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Not long after a diverse group of like-minded individuals came together to form Timber Workers For Forests at a meeting at the Longley International Hotel in 2001, convenor & founding President Graham Green told us of a coupe he’d heard of which was the epitome of clearfelled destruction.

And thus began the TWFF story of EPO74D, (west of Geeveston, about 20kms by road via Arve & Bennetts Rds), which comes to a partial close next Saturday with the auction of timber salvaged from the coupe after it was burned.  Hopefully, some of that timber will continue as timber for many years, having been made into furniture or boats.

Six TWFF members went to the coupe at Easter, 2002 and spent some time setting up representative quadrats and measuring and recording the types and volumes of timber left on the ground in each.

The aim of the study was to assess the volumes and species of timber remaining in an old-growth coupe following clearfell logging.

The figures which emerged were astonishing: only 26% of the timber volume of the forest was removed during clearfelling and just 1% of the combined special species timbers was removed by the harvesting contractors (calculated from information gleaned from Forestry Tasmania).  An estimated 97,800 tonnes of timber at an average of 998 tonnes /hectare remained on the ground in the coupe following logging and salvage.  Myrtle was the most commonly documented timber remaining, followed by eucalypt, celery-top pine and sassafras.

The full report, ” Esperance 74D Logging Coupe Inventory” can be read and downloaded as a pdf from the Timber Workers For Forests Inc. site:

We also discovered that many tonnes of old-growth myrtle trees had been pushed over by the contractors and left to be burned.  A common size was 600mm at breast height, ideal for milling.  Appeals to Forestry Tasmania’s Managing Director at the time, Evan Rolley, to delay the burn until the logs could be salvaged were unsuccessful, and the coupe was burned in May 2003.

Fortunately, many of the myrtle logs were barely singed and the then Huon District Manager, Steve Davis, agreed to pull some of them to the landing when machinery was brought in to work the adjacent site.  We acknowledge Steve’s help, because without it all the logs would have been lost.  As a consequence of his help, we were able to salvage several truckloads of logs which were paid for at the going rate for salvaged timber.

Over the next few months, we milled and racked the timber and next Saturday (25 October 2014) on Franklin waterfront the public will have a chance to buy some of it.  TWFF has donated a little over 7 cubic metres to the Franklin Working Waterfront Association Inc. to sell to raise funds.

The timber has been put up in a range of pack sizes, according to dimensions and lengths.  The most common sizes are 140x50 and 150x50, in lengths from 2.4 metres up to 5.0 metres.  Every pack will be sold with a Certificate of Origin, stating that the timber was salvaged from EPO74D after the coupe was burned.

Phoenix timber indeed.

Apart from the timber auction, other events on the day at Franklin which begins at 10 a.m. will include an address by Graham Green, founding President of Timber Workers For Forests Inc.;  the handing over of the Wooden Boat Centre to its new owners, the Franklin Working Waterfront Assoc. Inc.; and an address by architect Vaughn Bones on his Masters topic “The Franklin Maritime Precinct”. Daryl Peebles will be hosting the day and food and refreshments will be available.

• Download, read for yourself, the report on EPO74D, where there is a picture of the incredible waste ...


*John Maddock became a forest industry activist after seeing the nonsense that was the woodchip industry, whilst hosting overseas visitors on a tour organised by the Wildos.  Training in meeting procedures while a member of Rural Youth led him to become secretary of Channel Citizens, Huon Community Association and Timber Workers For Forests. He still dreams of a forestry industry which can continue for ever with no degradation of its natural values. He is an aging ex dairy farmer who now runs a small beef herd and manufactures the best weed wiper in the world.


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• Anne, in Comments: For those of you still debating about whether or not to send in a submission to SCS Global re Forestry Tasmania’s bid to gain FSC accreditation, then this article from last Saturday’s Mercury might help make up your mind. HERE.  Joining the dots from all the media stories over the last few months strongly suggest that the Liberals’ long-term devious and nefarious plan – under chief cheer-leader Paul Harriss – is to both intimidate a reluctant electorate into submission through draconian anti-protest laws, and remove all other obstacles to the building of the Tamar Valley pulp mill through facilitating FT’s bid for FSC, dismantling the TFA, and (possibly) attempting to prevent the mill site being sold to a bidder that has other ideas for its development. To that end be particularly cautious about voting in Liberal candidates in the council elections - even those who claim they are are independent – since I’m reliably informed that a Liberal majority on local government is their goal - especially with all having chance of election.  I’m also informed that the passage of a local government majority vote in support of fracking, mining, ‘forestry traditional practices’, and a Pulp Mill in the Tamar Valley, are definite items of priority for Abbott’s push to have Tasmania back on its feet, through his request for as many Liberal members as possible to stand for local government election. The campaign to stop the pulp mill is far from over ...