Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 368
Wow! What an absolutely amazing and inspiring couple of days it has been. I have received literally hundreds of photos from around the world, of people supporting my action and most importantly, people calling for the protection of these precious forests. I want to say thank you, for the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has taken part. It has been the most uplifting experience to watch them come in, photo after photo, and see how many people across the globe are committed to seeing an end to the destruction of Tasmania’s forests. So THANK YOU! If you want to check out the images, you can view them on facebook HERE or Flickr HERE.
The livestream was fantastic! What a great evening. And there were people watching in from towns and cities across Australia and around the world. I hope you enjoyed Observer Tree’s very first livestream from the tree tops as much as I did. If you missed it… never fear because it is still up online. You can view it HERE. (Just note that each segment of the event is a separate video file and they are order from the most recent one down to the earliest at the bottom. So you will need to scroll down to avoid watching them in reverse!).
Observer Tree also got some great media coverage, including live video-link ups on ABC TV National Breakfast show and Channel 7’s Sunrise. There was also coverage on BBC world news across the globe and loads of other stories.
Well, a year in a tree, hey? It’s hard to believe it has actually been a whole year that I have been up here. I just take one day at a time (it’s easier that way) and then next thing you know, all four seasons have come and gone and it’s now day 368. I think back to this time last year. I would have been on the platform for a few days by now. Everything was looking a little bit different then. For one thing I had hardly any stuff up here. Just a very basic tarp, a small back pack of clothes and personal items, my computer and the solar set up. Since then my house has turned into a palace (by comparison) as I have been sent up a small table and a chair, loads of books, a camping stove to make my own hot food, a bowl (yes, I actually forgot to bring that up when I climbed up here last year!), solar-powered lights, curtains and best of all a fantastic new tarp structure that doesn’t even leak!! Yes, it’s looking pretty homely up here now.
This time last year I had no idea what I was in for. I had no idea that I would be up here a year later. In fact I positively thought that there was no way it would last that long. And to be honest, I didn’t know how long I would be able to handle it or even if it would turn out to be effective in getting the message out and protecting the forest. On my first two days I listened to the sound of chainsaws and trees falling, as logging encroached on the forest in this coupe. I thought my time up here would be spent filming the destruction day after day until the area had turned into a clearfell. I came up here because I wanted to expose this destruction to the world, to show the reality of what was going on here. At the end of the second day though, a logger came to the base of the tree and called up to me. He said they were heading off and taking their machines with them. That was it… the logging of coupe TN044B had come to an early end. I guess with all the media attention it was not in the interests of the forestry industry to have their operations watched by people across the globe. So they packed up and went home. They haven’t returned since. And so this forest has had its temporary respite. But I live every day up here never knowing if or when they will return. The coupe still remains on the logging schedule and so it could happen any day. The uncertainty hangs in the air. And will continue until this area receives a guarantee of secure protection.
A journalist asked me if I went back in time, knowing I would be up here for a year (and who knows how much longer) if I would do it all again. I didn’t hesitate to answer. I would. Knowing that I would have hard times, that I would get battered by wind and sleet and hail. Knowing that missing my family and friends would be an ache so deep it would make me cry. Knowing that I would have nights when the rain leaked in through the tarp and made a lake under my swag. Knowing that I would miss out on milestones in the lives of those I love. Yes, I would still do it again. Because this forest is worth it. How could I have gotten down knowing it could mean the end of this tree, this forest and the animals that call it home? I would do it all again because every day that I have been up here I have achieved something that is absolutely critical – I have acted as a constant reminder that our forests are STILL under threat. And through this the government, the industry and in particular Ta Ann have not been able to get away with the dirty business of forest destruction in silence. And I will continue to take this stand, until these forests are safe from that destruction.
Being in this tree has been worth it everyday, because everyday I get mountains of emails from people of all walks of life, from right around the world, who have been inspired by what I am doing and who have joined me in the call for forest protection. And it is this global support that is really what it is all about. Because alone in a tree I cannot protect Tasmania’s forests – but I am not alone. And Friday’s incredible show of global support is yet another epic testimony to that. I am joined by the global community. By you. And it is together that we can, and will, protect Tasmania’s forest. And the day that I get down from this tree and celebrate with you the secure protection of this world heritage value forest – on that day I will know that it was worth it a hundreds times over.
And for every hard moment, for every time I think I just don’t know how I can continue … there is a counteracting moment of inspiration. For every tear there are many smiles. Because living at the top of a tree is one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. Just imagine … I wake up everyday to a spectacular sunrise over the mountains, as light pours into the valley, streaming through the mist in golden streaks, accompanied by a symphony of birds. Imagine watching from above as the snow fall softly and silently coating the tree tops. Imagine seeing four seasons come and go, as the forest changes. When the scientists made their assessment in the independent verification process, they deemed this area to be worthy of world heritage protection. I read the reports, but I knew about those values in another way that could not be portrayed on paper. I knew those values from seeing them, feeling them, breathing them, living with them. I have seen the life that this forest supports, from the tiniest insects that live on my tree to the majestic (and endangered) wedge tailed eagles that soar the skies above. And so I know, first hand, that this forest needs to be protected, it deserves world heritage. And, along with the thousands of people around the globe who are standing with me, we will make sure it receives it.
The government has until February 1st 2013 to enact that nomination for World Heritage Protection of these forests. I will be passing on to them the support from around the world, all of your beautiful photos. If you still want to do one, it’s not too late. Make a sign about why you want to see these forests protected, take a photo and post it www.facebook.com/ObserverTree or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to say again, thank you so much. I was overwhelmed and teary looking through all of those images. I know that we can win this. Now more than ever.