This morning, conservationists conducted a peaceful walk-in to logging coupe BB022I, located in the Weld Valley, where logging is still occurring in high conservation value forests.

A new report ‘They are still falling: a critical time for Tasmania’s high conservation value forests’, prepared by Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre, was also delivered to Premier Bartlett.

SWST and the HVEC are alarmed at the continuing destruction of southern Tasmania’s high conservation value (HCV) forests. Recent surveys by conservation volunteers in the Derwent and Huon Districts have revealed that large-scale industrial logging, including clearfelling of critical areas of HCV, continues, with new logging operations recently commencing in coupes with outstanding wilderness and other conservation values.

While SWST and the HVEC welcome industry claims to be charting a future away from native forest logging we would like to bring attention to the fact that critical areas of High Conservation Value forest are still being destroyed and exported as woodchips and veneer.

“Today’s peaceful demonstration highlights the ongoing loss of high conservation value forests in Southern Tasmania. Clearfelling alongside the iconic Weld River is one of the many large scale and destructive logging operations occurring in the southern forests today,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

“We are on the verge of a very welcome breakthrough in the Tasmanian forest debate. Unfortunately, new logging roads are being pushed into wilderness areas and high conservation value forests are being logged as we speak,” Still Wild Still Threatened Spokesperson Christo Mills said.

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“Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre are calling for an immediate moratorium to be placed on all high conservation value forests identified by Tasmanian ENGOs, as a precursor to formal protection. We recommend that current logging operations in these forests cease and that no new logging coupes are started in high conservation value forests as of today” said Christo Mills.

For more information on the Huon Valley Environment Centre, go to www.huon.org

To view images and to download the report go to www.stillwildstillthreatened.org (on the front page, news and resources sections)

www.stillwildstillthreatened.org/current-news/conservationists-highlight-logging-weld-valley-new-report-delivered-premier-bartlett-ho

Download the SWST Report:
http://www.stillwildstillthreatened.org/sites/default/files/they_are_still_falling_web.pdf

Still Wild Still Threatened
is a grassroots community organisation campaigning for the immediate protection of Tasmania’s ancient forests and the creation of an equitable and environmentally sustainable forestry industry in Tasmania.

www.stillwildstillthreatened.org
stillwildstillthreatened@gmail.com

PO Box 295. South Hobart TAS 7004

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FORESTRY TASMANIA CONTINUES SLAUGHTERING ANCIENT FORESTS
Kim Booth MP
Greens Forests spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today called on Premier David Bartlett to exercise control over the rogue Government Business Enterprise Forestry Tasmania and order them to cease targeting ancient High Conservation Value (HCV) forests for logging at a time when the conservation of all HCV forests is being discussed in negotiations between forest industry representatives and environmental groups.

Greens Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that most of the HCV forests being targeted are in highly contentious areas, such as coupe HA044C/E on the North Lune Road, which is located between the internationally renowned Hastings Caves and the Hastings Thermal Pool, and which has already been 80 per cent destroyed during the past month while the roundtable negotiations have been occurring.

Mr Booth also thanked all those involved in pushing for a sustainable future for Tasmania’s forest industry, and welcomed the outstanding work being done by the Huon Valley Environment Centre and Still Wild-Still Threatened, in identifying, documenting and protecting the priceless HCV forests that are being destroyed as the roundtable talks continue.

“The productive negotiations and discussions being conducted in good faith between environmental and forest industry groups are being drowned out as Forestry Tasmania starts up the chainsaws and rolls the bulldozers into more and more iconic HCV forests, and the Premier must intervene and call a halt to this targeted vandalism while the talks continue,” said Mr Booth.

“Given the industry recognition that there is no market for native forest woodchips, it would be very disappointing if Gunns Limited were still encouraging the destruction of these ancient forests.”

“The HCV forest coupe HA044C/E at Lune River contains trees with girths of up to 12 metres, is only 50 metres from the Lune River, and the surrounding area is limestone karst with hot and cold springs and streams running through it, yet Forestry Tasmania have destroyed 80 per cent of this ancient forest coupe in the last month alone,” said Mr Booth.

NEW REPORT CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF HIGH CONSERVATION VALUE FORESTS
Kim Booth MP
Greens Forests spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today congratulated Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre for their detailed report “They Are Still Falling … A Critical Time for Tasmania’s High Conservation Value Forests,” and called on the Forest Minister Bryan Green to withdraw contractors from these forests and place an immediate moratorium on their logging, as well as declaring that no new coupes will be opened up in these forests as of the 11th of October this year.

Greens Forests spokesperson Kim Booth MP, who successfully sought leave to table the report in Parliament yesterday, said the report details large-scale industrial logging, including clearfelling of critical areas of High Conservation Value (HCV) forests, in the Derwent and Huon Districts, with new logging operations recently commencing in coupes with outstanding wilderness and other conservation values.

Mr Booth also noted that the report reveals how logging has degraded critical remaining tracts of HCV forests in the following areas:
• The Catamaran area;
• The Weld Valley;
• The Picton Valley;
• The Styx Valley;
• The Wedge, which borders the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area; and
• The Tyenna area.

“Congratulations to the members of Still Wild Still Threatened and the Huon Valley Environment Centre for putting together this detailed report on the fate of Tasmania’s remaining HCV forests,” said Mr Booth.

“The report makes it clear that while talks are occurring between environmentalists and forest industry representatives over the future of the forest industry and the conservation of Tasmania’s remaining HCV forests, Forestry Tasmania are going hell-for-leather behind locked boom gates vandalising huge tracts of HCV forest.”

“The Greens strongly support the report’s recommendations that an immediate moratorium be placed on the logging of all HCV forests, that contractors are withdrawn from current operations inside HCV forests, and that no new coupes in HCV forests are opened up for logging as of Monday the 11th of October,” said Mr Booth.

Reference: “They Are Still Falling … A Critical Time for Tasmania’s High Conservation Value Forests,” prepared by Holly Lewis, Miranda Gibson and Bridie McEntee, Still Wild Still Threatened & Huon Valley Environment Centre, available at: http://www.stillwildstillthreatened.org/sites/default/files/they_are_still_falling_web_0.pdf

BEEKEEPERS NEEDS PROTECTION FROM FORESTRY OPERATIONS

Forestry Losing Money While Pushing Viable Honey Producers Into Marginal Areas

Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP
Greens Member for Braddon

The Tasmanian Greens today called on Forestry Minister Bryan Green to protect hive sites used by Tasmanian beekeepers from logging operations, and to acknowledge that the Tasmanian honey industry makes a valuable contribution to Tasmania’s economy, and provides an invaluable pollination service to the state’s horticultural industries.

Greens Member for Braddon, Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP, said the amount of available hive sites is being massively reduced by unrestrained logging activities that are currently not economical, but which are being propped up by massive taxpayer subsidies, and this logging is forcing honey producers onto higher and higher ground which is shortening their season and making them more susceptible to climate change.

Mr O’Halloran also noted that there used to be 4000 hives sited in the area to the north of the Arthur River in North West Tasmania, but that in 2010 there are just 100, and that the area to the south of the Arthur River is now also under threat from further logging operations.

“Forestry operations are losing money across the state, but they are also damaging and destroying the sites used by the Tasmanian honey industry, an industry that makes a valuable contribution to Tasmania’s economy and that also provides invaluable pollination services for our horticultural industries,” said Mr O’Halloran.

“There used to be 4000 hives sited to the north of the Arthur River, but this year there are just 100.”

“Unrestrained logging activities, which are losing money despite being subsidised by taxpayers, are forcing Tasmanian beekeepers onto higher and higher sites where the season is shortened and the bees are more exposed to the impacts of climate change.”

“The Greens are calling on the Minister to protect all hive sites threatened by logging operations, and to acknowledge and value the contribution made to Tasmania by our honey industry,” said Mr O’Halloran.

First published: 2010-10-13 07:00 AM