Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 114
This is footage taken on Wednesday. It shows some of the destruction that is continuing to occur within the 572,000 hectares of forest that has been verified as having significant high conservation value, national heritage value and world heritage value.
The footage shows first an area of forest called Butlers Gorge. In the footage you can see not only logging operations occurring, but also new roads being pushed into areas of pristine and previously untouched wilderness. In fact, this area of forest has been recommended for inclusion in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area precisely because it is such a significant area of untouched wilderness. The West report described this area as one of the most, if not the most, significant tract of Tasmania’s tall eucalypt forest. Until about a decade ago it had no disturbance from logging or roading. And the majority of the area remains intact. It is outrageous that now, when it has been recommended as World Heritage, when negotiations are going about its future protection, that new roads would continue to be pushed in to the pristine tracts of forest there. They are compromising the very values that they are talking about protecting! This is the reason that we need an immediate moratorium on logging in the 572,000 hectares. To continue to log the very areas they are discussing as the potential future national parks and world heritage areas just doesn’t make sense. By the time they decide whether or not to protect them, how much of the forest will they have degraded or destroyed?
After the footage of Butlers Gorge, the video shows a devastating burn off in the Plenty. This is an area also within the 572,000 hectares of verified high conservation value forest. This burn off was the topic of an article in the Mercury today (which you can read by clicking HERE).
Finally the footage shows a blackened and still smoldering clearfell in the Weld Valley which was burnt about a week and a half ago. A group of conservationists gathered in the clearfell to hold a banner reading “Stop selling forest destruction.”
I think the footage speaks for itself, in showing the reason why a moratorium on these forests is so necessary. This moratorium is long overdue. Originally due to be in place by March 15th 2011; over a year ago now! And then when the IGA was signed in August last year, it said a conservation agreement would be put over 430,000 hectares, this was never fully implemented. The IGA also stated that once the verification process was complete (as it is now) the conservation agreement would need to be renewed to take into account the recommendations and information in the West report. Therefore, a new conservation agreement should be put in place over the full area of forest that has been verified. This includes these areas depicted in the footage above.
The fact that they are putting new roads into some of these areas raises serious questions about whether there is any intention to stop logging there. Why would Forestry Tasmania be wasting taxpayers money on constructing roads into areas that are being negotiated over and that have been recommended to be included in the World Heritage Area.
You can listen to the PM radio show coverage of the issue here: PM: “Stand off in forest peace deal”
Check out the news coverage from Monday night, about our “olive branch” offer:
Click HERE to view footage of Monday’s press conference with Peg Putt (Markets for Change), Jenny Weber (Huon Valley Environment Centre), Ula Majewski (The Last Stand) and me (Still Wild Still Threatened: skyping in from the Observer Tree).
Hope you are all having a good easter break! For those of you in Tasmania, why not spend the weekend in the wonderful Upper Florentine Valley? There is a great skillshare running at Camp Floz which will include lots of hands on workshops, discussions and walks (with a guided visit out to The Observer Tree too). firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Take care and talk soon,