Macgill dam to preserve pines

Surveyor John Linsell sets out on Sheep Creek Dam at the Macgill property.

KIPT has surveyed the Sheep Creek Dam at its Macgill property to ascertain its suitability to store pine logs once harvesting of the bushfire-damaged pine plantations can begin.

John Linsell and Michael Pohl, of Steed surveyors, were contracted to assess the holding capacity of the dam and KIPT’s forestry consultant Rob Heathcote estimates the dam could hold 150,000 tonnes of logs when full, as they await transport off the Island. This represented less than a quarter of the pine to be harvested on the Island.

KIPT Managing Director Keith Lamb said the harvest of pine logs was more urgent than bluegum because pine did not regenerate after fire and the logs were deteriorating on the stump.

“These logs have a shelf life and the clock is ticking. Storing softwood in water is a proven way to preserve the log and many people in South Australia will remember the stories of log storage in the South-East after the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983.

“As soon as we receive State Government approval for the Kangaroo Island Seaport at Smith Bay we will start the harvest of pine. We can’t store all of it at Macgill’s but we may be able to access some temporary transport options alongside this and other storage solutions.

“The jetty at Smith Bay is still the critical part of the puzzle to activate the forestry industry on Kangaroo Island and KIPT is working hard on the harvest solutions and planning that will underpin the future of this industry that can bring so many benefits not just to our shareholders but also to the Kangaroo Island community.”