Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 50
I can hardly believe that seven weeks have gone by already! In a way it doesn’t feel like it has been that long. I guess I have kept busy with lots of blogging. And skypeing into all sorts of stalls, festivals and forums too!
Tonight I skyped into the Derwent Valley community forum. It was a great forum and the conversation went for about an hour and half. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to talk to local people who live in this area. There were loads of questions about the forest agreement, Ta Ann, the international day of action, and also some personal ones about the highs and lows I have experienced so far, and the challenges that may be yet to come. Thank you to those who came along. It was really inspiring to hear what everyone had to say. And it’s great to have the local support.
One of the questions asked tonight was about the claims made by Ta Ann that they are receiving only regrowth logs. The company claims that their machines only take logs of a certain diameter therefore they are only regrowth logs. This is something Ta Ann have tried to use as an excuse, however it is misleading. It is true that they only take logs of a certain diameter. What is also true is that these logs often come from high conservation value and old growth forests. Like the forest I am sitting in right now. The recent report released by the independent schedulers who assessed Forestry Tasmania’s data indicated that the coupes being logged now that are in the area ear-marked for protection are being logged to provide wood to Ta Ann. These are forests that were meant to be protected by the conservation agreement. This forest here has never been logged before. It is not regrowth. It contains mixed ages of trees and mixed species. Some giant old eucalypts like the one I’m sitting in, and some younger ones that have grown from a natural fire event in the landscape many years ago. To destroy this entire forest (and it will be completely destroyed with nothing left at all once they cable log it) to provide wood for Ta Ann means that the company is implicated in the destruction of old growth forests. This is regardless of the size or age of the individual trees they choose to take.
Another question relating to Ta Ann was how much choice do they have in the matter of which forest is cut down. It is up to Ta Ann which logs they choose to accept or not. It is up to Ta Ann if they wish to take wood from high conservation value and old growth forests. They can refuse this wood at any time. Yet, instead they continue to accept these logs and are therefore the current driver for the continued destruction of our ancient forests. That is why it is so important to put pressure on the company to change their policies. One way to do this is to call on their customers, the companies in Japan, to refuse to buy wood from Ta Ann unless they move to a sustainable option. Through this market pressure, we can hopefully bring about a change for Tasmania’s forests and the opportunity for real conservation outcomes. Please take a minute to email the companies through this online action. And tell all your friends about it too!
It’s very exciting to hear plans being made in the local Derwent Valley for an action on Feb 15 as part of the Global 24 Hours of Action. If your thinking of doing something in your local area, don’t forget to let me know as soon as possible. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org