Media Release: Tarkine logging decimates leatherwoods, threatening future of Tasmanian beekeepers

A beekeeper in Tasmania’s north west revealed today that yet another native forest has been destroyed for controversial Malaysian logging company Ta Ann, at the expense of the employment, climate security, tourism and food production benefits these ancient forests provide.

“The story of the forests north of takayna / Tarkine’s Arthur River, in coupe ME008B, is another tragedy in Tasmania’s ongoing logging disaster,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

ME008B is an ancient eucalyptus forest with mixed rainforest species.

Found only in Tasmania, Leatherwood is a cool temperate rainforest tree that occurs in mossy forests in the wetter areas of Tasmania. These ancient trees grew when Tasmania was part of Gondwanaland, over 65 million years ago. The leatherwood tree takes over 70 years to grow to nectar-bearing maturity. The bees that feed off the leatherwoods in Tasmania’s native forests are essential pollinators for the island’s fruit, cereal and vegetable crops.

“Despite these unique and ancient values of the leatherwood tree, Tasmania’s logging industry is still felling these trees and leaving them on the forest floor in their smash and grab destruction of forests that are critical to our survival and the survival of many species,” Jenny Weber said.

“Tasmania’s government consistently claims to balance the interests of other industries with logging, and yet the most valuable industry always falls second to logging. It happens with tourism and beekeeping and entrenches Tasmania in a state of destruction rather than ensuring economic growth and environmental protection,” Jenny Weber said.

“The government and their logging agency have learnt nothing about the value of leatherwood to Tasmania. ‘Log some and leave some’ is not acceptable. All tracts of leatherwood forest and native forests should be left standing. Tasmania’s logging is needless and harmful to Tasmania in so many ways,” Jenny Weber said.

“We look forward to a day when the protection of all leatherwoods and the security of our island’s food pollination from the leatherwood bee-keeping industry is valued more than the money-losing logging industry”, Jenny Weber said.

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