Camp update

Day 3 

Sumac Conservation Camp - takayna / Tarkine

And so once again I find myself up a beautiful tree in the Tarkine, this time in a proposed logging coupe near the Sumac Lookout, along Keppel Creek. On chopping block for this year according to ‘Sustainable Timbers Tasmania’ (formerly Forestry Tasmania) 3-year wood production plan. We arrived on Monday with a group of 10 committed conservationists, and have set up a camp to observe, monitor, and familiarise ourselves with this forest. It is transitional forest, on the way to becoming pure rainforest, with several tall eucalypts but dominated by rainforest species such as myrtle, horizontal, sassafras and leatherwood. 

I slept in the canopy last night and despite the impending devastation looming like a dark cloud over this landscape, it is always a precious and powerful experience being up here. To see the forest from a perspective usually reserved for birds, insects, and climbing creatures. To feel the wind whipping all around you, to hear the forest alive and moving. To be at the mercy of the elements and confined to a tiny platform. It is humbling and deeply moving. 

Being back here is bittersweet. I am inspired and encouraged by the other people here, people who care about protecting this place as it should be protected, people who live their lives in such a way as to positively save planet Earth and its inhabitants. And of course I love being in the forest and feel alive and happy whenever I'm here. But at the same time it is devastating that these places are still threatened. So many important and fragile ecosystems here in the Tarkine are in desperate need of protection and without it, they could be completely destroyed within weeks. 

We are back here right now because the Wedge-Tailed Eagle breeding season is over and so for the next 6 months it is open slather here in the Tarkine forests. ‘Sustainable Timber Tasmania’ are destroying as much habitat as they like with nobody watching. Except us. We are the eyes and ears of the forest. We are the watchdogs. We will continue to show the world the devastation that is happening here. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? We will be here to hear those trees falling, to hear the roar of the chainsaws if they do start, and we will try to stop them every step of the way. 

We need help. We need your support. Please come and join us, all are welcome and the Tarkine will thank you.

Day 8

Sumac Conservation Camp - takayna / Tarkine

We woke this morning to mist and rain and the pungent smell of the wet rainforest. The beauty of the morning was quickly disturbed as in the early hours of the morning the silence was broken by the grinding roar of numerous large pieces of machinery. A quick scout revealed fresh logging activity, in an area just outside the boundary of the proposed Tarkine National Park. The forces of evil know exactly where we are camped and they are well aware of these proposed boundaries, is it a coincidence that they have started logging so close to us? It seems unlikely. 

We have 18 people at camp today and so things are wonderfully chaotic. Lots of bushwalks, swims in the river, cooking communal meals, great conversations to be had, and a huge interest in climbing. I have a mild case of laryngitis which is making talking very difficult, but I refuse to let it stop me. This morning I taught 9 people to climb a tree for the first time in their lives, and 2 others who started climbing yesterday and have worked up to climbing into our little practice treesit that I have rigged. So exciting having so many people out here, with new people arriving every day and so many people wanting to learn more about the forest, about what is happening here, and about activism. Exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time. 

We have been playing around with night photography and last night gathered everyone at the base of the big tree for a photo, which looks awesome. 2 new climbers slept up in the tree again last night and had a slightly damp but otherwise wonderful time.

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  • Bill Crowle
    commented 2018-03-27 13:03:00 +1100
    ‘Sustainable Timber Tasmania’, formerly known as Forestry Tasmania… what an amazing propaganda name change!

    Please prefer Tasmania’s forest for tourism and future generations!!!