Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6697
Title: Sustainability of the Armidale fuelwood industry on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales: resource yield, supply, demand and management options
Contributor(s): Wall, Julian (author); Reid, Nicholas  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 1997
Copyright Date: 1997
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6697
Abstract: Fuelwood is a significant form of home heating in eastern Australia. Demand is increasing in response to the popularity and efficiency of modern woodheaters, yet supply around some major centres such as Adelaide and Canberra is not sustainable under current management. The industry has often been likened to a mining operation. Cutting tends to target dead timber with little thought for replacement. Extraction is usually 'ad hoc', and many roadside reserves and other public lands are degraded by unregulated cutting. Fuelwood is the major form of domestic heating in Armidale and surrounding Northern Tablelands. Winters are cold and heating is essential. Regional consumption is 31 000 t.yr⁻¹ of which Armidale consumes 18000 t.yr⁻¹. In the late 1970s and 1980s, fuelwood was in plentiful supply due to dieback and broadscale clearing. As dieback intensity and clearing have slowed in recent years, however, supply has become a concern. Over 80% of fuel wood is extracted from dead eucalypts on private land, none of which are actively replaced. Supply may be unsustainable in certain areas, because 60% of wood merchants and urban fuelwood collectors claim that existing supplies are being depleted, and they are forced to travel further from Armidale to harvest dead wood. The average price of delivered fuelwood ($65t⁻¹) is too low to ensure long-term supply by encouraging landholders and merchants to grow fuelwood commercially, and there is a general community perception that dead trees are expendable. Dead fallen logs and branches are absent from some local stands as a result of repeated visitation by private collectors. Given the structural and functional importance of dead timber in forest ecosystems, and the lack of environmental codes of conduct with respect to its removal, Armidale's fuelwood industry may be ecologically unsustainable in stands where dead wood is regularly depleted. This thesis investigates the hypothesis that ecological sustain-ability can be ensured within the fuelwood industry through appropriate forestry practice.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1997 - Julian Wall
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Appears in Collections:School of Environmental and Rural Science
Thesis Doctoral

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