Image for The Frankland River Forest: an Impending Liberal Siege ...

*Pic: Pandani, and Leatherwood trees in flower along the upper Frankland River – Ted Mead

Stop Press - Warning - The bulldozers are coming!

This February the loggers are about to push into a contentious coupe by the upper Frankland River.

These magnificent ancient forests of the Tarkine are once again under siege by a merciless and callous industry that is driven by an ideologically warped and irresponsible government.

This is post TFA 2017, and so as the environmental destruction and economic madness continues, then our resistance must prevail …

The striking blue Giant Freshwater Crayfish of the Frankland River. A Tarkine iconic creature. – Bob Brown

Endangered Masked Owls –  Pic Ted Mead

The Endangered Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle – Pic Ted Mead

The Frankland River is a major tributary to the Arthur River, and a region of high conservation noted for its significant habitat of the world’s largest Freshwater Crayfish, particularly the glossy blue form that lives only in the Frankland catchment.

The Tarkine region also hosts Australia’s largest bird of prey, the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, and Tasmania’s largest nocturnal bird, the Masked Owl, which live in the tall eucalypt and rainforests along the banks of the Frankland River.

These creatures have lived safely in the Tarkine since the age of the dinosaurs. Forestry Tasmania intends to log this upper catchment, and is a direct threat to one of their best remaining habitats.

It seems the impending dismantling of the FT corporation will do little for the Forest industry’s future, and a lot for the continuation of community and conservation conflict.

One only has to look at FT’s 3-year Harvest Management Plan to realize nothing has changed when it comes to procedural operations. The ongoing logging of High Conservation Areas, and clearfelling of pure rainforest are concurrent with the ailing demise of the industry’s future. They are all signs of a desperate and directionless paradigm on its last legs.

FT has long been disingenuous about changing its modus operandi, yet it clings to thedream that it will be granted certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

FSC says about itself:

‘FSC helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home. Our forests give us many things like books, tissues, furniture and so much more. FSC helps you keep your life full of forest products while keeping our forests full of life.

What makes FSC unique is that we were founded - and are still operated by - environmentalists, social interest groups, indigenous peoples’ organisations, responsible retailers and lead forest management companies. As a non-profit membership based organisation we are driven by the balanced perspectives of these diverse stakeholders.

Through our 10 principles and criteria we ensure that forests are managed in a way that not only takes care of the animals and plants that call it home, but also workers and local communities who rely on forests, and indigenous groups whose heritage connects them to forest landscapes.

Our trusted logo can be found all around the world and provides international recognition to organisations who support the growth of responsible forest management.’ ( FSC here )

The preliminary report back from the Forest Stewardship Council clearly noted that Forestry in Tasmania has not addressed the issue regarding the protection of habitats for vulnerable, threatened and endangered species.

FT’s intention to expand logging into the upper Frankland River is a testament to its failure.

There is simply no rationale or justification for logging these special places. They must be defended, and so we must make a stand for our forests once again!

• Don’t Log the Tarkine Forests Protest: Hobart - Friday 3rd February, 3:50pm on Parliament Lawns. The protest will run from 4 – 5pm at the Executive Building.

*Ted Mead has been campaigning for the preservation of Tasmania’s wilderness for over 35 years. Although it has become a lifetime commitment, he fully comprehends that having our natural areas protected from Bulldozers, Chainsaws and dam builders is only the first step. Defending our wild places from inappropriate and exploitative development seems to be the neo-paradigm of the foreseeable future!

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