Thursday, 9 March 2006

Eco forestry

Bula all,

Here is the Yaka hardwood drying for the leeboards and shelving in all the cabins. All of this exquisite hardwood was harvested from a single tree grown in the highlands behind Savusavu. Mr Bill Driver and his crew walked half a day into his forestry and to find the one tree that would give the amount of wood we required in the correct size. We needed about 800 linear feet of 12' x 1" planks, between 5 and 8ft long. The final product of the tree that he chose came to 874 linear feet (trees not really growing THAT much to order...).

The tree was then felled by chainsaw and then a portable sawmill using the same chainsaws were used to cut the logs into rough "green" planks. The wood was then loaded onto the crew's backs and walked out of the forest. No logging roads were carved into the hillside, and secondary forest damage was minimal. This kind of forestry is known as Eco-Forestry and is currently being supported in the Fiji Islands by German Forestry Agency to try and reduce the damage and soil erosion caused by mass forestry and the logging roads normally used during harvesting.

The planks were then dressed and finished to our final required thickness and size by the local Savusavu Sawmill over by the airport. in the photo we see the resulting timber drying out beneath a tarpaulin on our day beds on the sun deck. An alternative use for a very comfortable piece of deck furniture. This is now dry and ready for sanding and polishing for use as the leeboards on all our beds. It will also be used for the splash guard around the vanities and the shelves in the Grand Staterooms.


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