Fire consultation process starts

The Victorian Environment Assessment Council pointed out in its recent report that DSE possesses ‘vast’ amounts of information about forest ecology, but suggested that DSE workers are not necessarily in possession of this knowldge when it recommended the implementation of training schemes for those working in the bush [see item below].

This is one problem with DSE and Parks Victoria land management practices. The other one is intense political pressure to conduct large fuel reduction burns without particular regard to local conditions.

In this context, DSE has begun to plan the next stage of its fuel reduction strategy by inviting interested groups, including FOBIF, to participate in this planning process.

FOBIF’s position on fire has been consistent for many years: use of fire as a management tool should be no different from any other management activity. That is, it should be guided by the best available knowledge; and each exercise should be conducted with the lessons of the previous one in mind, in the effort to improve results, both for safety and for the bush environment.

This is, in fact, DSE’s own policy of adaptive management. Readers of our statements on fire [see and recent posts under Fire Management at ] will know of our dissatisfaction with the way it has been implemented. We will participate in the consultation process, however, in the belief that DSE and Parks officers want to do the best job possible with the resources available. Our submission is printed above.

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