A forest a day! July 11th: TN044B

Ferns in TN044B, by Rob Blakers

The spectacular area of forest in which The Observer Tree is located is a prime example of Tasmania’s ancient forests. This coupe is located within a kilometer of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and has been recommended for inclusion in the protected area (i). Yet it remains under threat from logging.

In mid-December 2011 logging machinery began work in this coupe. Two days later the Observer Tree was launched, bringing international attention to the plight of this threatened forest. By the end of the first week, logging machinery had been removed from the coupe and has not returned. However, this coupe still remains on the forestry schedule and loggers could return any day.

This world heritage valued forest features tall eucalypts towering above a rainforest understorey. The giant old trees contain many hollows, providing habitat for a range of species. These tall eucalypts are the survivors of a natural fire that may have come through the area a hundred years ago. They stand side by side with a new generation of younger eucalypts. Leatherwood, celery top pine, and sassafras are abundant and the steep gullies overflow with ferns.

This forest is home to a few much-loved Tasmanian devils, including a mother devil and her young. On December 12th 2011, conservationists captured footage of a mother devil carrying food in her mouth. A few months later, a healthy juvenile devil was seen in the same area, new out of the den. The protection of this area is critical, as maternal devil den sites are used from generation to generation and play an important role in the survival of this species.

As well as devils, many other threatened or endangered species have been documented in the area including goshawks, wedge tail eagles, and spot tail quolls.

The pristine waterways of this forest flow from the top of Mount Mueller and are home to endangered hydrobiid snails (ii).

Yet the survival of the flora and fauna of this forest is at risk, due to Ta Ann’s wood supply demands. This coupe was meant to be protected by a conservation agreement, when the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed in August last year. Sadly, this forest was excluded in order to provide wood to Ta Ann (iii).

Please help stop this spectacular forest from being turned into veneer. CLICK HERE to take action.

For more information about the ‘A forest a day’ project, which is a collaboration between Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened, The Last Stand, Markets for Change and Code Green, please click HERE.

References:

[i]Hitchcock, P. (2012), IVG Report 5A: Verification of the Heritage Value of ENGO proposed Reserves, p. 77 [View online]

[ii] Forestry Tasmania, Forest Practises Plan TN044B

[iii] Hoffman, O. (2011) Rescheduling Work – January and February 2012, As requested by The Australian Government 21 November 2012 [view online]

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Posted on July 11, 2012, in A Forest A Day. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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