Fashioning Australia's Forests

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Oxford University Press, 1995 - Forest conservation - 312 pages
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For more than twenty years, Australia's forests have been the subject of angry controversy. Industry groups, timber towns, professional foresters, trade unions, economists, developers and environmentalists have all voiced different proposals, based on mutually exclusive values. The major forest contests-the Gordon and the Daintree, wilderness and World Heritage, rainforests and woodchipping, pulp mills and pine plantations-have aroused intense passions and influenced elections. But thisbook is more than a survey of recent events. It reviews forest management from Aboriginal times, demonstrating that both the forests themselves, and our conceptions of them, are socially constructed. Dr Dargavel weaves together the story of industrial development and forest use with the slow acceptance of the case for forest conservancy. He shows how various 'resource regimes' evolved, and how they fashioned the forests in different ways-ecologically, spatially and socially. He then describes the challenges to these established patterns since the 1970s-industrial restructuring, woodchip exports, unsustainable harvesting, and the rise of the environmental movement. Fashioning Australia's Forests concludes with a chapter on the prospects for the forests, their industries and workers, in a highly uncertain future. Australians have to choose: to be pushed along a 'low road' of apathetic submission to market forces, ignorance, and continuing acrimony between environmentalists anddevelopers; or to take a long, hard 'high road' towards sustainable development in which both social and environmental needs are taken seriously.

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FASHIONING 1850s TO 1960s
THREE Forests for conservation and delight
CHANGING 1970s TO 1980s

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About the author (1995)

Dr John Dargavel is a Fellow in the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at the Australian National University who has also worked in government and industrial forest management. He has edited several books on forest history and policy and has published extensively on forest science, management, economic, and employment issues.

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