Conservation & Environmental Matters

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In Reply to Francis E-mail see below

Dear Francis
The timber plantations probably responsible are FSC (Forest Stewardship
Councill) certified.
FSC principle 10.6 states that the ...'choice of species shall not
result in adverse impacts on water quality or quantity, or substantial
deviation from stream course drainage patterns.
It seems obvious that these plantations do not adhere to that principle,
and the certificate should be withdrawn - pending an appropriate
solution.
Regards
Philip Owen
GeaSphere

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GEASPHERE
www.geasphere.co.za

July, 2005

My latest crusade is the distressing state of my waterfall, I have
watched with great distress how it gets smaller every year.
For the last 3 years the waterfall has steadily shrunk. It used to have
2 streams making the Brides veil that was so distinctive. This has been
reduced to being only manifest when the rain is very heavy, and for the
last 3 years the Bride has been bereft of her full regalia and been
reduced to but 1 stream. This sad situation vexed my tiny mind and I
have ruminated on the problem in various sates of awareness.

I blamed in order, every user of the water from the Bankspruit but after
due consideration of the history of the water system this seemed to have
no basis on fact, as there has been no new usage over the last few
years, all the dams and stuff being a good deal older than when I first
started to notice the change.

This was now becoming a vexing situation with no immediate solution, and
I worry, worry, worried!

However as with the ways of the bush, steady if aimless consideration
generally makes the situation clear.

The first spark of understanding came through one of those endless but
enlightening conversations that spring up around here, my chum Tim
explained graphically how the water table works. I am sure that you have
all heard of this mythical table that exists some where under ground.

I am still confused by the whole concept, what exactly was this table, I
mean it is solid rock down there, what did this table look like? And
where the hell was it? Is there a big lake sort of floating around
somewhere? All very confusing.

Tim did not make it much clearer but gave me this image of this sort of
level of saturation that is in a sort of balance. If you draw a squiggly
line to represent valleys and mountains and draw a line through it that
is the table, right? I didn’t think so, that is it and in a way that
made me understand how activity very far from oneself will have an
impact greater than the obvious things going on under ones nose.

The next revelation came through Philip Owen the head honcho of
grassland huggers who wrote about the problems affecting the Sudwala
Caves down the road, these caves and the surrounding mini eco system of
rain forest, are being destroyed by timber plantations, that are now
maturing, that had been planted on the leading slopes behind the caves.

Please note that a dry cave is a dead cave, and these caves have been
around for 400 million years, us monkeys come around and destroy them in
20!

I realized that this was happening to me, caused by the plantations that
are getting mature about 10 kilometers from the waterfall, makes one
realize how really silly we are being letting these companies continue
coning us with their constant invasion of land, bequeathing us a future
nightmare of desertification!

I am torn what to do, I could say nothing, quietly go about my biz and
just burn the trees down.

Or make a ver public fuss get into the eyes and be ignored by the
companies concerned as they do not care, most people think that
Plantations are forests and thus good, so an old fart squeaking in the
bundu is hardly going to get some suits to destroy very valuable timber,
and then I remove my option of chucking a match into their trees, and
getting away with it that is.

A conundrum.

Under savage pressure in the bush

Francis
francis@lando.co.za
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