radiata Pine has been lost to bushfires over the years. I don't know how long it takes to regenerate - a lot of what burned out in 1983 may be ready or harvested again by now. This season's Cudlee Creek fire burned some planted timber. Sampson Flat in 2015 burned more. I suspect Hills residents may have gone cool on large amounts of flammable trees planted by the government near their property. Vineyards and orchards provide more regular returns sooner than plantation timber.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#4 Post by rev » Sun May 24, 2020 10:47 am

SBD wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:41 pm
rev wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm
We have a number of man made forests obviously in SA, such as Kuitpo.
Given how barren of trees a lot of our landscape is, even an hour or three out of the metro, why haven't more forests been planted?
There's lots of areas between Adelaide and Murray Bridge that could do with tree planting, down at Victor Harbor as well the hills just north of the town.
Around Deep Creek conservation park there's plenty of hills that have no trees, just grass, and even beyond down to Cape Jervis, up to Myponga.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills there's quite a few areas with little tree cover. Whatever isn't being used as a winery or farm should be covered in trees.
The south-east whatever isn't a farm or has some other use, turn it into forests.

Should even try and push back the 'desertification' beyond the hills, and green up the landscape up to the Vic border.
Perhaps even build desalination plants around the lower lakes/Victor, drop some pipelines for irrigation all the way up to the Riverland. What would pumping that water into the Murray up around the Riverland, what effect would it have?
Could expand agriculture in the region.
What species would you propose to plant, and with what purpose?

Quite a bit of plantation Radiata Pine has been lost to bushfires over the years. I don't know how long it takes to regenerate - a lot of what burned out in 1983 may be ready or harvested again by now. This season's Cudlee Creek fire burned some planted timber. Sampson Flat in 2015 burned more. I suspect Hills residents may have gone cool on large amounts of flammable trees planted by the government near their property. Vineyards and orchards provide more regular returns sooner than plantation timber.
That's too bad about hills residents, they chose to live in a fire danger zone. Should we cut down all the trees and remove all vegetation?
If there isn't already, there should be a government program to replant bushfire affected areas that don't bounce back naturally.

I meant more creating forested areas then creating forests to cut down for profit.
The economic benefit would be from increased tourism. There'd be more camping areas, the grey nomads and general camping is on the increase, there could be more mountain bike areas/trails, 4wd tracks. You'd probably see native animals flourish in these areas, so you'd get an increase in visitors, and many other possibilities for outdoor activities.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#5 Post by madelaide » Sun May 24, 2020 4:22 pm

rev wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm
We have a number of man made forests obviously in SA, such as Kuitpo.
Given how barren of trees a lot of our landscape is, even an hour or three out of the metro, why haven't more forests been planted?
There's lots of areas between Adelaide and Murray Bridge that could do with tree planting, down at Victor Harbor as well the hills just north of the town.
Around Deep Creek conservation park there's plenty of hills that have no trees, just grass, and even beyond down to Cape Jervis, up to Myponga.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills there's quite a few areas with little tree cover. Whatever isn't being used as a winery or farm should be covered in trees.
The south-east whatever isn't a farm or has some other use, turn it into forests.

Should even try and push back the 'desertification' beyond the hills, and green up the landscape up to the Vic border.
Perhaps even build desalination plants around the lower lakes/Victor, drop some pipelines for irrigation all the way up to the Riverland. What would pumping that water into the Murray up around the Riverland, what effect would it have?
Could expand agriculture in the region.

I really like the idea, rev. Cannabis plantations first to go in. Rows of hemp and medicinal cannabis crops for now. Then we might need property owners subsidised by the gov to restore indigenous flora to properties. Walking trails, mountain bike tracks, camping, scientific research and medicinal and edible crops unique to our land should be the focus of regeneration. These should be maintained using traditional Aboriginal land management practices including seasonal, low heat burn offs.

I feel abandoned open cut mines around the Adelaide Hills could do with some care too... as best we can, turn them into terraces for food plantations or design landmark parks in the style of the Umpherston Sinkhole. These should funded by the mining companies that cut the pits out in the first place and left them as eyesores.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#6 Post by rev » Sun May 24, 2020 8:44 pm

Yes, those old quarry sites should be repurposed.
They'd be ideal for plantings, as well as filling them partially with water perhaps. But I think the best use for them would be to create adventure mountain bike courses, and even an adventure/extreme motorcross course.

Some are still ib use though by companies like Boral.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#7 Post by SBD » Mon May 25, 2020 12:08 am

rev wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 10:47 am
SBD wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:41 pm
rev wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm
We have a number of man made forests obviously in SA, such as Kuitpo.
Given how barren of trees a lot of our landscape is, even an hour or three out of the metro, why haven't more forests been planted?
There's lots of areas between Adelaide and Murray Bridge that could do with tree planting, down at Victor Harbor as well the hills just north of the town.
Around Deep Creek conservation park there's plenty of hills that have no trees, just grass, and even beyond down to Cape Jervis, up to Myponga.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills there's quite a few areas with little tree cover. Whatever isn't being used as a winery or farm should be covered in trees.
The south-east whatever isn't a farm or has some other use, turn it into forests.

Should even try and push back the 'desertification' beyond the hills, and green up the landscape up to the Vic border.
Perhaps even build desalination plants around the lower lakes/Victor, drop some pipelines for irrigation all the way up to the Riverland. What would pumping that water into the Murray up around the Riverland, what effect would it have?
Could expand agriculture in the region.
What species would you propose to plant, and with what purpose?

Quite a bit of plantation Radiata Pine has been lost to bushfires over the years. I don't know how long it takes to regenerate - a lot of what burned out in 1983 may be ready or harvested again by now. This season's Cudlee Creek fire burned some planted timber. Sampson Flat in 2015 burned more. I suspect Hills residents may have gone cool on large amounts of flammable trees planted by the government near their property. Vineyards and orchards provide more regular returns sooner than plantation timber.
That's too bad about hills residents, they chose to live in a fire danger zone. Should we cut down all the trees and remove all vegetation?
If there isn't already, there should be a government program to replant bushfire affected areas that don't bounce back naturally.

I meant more creating forested areas then creating forests to cut down for profit.
The economic benefit would be from increased tourism. There'd be more camping areas, the grey nomads and general camping is on the increase, there could be more mountain bike areas/trails, 4wd tracks. You'd probably see native animals flourish in these areas, so you'd get an increase in visitors, and many other possibilities for outdoor activities.
Plantation timber is quite different to natural (regenerated) bushland with clearings. I reacted to what appeared to be a proposal to increase plantations in populated areas. I knew people who lived in/near Kuitpo Forest in 1983. The threat there was different, so the appropriate mitigations would have been different, to what was experienced in natural bush areas.

The natural bush is already recovering naturally. Planted pine does not. In fact, it gets taken over by native bush eventually if nobody continues to manage and replant the forest.

Are there significant areas of land that are not bush, forest nor farmed? What are they? Is it appropriate to replace areas that before white settlement only supported mallee scrub with forest trees? The indigenous fauna depended on the original habitat, preserved in roadsides and conservation parks. Establishing new forests would not be helpful to expanding that fauna.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#8 Post by rev » Mon May 25, 2020 3:36 pm

Kuitpo is Californian pine or something isn't it? planted in the 1800s?

Well, couldn't an effort be made to plant native trees and other vegetation in areas that don't have any, or have it sparsely?

I'm no greeny as you probably know, but I think there'd be a huge benefit in creating more 'forested' areas.
If they can use desalination plants to create irrigated areas either for agriculture or 'forested' native vegetation or both in what I'll describe as 'dersitificated' regions east beyond the Adelaide Hills, surely that's a positive?

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Re: Forests & plantations

#9 Post by SBD » Mon May 25, 2020 9:03 pm

rev wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:36 pm
Kuitpo is Californian pine or something isn't it? planted in the 1800s?

Well, couldn't an effort be made to plant native trees and other vegetation in areas that don't have any, or have it sparsely?

I'm no greeny as you probably know, but I think there'd be a huge benefit in creating more 'forested' areas.
If they can use desalination plants to create irrigated areas either for agriculture or 'forested' native vegetation or both in what I'll describe as 'dersitificated' regions east beyond the Adelaide Hills, surely that's a positive?
If land has been cleared for farming (or forestry) but is now not used for those purposes, I'd see it as a better choice to reinstate the original kinds of vegetation rather than irrigate (and probably fertilise) to create a new bioregion.

I doubt there is actually very much "abandoned" land that is not used for some kind of agriculture, horticulture or conservation. If there is, more large solar farms might also be helpful. Most of the current proposals are north of Goyder's Line, but one is proposed northwest of Murray Bridge too. "Construction could commence in Autumn 2020." but I can find no evidence online that it has.

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Re: Forests & plantations

#10 Post by Goodsy » Wed May 27, 2020 11:51 am

interesting timing from the ABC




this is also a great 30min piece if you've got the time


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Re: Forests & plantations

#11 Post by Nort » Wed May 27, 2020 12:14 pm

A big yes to the idea of expanding plantings with suitable vegetation. It's good for biodiversity, tourism, and helps hold water in areas. That said I don't think large scale desalination is a good idea. It would be hugely expensive to produce enough water to keep millions of acres of forest irrigated, and there are also problems related to increasing salinity around the outlets which could counteract a lot of the environmental good being done.

There's the famous proverb - A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

In the post-Covid-19 Australia where unemployment and underemployment are likely to be high, this type of nation building scheme is a way (as part of many others) of providing work to people while also building a better country with more resources for the future.

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