A forest a day! July 12th: BS101D, Mount Barrow
BS101D, Mount Barrow. Image by Kip Nunn
Bordering the Mount Barrow Forest Reserve, this 30 hectare logging coupe is part of a cluster of areas nominated for protection in Tasmania’s north east. This forest contains significant national heritage value. A key issue with the forest reserve system in north-east Tasmania is the current lack of connectivity between reserves. By adding tracts of forest to the existing reserves, there will be greater connectivity, providing critical habitat corridors for a range of species. In recommending this area for protection, Hitchcock paid attention to the “value of recognisable corridors for achieving long term biological conservation.” (Hitchcock 2012: 265) and stated that “for connectivity to be effective the connecting corridors must as far as practicable be capable of facilitating movement of all relevant species, not just a particular species” (Hitchcock 2012:265).
This coupe features a Eucalyptus obliqua and Eucalyptus delegatensis canopy with a rainforest understorey. Flora species in the area include: sassafras, mountain pepper, musk and daisybush, as well as a diversity of ferns. The coupe is bordered by several streams, and in addition, two creeks run through the area due to be logged (FT 2012:5). These streams are potential habitat for the north east forest snail (FT 2012:9).
Fauna seen in the area includes platypus, wombats and yellow-tailed black cockatoos. In recent field trips conservationists also sighted a number of endangered wedge tail eagles. Fauna cameras have been placed in the area by forest campaign group Code Green in order to monitor for endangered species, including Tasmanian devils. The results of these studies have not been finalised, however the area has been identified as possible habitat for devils and Code Green are looking forward to finding out if there is a healthy population in the area.
BS101D, Mount Barrow. Image by Erik Hayward
Unfortunately, small section of this coupe has been logged, during the time when the coupe should have been under a moratorium. The machines have left, and the majority of the coupe remains intact. But logging could begin again at any time. The major reason for logging in this coupe is to produce peeler billets (such as those required by Ta Ann) (Hoffman 2011: 8).
Please CLICK HERE and take action now to ensure that this area and other high conservation value forests are protected.
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.
FT (2012) Forest Practises Plan BS101D, Forestry Tasmania
Hitchcock, P. (2012), IVG Report 5A: Verification of the Heritage Value of ENGO proposed Reserves, p. 77 [View online]
Hoffman, O. (2011) Rescheduling Work – January and February 2012, As requested by The Australian Government 21 November 2012 [view online]