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Publication details

Post-print of Vanclay, JK, Rudder, EJ, Dale, G & Blake, GA 1991, 'Sustainable harvesting of tropical rainforests: Reply to Keto, Scott and Olsen', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 379-394.

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This paper refutes the Keto et al. proposition that the Queensland selection logging system is neither ecologically nor economically sustainable. The key requirements of this system are: (1) that logging guidelines are sympathetic to the silvicultural characteristics of the forest, ensuring adequate regeneration of commercial species and discouraging invasion by weeds; (2) tree-marking by trained staff specifies trees to be retained, trees to be removed and the direction of felling to ensure minimal damage to the residual stand; (3) logging equipment is appropriate and driven by trained operators to ensure minimal damage and soil disturbance, compaction and erosion; (4) prescriptions ensure that adequate stream buffers and steep slopes are excluded from logging; (5) sufficient areas for scientific reference, feature protection and recreation are identified and excluded from logging; and (6) that deficiencies in an evolving system are recognized and remedied, leading to an improved system. Many studies of the effects of logging in these forests have been published and collectively provide a unique demonstration of one possible approach to sustainable timber harvesting.