Two years since the begining of Observer Tree
Two years ago, I climbed into the upper canopy of Observer Tree and vowed to stay until the forest was protected. On that day, I had no idea what would lay ahead of me in what would become a 14 month long tree sit. To sit here and reflect on the past two years – I realise how much has changed for me in that time. The connection that I developed with that tree and the forest around it, the lessons I learnt, the challenges and inspiration. And so much has changed for the forest. This time two years ago, chainsaws were tearing apart the forest around me, as logging continued for the 3rd day in coupe TN044B. I sat there and listened to the sound of those saws and the trees falling and wondered if my presence there could ever save that forest. Two days latter, loggers came to the base of my tree and called out to say they were leaving. They packed up the machines, drove them away and never came back. That forest that would have been a clearfell by the end of that summer, is now still standing. I will never forget the day when the World Heritage committee announced their decision – the forest that I had come to know as much as I know myself, the tree that had become my closest companion – was now World Heritage listed. It’s safe from the chainsaws that once threatened it’s survival. But the fight is not over. We need to stay vigilant to ensure that the forest is protected, as the Australian Prime Minister talks of trying to over turn the World Heritage listing. We also need to keep on fighting for the native forests that are still being logged right now.
In Tasmania, high conservation value forests are still falling. The World Heritage decision is significant, but we always knew that this would not be enough to provide the conservation outcomes that are desperately needed to protect our ecosystems and our endangered species.
Right now I am in another area of forest in Far East Gippsland, Victoria. I’m here with conservationists from around the country, to take action for our forests. This is the start of a national campaign to end the industrial scale of logging of native forests in Australia. Check out what we’re up to: http://www.fearlesssummeraus.net
Yesterday I made this short video to mark two years since climbing into the Observer Tree. I would love it if you would share this far and wide, and help to spread the word that the fight for our forests is continuing….