Farmer climbs tree in protest of clearing

South West farmer Jeff Pow climbed a karri tree in protest of the Forest Product Commission's native forest clearing. Photo is supplied.

South West farmer Jeff Pow climbed a karri tree in protest of the Forest Product Commission's native forest clearing. Photo is supplied.

South West farmer and innovator Jeff Pow made a big statement on Friday October 19 when he climbed into the canopy of ancient karri tree west of Manjimup.

The aim of the protest was to prevent the forest from being clear-felled and to highlight the ongoing three to ancient forests in the South West.

Mr Pow’s action comes as the WA Government carries out a review of forest management activities under the Forest Management Plan 2014 - 2023. 

He said his protest was his submission to the state government on its review of logging and burning in the forests.

"The review process has revealed a full blown conservation crisis in the South West with endangered wildlife and plants in major decline.

"The time for excuses and delays is over. Now is the time for action. We need to immediately protect these magnificent forests and their wildlife before it's too late. 

Old growth forests are protected in WA, but procedures for defining and mapping the forests are falling short and forests like Lewin are still being clear-felled in spite of their obvious old growth structure and functions.

“As a farmer, I understand the critical role these old forests play in regulating our climate and maintaining our rainfall. There’s no doubt that they are worth more standing than they are as woodchips and firewood.

The Commission’s Annual Report 2017-2018 shows that 6000 hectares of native forests were logged in 2017 and Mr Pow said the agency made a ‘meagre profit’ in the financial year of $350 000.