Photo: Sharka Todd
It is often said that some natural places are in danger of being “loved to death” but I can say that many natural places are in far greater danger of not being loved enough and therefore exploited for monetary gain without any significant public outcry. The more people that love an area, the more difficult it becomes for those who seek only to profit financially from exploiting the area, through mining or logging, for example, to achieve their aims!
I discovered this the hard way when one of my favourite natural places was recently logged to such an extent that most of the natural value of the area was lost. I loved the fact that I could visit the area and be alone in nature there, with trees that were over 70 years old. However, the fact that few people knew about the area and enjoyed it (which I liked because it meant I could find solitude there) also meant that it was easier for the organisations that managed the area to come in and log it mercilessly. The name of the area is Stoodley Arboretum (located near Sheffield, Tasmania) and it has lost over half its usable area thanks to intervention by the careless and loveless machine men of the logging industry.
Stoodley Forest by Sharka Todd
Places such as the Stoodley Forest need to be managed by the people who use it on a regular basis and care for it rather than by a faceless organisation located hundreds of miles away who are staffed by people who have no real knowledge or care for the place. This holds true for all natural resource management decisions- they belong to the people who care, not faceless bureaucrats. Locals who care for the area should be making the final decision on what happens there, not those whose only interest in the area is financial or in meeting "quotas"!