A global treasure of ancient Huon pine groves has been found in the Wilson River valley south of Waratah in the takayna / Tarkine wilderness.
Two years ago Rob Blakers, Jarrah Vercoe and Nick Fitzgerald walked and pack-rafted down the 40km long Wilson River to its junction with the now-flooded Pieman River. They found the river lined with Huon pines with intact groves of giant pines more than a thousand years old back in the rainforest. Rob has since made several return journeys and in February took scientists Charley Gros and Kasey McNamara, and Bob Brown and Paul Thomas for a three-day pack rafting trip there.
“The Wilson Valley Huon pines are a global treasure,” Brown said. “The catchment is clothed with magnificent rainforest, including these unique Tasmanian pines which live to more than 3,000 years old. It is worthy of World Heritage of itself and makes the nomination of takayna / Tarkine essential.”
“Venture Minerals’ proposed Mt Lindsay tin mine, tailings dam and crushing plant in this catchment must be scrapped. There are 300 tin mines operating or ready to go in the world and the natural integrity of the Wilson Valley must not be sacrificed just to add one more. Tin is abundant but Huon pine groves are rare and intact catchments like this were thought to no longer exist. There is the solitary, remote Olegas Truchanas Huon Pine Forest on the Denison River which was threatened by a bushfire last month, but the rest of the Denison, like the Franklin, Gordon, Davey and Huon was logged.”
Brown has written to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition calling for them to securely protect the Tarkine and nominate for national and World Heritage status and to end Venture Minerals’ destructive mining activities. After Mt Lindsay, Venture plans a ‘Big Wilson’ tin mine right in the heart of the Huon pine province.
“The whole Wilson catchment must be protected: it is destined to be another Tasmanian icon. We would like to work with the government to plan management of this treasure so the public will be able to enjoy it too,” Brown said.