One Tarkine Rainforest given reprieve by peaceful protest

Bob Brown Foundation is celebrating the success of a protest camp in Tasmania’s takayna / Tarkine which has prevented the destruction of one area of ancient rainforests by logging after peacefully occupying the threatened forests since September 2018.  Tasmania’s state logging agency has informed the Foundation that no forest operations will commence before winter.

In July 2018, the Three Year Logging Plan was released by Sustainable Timber Tasmania, stating a new logging road would be pushed into the ancient rainforests of the Sumac region in takayna / Tarkine.  The logging road was proposed to be smashed into these forests during the 2018/2019 road building timeframe.  Our Foundation established a peaceful protest camp and continued to occupy these forests continuously for over 200 days.  

“While in these threatened forests, we recorded many endangered Tasmanian Devils, the critically endangered Swift Parrot, endangered Masked Owl and the rare Spotted Tailed Quoll.  Being located just past the iconic Sumac lookout, on Premier Hodgman’s Tarkine Drive tourist route, during the busy tourism months we had 30 – 40 people a day visiting these forests,”  Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan said.

 “We asked Sustainable Timber Tasmania if the plans to destroy these forests were now delayed due to the weather and they confirmed that ‘no forest operations will commence before winter.’   This is a win for these forests that have been temporarily saved from destruction due to peaceful occupation by our campaigners and dedicated volunteers.  We will pack down for winter, return to our loved ones for now, and return ready to defend these forests and others in takayna / Tarkine if the logging threat returns,”  Scott Jordan said.

 “These forests are old growth forests and logging is proposed to supply timber to the controversial Malaysian timber company Ta Ann. The majority of the forests that will be flattened will be woodchipped. This very old Myrtle and Eucalyptus forest is an integral part of the Sumac catchment forest ecosystem, extending southward into core rainforest of the Tarkine.  takayna / Tarkine undoubtedly has globally significant values, including these tracts of temperate rainforests and needs protection as a major extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“There is a clear and present action for our governments to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate emergency. That action is to keep forests intact and stop the logging.  The vast areas of native forests in Tasmania, including the ancient rainforests of takayna / Tarkine, require long-lasting secure protection from logging and this protection will benefit the climate, environment, economy and prevent extinctions,”  Jenny Weber said.

“We set up this vigil camp in September 2018 in the threatened ancient rainforests and lobbied the state and federal governments for protection. We said that while we were waiting for political leadership, we would occupy these forests in a peaceful vigil aiming to prevent their loss to logging. The parliamentarians failed us and the forests, but the hundreds of people who have camped in these forests can celebrate their contribution to a reprieve for this stunning ancient ecosystem.  However, we will remain vigilant as, after the winter, the loggers could be back,” Jenny Weber said.

The Foundation will pack down and leave the forests intact, and rich with its stunning wildlife, over the coming weekend.

Contact:
Adam Burling
0499 176 082


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