Media Release: Wildfire forces exit from Observer Tree, campaign for logging exit continues

541617_10151371463408462_1338018205_nMiranda Gibson has today reluctantly left her perch high up in the Observer Tree, after 457 days, as a bushfire burned to within a kilometre and it became clear that predicted hot weather early next week could precipitate an emergency situation in the remote forest.

Smoke is filling the Tyenna valley and the sounds of crashing trees can be heard nearby as the wildfire has grown from 3 hectares yesterday afternoon to 40 hectares this morning, with the fire currently unable to be contained.

Miranda, of Still Wild Still Threatened, has spent almost 15 months in the Observer Tree after she climbed up on 14th December 2011, vowing to remain as long as possible to defend the forests, including the World Heritage value area in which the tree is situated.

“Nature can be wild and unpredictable, and whilst I was able to withstand winter snow and summer heat exposed to the elements 60 metres up the Observer Tree, it is the sensible and safe decision to climb down now rather than put lives at risk with the bushfire so close,” Ms Gibson said.

“Our campaign to stop the logging of these World Heritage nominated forests and of the proposed protected areas will continue despite my exit from the Observer Tree. Although it is disappointing to leave this forest whilst these precious places continue to fall to the chainsaw, I have a huge respect for the forces of nature that are in play. And I remain as dedicated as ever to standing up for Tasmania’s threatened forests. ”

Miranda has gathered a large international following as she has communicated with people around the planet via solar powered internet from the remote tree tops of Tasmania.

“I want to stress that magnificent forests are still in jeopardy, including places it has been agreed should be protected and become World Heritage listed, and that our will to see them safe remains as strong as ever. The campaign for these globally significant forests will now move into a new phase,” Ms Gibson concluded.

Please direct all media enquiries to Jenny Weber:  0427 366 929

Footage and stills are available on request.
Miranda will be available for comment in the near future.

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Posted on March 7, 2013, in Media Releases. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Miranda is an outstanding human being; a credit to her gender and to humanity.

  2. Well done Miranda, a stirling effort but fire is unpredictable. You have made a real impact with your record tree sit and have given Ta Ann customers something to think about. Welcome back to Earth.

  3. Congratulations Miranda for all that you’ve done to protect the forests. You are a hero.

  4. that had to have been a very emotional departure. congratulations, dear miranda; you have done well and will continue to affect others in positive ways. z

  5. Jally hawthorn

    With you all the way! Maggie westerway

  6. Welcome back to earth, Miranda. You made the best decision. We will continue to stand with you in protecting the forests.

  7. Madeleine h Kennedy

    Bravo Miranda,
    You are truly an amazing lady, courageous, strong and determined, and to be admired by everyone who loves this planet and the forests of not only Tasmania, but the world, you have done your best, and should be very proud of your achievements, I wish you all the best now you have landed on the ground again. love and thoughts to a true lover of nature, thank you. Madeleine Kennedy.

  8. you are bloody awesome! wishing you so much love and good fortune on your next endevours

  9. Miranda you have brought the eyes, minds and hearts of the world into our magnificent forests. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tenacious and gracious presence over the past 15 months. Take time to regain your earth-legs after so many days swaying in the treetop. I truly hope you will be able to return to embrace your tree and that it stays safe from the fires. A celebratory picnic maybe when WHA is declared!
    Love and much respect Cass

  10. Thanks Miranda for your courage, commitment and gentle beauty, glad you are safe and hope your re-entry is easy.

    with much gratitude and best wishes, Lynda Blyth and John Blyth

  11. Andy Humphrey

    Very well done, good luck to the forest over greed

  12. Well done Miranda. A true stalwart in the fight for our magnificent forests. Your amazing – although emotional your safety is paramount. Thank you for all you have done. Be proud.
    Love from Bron, Kerry and the Smith Family

  13. Miranda, you are a bright star.You have kept so many people inspired. On my part, I have been undergoing chemo/radiation treatment here in England, so far from home. Your posts have provided me little sparks of hope in the darkest times. Yes Isaac, she is bloody awesome! I hope you will not stop the posts too soon we will all be waiting to hear how a return to earth feels. Luv you Miranda

  14. You are a legend Miranda.

  15. You should be immensely proud of yourself, Miranda. You are an inspiration.
    I am glad that you are out of potential harm’s way. I hope your transition to life ‘on the ground’ goes smoothly.

  16. What a heart wrenching decision for you to have to make Miranda. All of us who have joined you in spirit for the last 457 days watched in awe as you seemed to become one with that beautiful creation of nature. It is to be hoped that it will still stand after the fire passes as a symbol for all the forests that are in danger all over our planet. Well done, you have kept people talking inspired school children and maybe just maybe touched the conscience of the people who have the power to put a stop to the madness. Stay safe.

  17. Thank you Miranda for all you have done and continue to do…. love always xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  18. Sending you love, Miranda. Glad you are safe. xx

  19. Miranda, I could not have done what you have done nor lasted.
    You remain an inspiration.

    It was wise to put life first. Good decision. You live to fight another day and you have many ahead of you and so many loyal friends.

    Those who desperately resort to crime like what they also did at Camp Flozza, have a life in a corner like a trapped dog, possibly with nowhere esle to turn but to their Stihl, substance abuse and welfare. Their violence is not a cause but a sad clinging to Taswegian lumberjacking for lumberjacking sake.

    Reflect on history of the 1980s Franklin Protest and see how deep Bob Brown was in a culture of rednecks. See how far his stance has now come.

    You have stamped an irreversible chapter of forest protest in Tasmania’s interminable forest struggle, which in many ways sets a standard across the planet.

    ObserverTree is just one chapter. It could have more. As creative author your shape the next story of hope.

    Please have a break and take family time out to regain your health and spirit. Personally, what I have admired has been the constant messages of support from your family. They are special. It is their support that has amazed me.

    Still here.
    Tigerquoll

  20. I pay my respects to Miranda, to SWST, to HVEC, to Code and Groundswell, to all who seek the protection of our native forests. Thank you to the support team who have helped move Miranda to safety. I like Peter’s comment. and I like those that follow it. This above average heat…

  21. Dear Miranda. Your efforts to raise awareness via your perch in the Observer Tree have been nothing short of remarkable and admired by humans from around the planet. Bob is right – that tree is still there, and it wouldnt be, if not for you. An abundance of well wishes for standing up for what your head and heart believe, and for inspiring a new wave of forest activists to follow in your footsteps. Enjoy re-familiarising yourself on terra firma, and some chilled time out to reflect on your monumental journey these last 457 days!! much love, sean cogf

  22. I’m glad to read you’re safe! Yet to find out what’s happening there. We are living climate change for sure! The devastating effects of deforestation and mining world wide! It has to be a priority to now save ALL forests and keep them standing, they can do a major job in stabilizing climate and COOLING the Earth. Our voices will not be silenced!

  23. Arson (in other words the companies intentionally created the blazes).

  24. I’m also wondering if it’s arson.

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