Posts Tagged ‘The ObserverTree’

Forestry Scabs in Tasmania’s Old Growth

Friday, December 30th, 2011

This is a scab:.

These are Forestry Scabs:
Forestry Scabs of clearfelled Tasmanian endangered old-growth forests
Google Earth reveals the clearfell truth behind the Forestry propaganda
(Click satellite image to enlarge – note environmental protestors’ ObserverTree)
To download Google Earth software (93MB), go to:   ^http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

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This is an aerial close up of Forestry Scabs:

Forestry Scabs pocking the endangered Upper Florentine Forest, 2011

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This is the ‘Forestry Plunder’
Old Growth which in the case of the Styx Valley, Forestry Tasmania labelled ‘Coupe SX015

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Recall 2006:   ‘Forests protected: another tall story

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[Source: ‘Forests protected: another tall story”, in Tasmanian Times, 20060327, ^http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/forests-protected-another-tall-story]

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Two days after the election the police moved into the Styx Valley to apprehend a small band of protesters. An arrest was made and a 70-metre-tall tree holding a protest platform was blown up! Cable logging was set to resume in the Styx Valley of the Giants.

Yet last year both the state and federal Governments claimed that they had saved the giant trees of the Styx. Indeed, they claimed to have resolved the entire forests debate.

This week’s developments have given the lie to those claims. Not only is logging making a comeback in the Styx; it is also about to start in parts of the Weld and Upper Florentine that have never before seen a chainsaw. Other key areas are likely to follow, from the Tarkine in the far north-west, where there are still 400 square kilometres of threatened oldgrowth forest, to South Sister on the East Coast, Bruny Island in the south and the beleagured north-east highlands.

The Styx case is a classic example of how the governments deal with forest issues. One of the new reserves they have promised to create is the 336-hectare Styx Tall Trees Forest Reserve. This reserve occurs on either side of Skeleton Road, the road up which 4000 people marched on a cold, drizzly day in July 2003 to protest at logging.

The Reserve’s southern boundary occurs very close to the huge stump on which speakers at the rally delivered their speeches. The reserve contains several well-known giants, including the Chapel Tree — an 85-metre-tall giant which is the second most massive known living thing in Tasmania. It also contains the Mount Tree and Icarus Dream, which, at 96 and 97 metres respectively, are the tallest known trees in the Southern Hemisphere. The Two Towers, Gothmog, the Perfect Tree and the Andromeda Twins are other registered giants within the reserve.

Declaration of this reserve will be very welcome. However, cold hard scrutiny reveals that very little loggable forest has been conceded by the industry here. About 20 hectares were already in the informal Andromeda Reserve, which contains some of the tall trees mentioned above.  In addition, Forestry Tasmania’s Giant Trees policy and protocols, adopted in the wake of the El Grande debacle, require the establishment of buffers of at least 100 metres radius around each registered giant. The abundance of giant trees in this patch of forest means that logging had already been severely curtailed.

In essence, the creation of the Styx Tall Trees Reserve is a minimalist recognition that little logging could have proceeded amongst these statuesque giants anyway.

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Protected the bare minimum area

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A look at the mapped boundaries of the reserve shows them to be very convoluted. That’s because the reserve has been designed to accommodate areas planned for logging.

Last year, Forestry Tasmania scheduled 26-hectare coupe SX18F. This created a cable-logged cut on the steep slopes immediately south-east of the Reserve. The imminent destruction of the tall oldgrowth forests in coupe SX15A will mark the southern edge of the reserve. Immediately west of the reserve is the already-logged SX13D and the scheduled SX13K. Later in the logging schedule come SX18E and SX13J.

Forestry Tasmania logging the Styx Valley of its ancient old growth

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The conclusions to be drawn from this are simple.

Forestry Tasmania protected the absolute bare minimum area of tall-eucalypt forest in the Styx Tall Trees Forest Reserve.

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“Forestry Tasmana is now embarking on a program of ringing the reserve with new coupes.  This appears to be an obvious bid to pre-empt any future expansion of the reserve.  This strategy will have the effect of isolating the giants from adjacent protective forest. The reserve will become increasingly prone to the ‘edge effects’ of fire, wind and disease. This situation is not assisted by the messy design of the reserve.”

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Forestry Tasmania will claim that it has protected these giants and met all of its legislated obligations. In fact, Forestry Tasmania has still failed to meet the targets set in the RFA for the protection of oldgrowth Eucalyptus regnans — the tallest flowering plant on Earth.

The Howard Government has been a party to this sham, providing millions of dollars of taxpayers’ funds to the logging industry and state government as ‘compensation’.

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‘Forests Onslaught to Follow Election’

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by Geoff Law, Tasmanian Campaign Coordinator, The Wilderness Society, 20060318, comment to an article in the Tasmanian Times of a speech made by Richard Flanagan, Parliament House Rally, Hobart, 16 March 2006, ^http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/we-will-not-give-up/]

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‘An onslaught of burning, logging and clearing in Tasmania’s forests will follow Saturday’s election, according to the Wilderness Society.

“New logging operations in the Styx, South Sister, Weld and Jackeys Marsh, huge new areas of tree-clearing, and another 30,000 hectares of burning are set to follow the election,” said the Society’s Tasmanian Campaign Coordinator, Geoff Law.

The burning program is set out in a brochure about forestry burn-offs distributed by Forestry Tasmania and FIAT in the Derwent Valley Gazette on Wednesday. It says: This autumn, the forest industry plans to prepare about 30,000 hectares of land for planting or sowing in patches scattered across Tasmania.

Logging is also poised to move into contentious forests in the Upper Florentine, at South Sister and unprotected parts of the Tarkine.

Mr Law said that his warning was based on:

  • Forestry Tasmania’s attempt to log coupe SX15A in the Styx Valley, which was put on hold two weeks ago after the efforts of a handful of protesters. The logging machinery is poised and ready to go as soon as the election is out of the way.
  • Forestry Tasmania’s interim draft Three Year Plan which has scheduled almost 16,000 hectares of tree-clearing for this calendar year as well as logging at South Sister, Jackeys Marsh, in the Weld and Upper Florentine Valleys and unprotected parts of the Tarkine
  • The brochure on burning, which presents ‘Facts about the forest industry’s planned burning program during Autumn’ and which foreshadows 30,000 hectares of burning this autumn.’
A Styx Legacy
A Eucalyptus regnans giant stump is all that remains of one of the huge trees
felled to make way for the logging road in coupe SX 15A in the Styx Valley.
^http://www.lexicon.net/peterc/Tasmania/Tas01.htm

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‘Forestry Tasmania’s Sustainability Charter for Threatened species, communities and habitats

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“Aim:  Maintain viable populations of all existing animal and plant species and communities found in State forests.
This will involve:

  • Increasing understanding of ecology and habitats of threatened species and communities and implementing appropriate management
  • Active participation in the management of threatened species, communities and habitats
  • Implementing specific strategies to protect threatened species and their habitats.”

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 A rare giant Eucalyptus regnans of the nearby Upper Florentine
(Photo by Editor 20110928, free in public domain, click photo to enlarge)

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2012 Year of the Forestry Scab?

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In late 2011 and now going into 2012, Forestry Tasmania are at it again, trying to clearfell the Styx Valley of its old growth.

Get the lastest from the forest protest at The ObserverTree below Mount Mueller in the Styx Valley.

Click:  ^http://observertree.org/

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