Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Giant Freshwater Crayfish latest Forestry Tasmania collateral damage …

image

Experts fear a planned logging operation in Tasmania’s north-west threatens the survival of the Tasmanian giant freshwater lobster.

A river system near Wynyard has been earmarked for logging by Forestry Tasmania, despite the area being known as one of the last strongholds of the vulnerable lobster.

The coupe is not listed for immediate protection under Tasmania’s $276 million forest peace deal, but is being assessed for inclusion in future reserves of high conservation value forest.

Lobster expert Todd Walsh says sediment run-off from logging operations could decimate lobster populations and the area should be given immediate protection.

“Sediment covers their homes, which means the juvenile lobsters have nowhere to live, which means they’re exposed to predators like platypus and blackfish.”

“But also it covers up their food supply so they either starve to death or they get eaten; so sediment basically wipes them out.”

Mr Walsh says the area is an important study site.

“This tributary runs into probably the most surveyed lobster spot on the planet, so there’s been more lobsters surveyed and tagged downstream from this tributary than anywhere else.

“So it’s probably the most important site that we’ve got,” he said.

Forestry Tasmania has been contacted for comment.

ABC Online HERE

• FORESTRY LOGGING CRAYFISH HABITAT OVER PLANTATIONS

Kim Booth MP
Greens Forestry Spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today disputed Forestry Tasmania’s claims that it had no choice but to threaten the survival of the giant freshwater crayfish through logging activity that would choke the endangered species’ habitat with silt.

Greens Forestry spokesperson Kim Booth MP said that questions need to be asked about why Forestry was failing to refer to its massive, publicly subsidised plantation estate as an alternative to logging high conservation value native forest.

“Forestry Tasmania wants people to believe that it had no choice but to move into these sensitive areas because of the reserves that were set aside for protection under the Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, but this is just spin,” Mr Booth said.

“Forestry Tasmania can’t get away with trying to log sensitive freshwater crayfish habitat, without explaining why it’s not interested in touching the weed-ridden plantation joint ventures nearby.”

“Given Forestry’s appalling track record on preserving riparian zones, there is no credibility to their claim that sediment can be prevented from inundating the crayfish’s habitat.”

“Here we have a GBE whose core legislative objective is to sustainably manage the forests, and yet they continue with practices which threaten the survival of a species like the Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish.”

Mr Booth also congratulated Todd Walsh and others involved in efforts to protect this unique Tasmanian species.

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59 Comments

59 Comments

  1. hugoagogo

    November 22, 2011 at 2:34 am

    #49; Should be plenty of bright young kids who would love the opportunity. Wouldn’t be hard to knock up an ARC grant with industry participation. Get writing.

  2. John Alford

    November 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

    There have been marked changes in the observable quality of sediment coming out of our taps in Lilydale during the period co-inciding with logging in the Rocky Creek catchment. Fine grey particles are at the bottom of every glass of water coming though the tap, regardless of a heavy rain event. In the nearly 20 years we have been on the Lilydale water supply, sediment in the water has principally been observable after a heavy rain event and has generally had a brownish muddy tinge to it. In my years on the Lilydale Water Committee, we were able to ascertain that this brownish sediment originated from McGowan’s Creek (the second source of Lilydale’s water) particularly following heavy rain events. Things have changed.

  3. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Russell (#41) could you please explain which portion of #37 the “Lol.” was in reply to and what your intention in posting it was? (Yes I do know what “Lol” means, but it can be used with a range of intentions.) Thankyou.

  4. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 14, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Garry, you need to bear in mind that you’re not just potentially arguing with the map (and just because maps can be wrong now and then doesn’t mean they will conveniently be so in this case – furthermore stream errors would likely be commoner than gross contouring errors) but also with people who have actually worked on the coupe in question and are familiar with its topography. Also, note that so far as the forested Mt Arthur portion of the RC catchment is concerned, the area in which some logging has occurred is very near the bottom. You don’t go much further down before you are into the disturbed agricultural areas immediately around the town of Lilydale.

  5. Garry Stannus

    November 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Gunns at 22.5, the grass has been mowed around the last of the bovines. The weather is unseasonal, which means it’s Spring.

    HOT TIP: this article is about

    [http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/article/giant-freshwater-crayfish-latest-forestry-tasmania-collateral-damage-/]

    “Lobster expert Todd Walsh says sediment run-off from logging operations could decimate lobster populations and the area should be given immediate protection.

    “Sediment covers their homes, which means the juvenile lobsters have nowhere to live, which means they’re exposed to predators like platypus and blackfish.

    “But also it covers up their food supply so they either starve to death or they get eaten; so sediment basically wipes them out.”

    …………………………………………..

    The maps are unequivocal. The GFC’s habitat shows a smaller presence in the east. We can argue about the deficiencies of the above-Stony-Creek-FPP till the cows come home, but the thread comments on Lilydale began at #5 with John Alford’s

    “Listening to Todd Walsh speaking a year or so ago in Launceston, he claimed that the habitat of the lobster in the north-east was already stuffed through forestry operations, except for Rocky Creek on Mt Arthur, recently logged directly above the village’s water supply catchment. He also stated that the north west was its last stronghold in Tasmania.”

    I am concerned about what Todd Walsh has stated. He said that Rocky Creek was the exception in the North East, and as we have now noted, there has been logging in its catchment, and confusions as to watercourses. the 1:25000 Tasmaps are a great source of information. Howver, we must admit that even though being updated from time to time,
    they can be wrong – in the basics. Stream flow. I’ve tracked such an error in Liffey, and so forth. Happy to walk with anyone here who’d like to see.

    I don’t like that logging by TDK up there above Stony Creek. The resulting burn-offs were pretty crappy too. Why did the township have to endure the smoke for days so we could have our mountain further stripped?

  6. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Re #53, looks to me like your claim about the age of this particular map is just plain wrong. All the 1:25,000s I have (of various ages) are based on air photos flown in the 1980s and subsequent fieldwork. For those that are first editions produced in the 1980s the age of the air photo is one or two years before the map was released.

  7. mjf

    November 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

    #51. (In my opinion) You have a penchant for inaccuracies and misrepresentation, this has become patently obvious from your many previous offerings regardless of topic.

    The ‘missed flowing creek’ you refer to has interfered with and altered by hand. A small water race diverts the water out of this stream (when outside the said coupe boundaries) into another smaller stream which flows under Mountain Rd and away from coupe. This provides water to another section of Lilydale as well as residences lower down Mountain Rd by way of additional diversions and small dams.

    I suspect you are aware of this but have chosen to ignore it.

    I understand there is quite a bit of seasonal aggravation between certain households as the available volume dries up and personal adjustments are made to water flow direction. You may be one of these affected parties are you not ?

    There is evidence however, that during wetter periods a residual flow would continue down the ‘missing’ creekline, bypassing the diversion works, flow through the coupe and enter Rocky Creek above the intake thereby contributing to the town supply (this is one of two authorised Lilydale supplys which is always not mentioned by critics such as yourself).

    As the good folk of Lilydale and beyond are so sensitive about the potential impacts to the GFC in this coupe, I think it reasonable that the natural flow in the ‘missed’ creek should be reinstated permananently in order to restore the previous good quality habitat for GFC that it would have provided, prior to the water being robbed and diverted elsewhere.

    What about that idea Mrs Smyth, would 10 or 12 households be prepared to give up their unauthorised water supply to better protect one of our iconic threatened species ? You may be one of these landowners involved who are now compromising GFC habitat long term by denying the creature its most crucial requirement, water

    Surely not asking too much.

    THe FPP map was based on the then Lands Dept. 1:25000 mapping which was produced by photo interpreters and cartographers using 1980’s aerial photography. While this map data is not cutting edge now, it’s still widely used as the most extensive statewide map coverage at a useable scale.

    This is not quite the same as your garbled version of mapping events.

    Nothing was ‘re-certified’ as you put it. An FPP cannot be recertified. They can be adjusted during their life by way of a formal variation process which allows the author to update areas, change map details and features, alter road locations, make prescription changes, include additional landings or a whole array of other requirements as soon any aspect needs to change.

    The formal(and correct) inclusion of the additional stream into the FPP had the effect of increasing the overall catchment area above Rocky Creek intake appreciably. When this stream was pointed out to be joining Rocky Creek, its immediate catchment then had to be included in the overall area. Despite the fact that its contents of water was not reaching Rocky Creek (due to being diverted), this was regarded as valid reason to base an argument on.

    Under the 5% rule of catchment harvesting per annum, the expanded catchment area then allowed the owner to complete harvesting over 2 years, not a minimum of 3 years as originally allowed under the lesser catchment size. This was a good outcome for all concerned except for the logging opponents who ended up being too clever for their own good.

  8. Mrs Smyth

    November 13, 2011 at 9:13 am

    #52 “I’d also be passingly interested to know your source/evidence for any claim that the 1:25,000 coverage for the area in question was “hand drafted from aerial photographs in the 1950s”.” I believe you can read it on the map, if not the current edition than certainly older editions where an accuracy legend is shown. That is how the “new” contoured maps were drafted and combined with surveyed trig points. The cartographer used a stereoscope and aerial photographs to draw contours.

  9. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 13, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Re #43 there were a lot more than 95 breeding pairs of eagles at that time, whatever the actual estimates doing the rounds. There was a history of underestimates concerning this subspecies – underestimates that keep being perpetuated to this day. Indeed if there had been so few pairs at the time, their numbers would be increasing sharply and people predicting doom for the subspecies would have even more to reconsider than they already should.

    Re #51 it was hardly rocket science to notice that Rocky Creek formed a particularly sharp and steep gully through the coupe during a whole day’s fieldwork, nor to notice other very basic aspects of sloping and drainage courses within the coupe. Nor is any knowledge of the coupe structure itself required to see that max was not correctly interpreting what mjf was saying. As for the maps, a missing creek in relatively thick vegetation is one thing but getting the basic contouring of the slope wrong is far less likely. I’d also be passingly interested to know your source/evidence for any claim that the 1:25,000 coverage for the area in question was “hand drafted from aerial photographs in the 1950s”.

  10. Mrs Smyth

    November 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    #37 I’m surprised ay how good you are: In one day on the coupe you became familiar enough to become an expert on this coupes drainage. I suggest it is the whole of the rocky creek catchment that people are interested in keeping as a habitat, not just the towns water supply or this coupe. I acknowledge that you may not have had anything to do with the writing of the FPP for this coupe but the original FPP was shoddy. I personally wouldn’t trust anyone who worked on recording the drainage of this coupe for the FPP because the original FPP that was certified was completely missing a flowing creek (and was based solely and erroneously on the very map you quote (in #37) as evidence, which itself was hand drafted from aerial photographs in the 1950s) and had to be re-certified. Anyway any crusty crustaceans that were there are most likely gone now (you didn’t see any!) and it will probably be many years before they wander up into this hillside.

  11. Russell

    November 11, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Re #46
    You do mean “Water underground can FLOW from (a) potentially anywhere given the geology and the pressure it may be under.”

    Noun: flow
    1. The motion characteristic of fluids (liquids or gases)
    2. The act of flowing or streaming; continuous progression
    3. Any uninterrupted stream or discharge
    Verb: flow
    1. Move or progress freely as if in a stream
    2. Move along, of liquids

    So it flowed uphill. Nobody said anything about whether it was on the surface of the ground or whatever. That is irrelevant. Water also rises (could also be said to flow) into the sky to form clouds.

    Water can and does flow uphill.

    Re #46
    “The coupe wont be named as it would give away the location the poachers who would clean it out in record time.”

    That excuse was used by one mjf for not saying where an eagle’s nest was located (so we could see if it was safe or not) near a to-be-logged private coupe. The coupe was logged last year and the long-time resident eagles haven’t been seen since.

    As it turned out, the (different) nesting pair mjf alluded to was on another property in a different direction and also gone (because their tree had fallen) more than one year before.

    “The GFC population here is well and truly safe. End of story”?

    Not if the protected eagle sample is anything to go by.

  12. Todd Walsh

    November 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Hi all,

    The coupe wont be named as it would give away the location the poachers who would clean it out in record time. The big issue is sediment, a report to the FPA conclude that a 2% increase in sediment levels can significantly impact juvenile populations. We are still yet to see the data that shows how buffers will contain sediment, and what the before and after effects have been, there might be a masters in that to Hugo, but funny…no one’s researching it…. gee…wonder why.

  13. mjf

    November 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    #45. The coupe is not proposed, its happened. Your points are reasonable and the research underpinning this FPP addresses all relevant site specific issues. A number of constraints were employed to preserve water quality and biodiversity, not only 50m buffers. The GFC population here is well and truly safe. End of story.

  14. William Boeder

    November 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    #43. One of the most comprehensive and best delivered of comments among the already best to have appeared in my time as an attendee to Tasmanian Times.
    (Some 6 or more years.]

    You speak for so many of us in this succint (though wide-ranging) brevity, Gary, yet still reveal each of the all-important “true known facts” as they have been recorded. (Can still be found on public record.)
    Thank you so very much Mr Gary Stannus!

    Refutation to any of these facts will be considered little more worth than an ugly display of foul oozing putrescent sewerage!

  15. Roger

    November 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Re # 41 Russell,
    Once the water from a spring is on the surface it will flow down hill. Water underground can come from a potentially anywhere given the geology and the pressure it may be under.
    roger

  16. Pete Godfrey

    November 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    #36 MJF you mention that the geology of the proposed coupe is Dolerite Talus.
    In that case overland flows through buffers are almost a side issue. Due to the structure of the soil and geology in Talus as you would know there are frequently underground streams in these areas. As such much of the water from the coupe will leave the land underground and the direction can only be ascertained by a detailed hydrological study. This particular geology is prone to landslips. There are 8 of them along the Great Western Tiers from last years heavy rain events. The presence of Dolerite talus will mean that the likelihood of turbidity in the streams is greatly increased.
    Admittedly this one coupe will not lead to the total extinction of the species but it could seriously damage the creek it drains into.

  17. Michael

    November 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    #41 – Anonymous Personal Abuse deleted.

  18. Garry Stannus

    November 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    “For the defence of our natural environment – for its own sake”

    Alison (#34) – a TT ‘Tasmanian of the Year’ – refers to the CAR reserve system and the RFA.

    “Giant Freshwater Crayfish latest Forestry Tasmania collateral damage” http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/weblog/comments/giant-freshwater-crayfish-latest-forestry-tasmania-collateral-damage-/

    From the CAR reserve system and the RFA, through our govts and in our courts eventuated a sad instance of casuistry.

    In Tasmania, certain species are said to be protected from extinction, NOT by appropriate protection measures within their habitats, but by ‘appropriate’ protection in SOME of their habitats (CAR Reserves).

    That’s PROTECTION in SOME of their habitats.

    That’s where casuistry is to be found. It flourishes here in Tasmania rather healthily, and doubtless in many other places on the planet. Are we ‘Apple Islanders’ an exemplar to ‘World’s Best Practice’ in this regard?

    …………………………………………..

    Wielangta. A sorry tale of sordid collaboration. Of a Labor Premier (former Minister for Forests) colluding with a Liberal Prime Minister who is/was one of those ‘economic rationalists’.

    They signed a document that said that our Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagles (Australia’s largest raptors) were protected under the CAR Reserve system , so itsy-bitsy Wielangta could be logged, ‘cos overall our then 95 pairs of breeding eagles were protected by this piece of paper, signed by these two politicians. The ‘higher’ phase of our Court System wilfully and wrongly went along with this pornography, overturning the earlier (and proper) judgement-in-favour of the species, and then upon application, the highest phase of court species (The High Court of Australia?) denied Bob leave to appeal.

    We are presiding over the piecemeal destruction of our environment. Here, there, today and yesterday etc. Bit by bit. We can’t keep taking. There has to be an actual halt to our culture of ‘development’.

    ‘Development’ – what a euphemism. Another plastic toy. Another speedboat. Another flight to Bali. Plasma, flat-screen, you get the message. Another shopping weekend in Melbourne. Another grape ‘out-of-season’ from California.

    Where the paradigm is ‘progress’, truth takes second place.

    ‘Progress’ is a lie. A euphemism. It is a deception which allows a step-by-step process of encroachment of our ‘built’ environment on and over our existing NATURAL environment.

    Sustainability means living within our means. Leaving as much, even more, of our environment to those who follow us, compared to what we inherited. Are we bequeathing to the future a climate uninfluenced by human depredation, in microcosm, uninfluenced by the depletion of our forests, and the resultant emissions of carbon?
    …………………………………………..

    1 Astacopsis … the largest fresh water invertebrate on earth.

    2 CAR Reserve System/RFA … the gulf between the rhetoric and the reality.

    3 Paul Lennon, lobbyist … his clients are Kingloc Holdings; Steritech; International Marketing Partnerships; Shandong Landbridge Group; Brighton Council ; Dourias Group Holdings; Devonport Airport Consortium; SMA Finance; ARTEC; WW Tas Pty Ltd [http://lobbyists.dpac.tas.gov.au/lobbyists/paramul_pty_ltd]

    4 Artec: recently permitted by the EPA to expand their Bell Bay wood-chip operation in order to fill the perceived vacumn caused by Gunns’ exit from native forests and the ‘downturn in the forest industry’.

    5 At much the same time as Lilydale’s Giant Fresh Water Crayfish, give or take, the viability of the family of eagles less than a kilometre from the proposed-pulp-mill site, was likewise traduced by Mssrs. Turnbull & Garret. In turn they have been succeeded by the anti-environment Burke. Apologists for Tassie’s LibLab domination point to minutiae and ignore the overall steady encroachment on our natural environment. they call this progress. Perhaps even some of the green political movement does. I certainly don’t. I ask those who are passionately against the pulp mill in the Tamar, and who likewise are against the many wrongs of plantations, to extend their passion to the defence of our natural environment, for its own sake. Gaia would thank you.

    6 Gunns on the slide again … 23.5c, the flags are no longer flown at Lindsay Street, only two of their plastic cows remain, they meet in Melbourne. Its closer to the Gold Coast.

  19. sanguine

    November 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    # 39 Ahem…and what’s often upstream of ‘cleared farmland’?
    Yip ..it’s plantations!
    so Ahem away – “protection of habitat” covers a multitude of sins!!

  20. Russell

    November 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Re #36
    “as water won’t normally run uphill as you’d agree”

    Then how do natural springs occur 60 metres or more above river level?

    Re #37
    Lol.

  21. Claire Gilmour

    November 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    People shouldn’t worry about the fate of the worlds largest freshwater crustacean. Forestry Tasmania have it all under control ….

    “If you happened to be in Hobart on Monday last week, you may have been greeted by the spectacle of ‘krusty’, our giant freshwater crayfish, wandering the CBD to promote the International Year of Forests 2011.” (FT Branchline Feb 2 2011 – Ken Jeffreys)

    FT try to blind side and swoon the public with some ‘red’ coloured GFC dummy, as if it were their environmental mascot.

    What say ye, State Labor Member for Lyons and International Year of Forests Ambassador, Rebecca White MP?

    The Parks and Wildlife Service says ….

    “Smaller streams can no longer rely on inaccessibility to naturally protect their populations because of the ever increasing number of roads.”

    That’s obviously why there is no dedicated Inland Fisheries Inspector on the N/W anymore. Apparently one must grab some of the twine littered along creeks from poaching, tie the culprit down and wait a couple of days until a couple of inspectors arrive.

    Forestry Tasmania build roads and dirt bridges in the headwaters of GFC breeding habitat, the runoff, and in some cases collapse/erosion,of these roads/bridges have seen pristine creeks silted for many kms down stream. A case in point is when FT built such road/bridges in the Shakespeare Hills, far N/W Tas in the headwaters (juvenile GFC habitat) late last year, and subsequently silted the whole length of Hook Creek, not once, but twice.

    Let’s face it, the Giant Freshwater Crayfish is simply a big hassle to Forestry Tasmania, the sooner more are poached, have the majority of their habitat wrecked beyond repair, and are limited to a few special zoo like creeks the better.

    FT should at least throw a bucket of blue or black paint over their ‘krusty’ GFC puppet, it would at least suit their agenda of basically white washing the reality with spin.

  22. hugoagogo

    November 10, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Dr B. Thanks for the heads up. These extracts are from the excellent, readable and soundly based Giant Freshwater Lobster Recovery Plan 2006-2010

    http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LJEM-6VM6S6/$FILE/Accepted Astacopsis gouldi RP.pdf

    Ahem. For starters, the report indicates that 54% of the lobster’s known range is on cleared farmland, and 17% in ‘couped’ (presume production) state forest.

    ‘…Factors identified as limiting implementation of recovery measures, across all land tenures and land use activities, are the compliance with the fishing ban, limited integration of natural resource management at the catchment scale, and the [i]lack of a comprehensive agricultural code of practice (or equivalent)[/i]. The latter could be complementary to the Forest Practices Code to guide land management practices under agriculture…’

    Wow, them’s fightin’ words. Talk of farm codes is never appreciated down at the TFGA. And do I notice a pat on the back for…?

  23. William Boeder

    November 10, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I note that the most important credential or prerequisite one must have to become a regulator in Tasmania, is to know the who’s-who in the secret list of Cronies that make up the entire of Tas Incorporated.

  24. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 10, 2011 at 1:12 am

    #20 – 21 species (previous record 18). Two of them apparently new (both way up in the alpine zone which hasn’t previously had any serious surveying for snails).

    #33 max, you’ve clearly misunderstood what mjf is saying about the topography. He is not saying the creeks are above the land they drain as you suggest. What he is saying is that although Rocky Creek cuts through the coupe area (and hence drains the gully it runs through), not all the coupe drains towards Rocky Creek. If you were familiar with the hillside topography of the coupe in question you would understand this. At the bottom of the coupe Rocky Creek is a steep, sharp, almost gorge-like gully cutting through the hillside, and you don’t have to go very far at all either side before you reach land that drains more or less parallel to Rocky Creek rather than towards it. Check the map – it’s primarily property number 0817 if you look up the Lilydale area at http://www.thelist.tas.gov.au . (All the drainages point towards Rocky Creek eventually – but in most cases to the portion kilometres downstream in the already heavily disturbed area in the valley floor near Lilydale.)

    Given that you have totally missed the point it is rather sad that you accuse mjf of being “in charge of the misinformation bureau”, and accuse him of “making statements that are so obviously wrong you lose all credibility.” It’s you who has already lost all credibility here with such a careless and bogus attack in which you were so sure of your right to nastily insult someone else when you hadn’t even taken the care to interpret their comments carefully. I suggest you apologise profusely.

  25. mjf

    November 10, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Max

    From some of the harvesting edges on this coupe (and due to distance involved from the creeks or streams, the ground actually rose in elevation before dropping away into the watercourses. While the actual watercourses are undoubtedly below the harvest areas, there are slightly higher points of elevation within the buffers which precluded the natural passage of water through the buffers as water won’t normally run uphill as you’d agree

    The harvested areas would then be drained to a point further downhill in the landscape before eventually entering the stream buffers.

    The whole point of establishing watercourse buffer zones is to filter any sediment runoff from disturbed areas prior to entering watercourses. This assumes the harvest edges are always uphill from the buffers (as per your assumption) and any drainage will run straight from the logged area downhill into the buffer. Thisis not always the case as occasionally, depending on the buffer width required, some slightly higher unlogged ground can occur within the buffer zones. The concept that there is a nice smooth profile of elevation from stream to stream is not always true as low points often exist along the arc and normal drainage is interrupted accordingly.

    While I agree that runoff will always find its way to the lowest point, the assumption that water will make a passage direct from harvest area into buffers due to higher elevation does not always work when intervening higher points exist within the landscape. This ‘slumping’ characteristic which creates natural low areas is typical of dolerite talus derived soils, as is the case here.

  26. Clive Stott

    November 10, 2011 at 12:42 am

    and the question has to be asked, Why do we now need a Giant Freshwater Crayfish Recovery Plan?

  27. Alison Bleaney

    November 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    http://www.forestrytas.com.au/uploads/File/pdf/pdf2011/mdc_manual_2011.pdf
    p 17 states that management of the coupe must refer directly to objectives of the Giant Freshwater Crayfish Recovery Plan
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/pubs/a-gouldi.pdf
    DPIW Recovery Plan 2006-2010
    This states very clearly how the Astacopsis is to be protected and specifies habitat protection.
    p8
    “The RFA requires that priority species be protected through the CAR (Comprehensive, Adequate, Reperesentative) Reserve System and/or by applying relevant management prescriptions (Clause 68)….and agreed recovery plans are to be implemented as a matter of priority (Clause 70).”
    So Forestry Tasmania stating that they will log this coupe as they need the wood to fulfill a timber contract is directly oppositional to Tas Gvt’s (DPIPWE and EPA) Astacopsis Recovery Plan.
    Why bother having this plan if it is not implemented and enforced?
    Or is this really another example of “How it’s done in Taz-mania.”
    Shame, shame on the regulators….
    Dr Alison Bleaney

  28. max

    November 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    25 # mjf. You must me in charge of the misinformation bureau. You have excelled yourself when you made the claim “ Rocky and Little Rocky Creeks were protected by 50m wide, undisturbed buffers. This was so far back from the top of stream banks, the land actually rolled away in many places so any runoff could not physically migrate through the buffers but actually drained back slightly into harvested areas.” Creeks and rivers are drainage channels and there is no place in the world where creeks and rivers are above the land they drain. By making statements that are so obviously wrong you lose all credibility.

  29. Russell

    November 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Re #21
    Specifics please.

  30. Tim Thorne

    November 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Garry (#27) the stream in question was left off the map submitted in the plan, which was then approved. When this omission was pointed out it was too late as there was no opportunity for appeal.

    I remember how tasty these crays were when I was a kid and my grandfather used to get them from Penguin Creek. What a pity their numbers are insufficient to establish a gourmet industry like the marron in WA. Our streams should be a source of food, not of export dollars from woodchips.

  31. hugoagogo

    November 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    #28 Glad you recognised it for what it was.

    At this point, the omission of evidence of comprehension is not explicitly banned in the tt code. Duty-eds please note.

  32. Pete Godfrey

    November 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Hugo #24 glad you can see the distinction between your own qualifications and the fishing exercise you engaged in post 15.
    No one doubts your knowledge of forestry, the only problem I have is when professionals use their qualifications to back the indefensible.
    I do hope that one day we have a truly sustainable world class forest industry in Tasmania. One that takes proper care and manages catchments and forests in an environmentally sensitive way.
    I have seen enough coupes now to know that what is in the Forest Practices Code and what happens on the ground do not line up.
    I also know that putting in complaints to the FPA does not help. They even claim that farmers can make silt travel up stream, rather than blame logging above Karst Areas.

  33. Garry Stannus

    November 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Kevin (#17) asks

    “So how close to the creek in question did the logging actually get?

    I’m not sure who’d know the answer – what I recall is that permission to inspect the creek was pointedly denied (including the LCC). Yet I believe that there was some major error associated with the FPP, which was identified by those opposing the logging, something to do with a water course flowing into the property which wasn’t mentioned in the Plan. (memory hazy).

    I also recall that the logging operation was to be over a number of years, a ‘work in progress’.

  34. Scotty

    November 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I have always loved the way governments and industry refer to employees who disagree with their actions as disgruntled.
    Here are a few examples we should remember;
    Martin Luther King was the grandson of a disgruntled slave.
    Mahatma Ghandi was a disgruntled subject of the British Empire.
    George Washington also was another disgruntled figure from history.
    The list runs into the hundred of thousands.
    I say thank god for the disgruntled for without them we might all still be living in the trees.

  35. mjf

    November 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    #5. I can confirm the presence of GFC in Rocky Creek, its tributaries and other streams both during the pre and post harvest periods of DTK’s coupe above the Rocky Creek water intake. Please advise if you have evidence of habitat and species loss of astacopsis as a result of roading/harvesting/clearing/reafforestation activities in this coupe.

    #11. Get some help.

    #17. Rocky and Little Rocky Creeks were protected by 50m wide, undisturbed buffers. This was so far back from the top of stream banks, the land actually rolled away in many places so any runoff could not physically migrate through the buffers but actually drained back slightly into harvested areas.

    #19. You hear wrong. A minimum 15% sample of FPP’s are audited every year by FPA staff. The actual FPP document is audited as a desktop exercise, then the operation is audited against the document as a secondary undertaking. The actual plans are selected randomly so your favourite Mt Arthur plan may or may not come up for further examination. I say ‘further’ as it has been spot audited a number of times during the life of the operation. Those involved in this project still feel harshly treated in terms of the continuous scrutiny imposed by FPA. The formal annual random ‘inspections’ are not done by the plan authors, not even ‘usually’.

  36. hugoagogo

    November 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    #18. So my head is [i]above[/i] water on some matters. Aw shucks, thanks for that acknowledgement.

    Yes, I shouldn’t have barged in on this one. I’m just a forester, land manager and scientist, with a background in soil, water and biota management and environmental monitoring. Ah well. Also audience theory and media performance, if you must know, which may explain why I find tt so…compelling.

    Of course I read it carefully, and understand that the juveniles would be vulnerable. But what does the sedimentation do to the prey of platypus, and how are [i]Gadopsis[/i] populations affected if the same sedimentation coats the benthic structures to which they stick their eggs? And I just advised how one could perform a study that would monitor the sedimentation from the harvesting, and the population dynamics of the various species in temporal and spatial dimension.You could even model that to other stream systems.

    The site as described in the release seems to offer some controllables: the area is defined, so that sediment, water quality and population measurements can be taken upstream, alongside and downstream; and as there is a lead time, baseline data could be gathered before the harvesting starts. Design and analysis is fraught with traps (not just lobster pots), and specialised design and supervision is recommended, as others have flunked similar exercises.

  37. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    “intimately” (#19) is a gross exaggeration – I have spent precisely one day on the coupe, which was sufficient for the sole purpose for which I was hired. That is the only connection with that particular coupe that I have, beyond having walked past it on a public road recently.

    If those commenting don’t have more detailed information about the actual extent of logging that occurred in the coupe then they’re probably not in a position to assert anything about the likely impact on the crayfish. I’m certainly not encouraging anyone to break the law to “check it out” but I’d be rather surprised if nobody had already done so. After all the legal scruples you imply are far from universal among those opposed to various forestry operations. Or maybe someone should hire a plane. 🙂

    There are some parts of your comment I have no knowledge relevant to but they look in part like shallow stereotyping so I’ll ignore them.

  38. David Obendorf

    November 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    John Hayward [comment #12] has explained the Giant Freshwater Crayfish gatekeeping by the Tasmanian Public Service: “FT blocked adoption of a GFC Recovery Plan for about 8 years before falling back on the usual expedient of just ignoring it.”

    Mr Kim Evans, the Secretary of DPIPWE headed that process and many newspaper articles were written about that obstructionism were written. I understand the Central North Field Naturalists group finally took this Crown to court over this issue and forced the Tasmanian Government to stop allowing the recreational taking of a ‘threatened species’.

    Welcome to Taz-mania!

    Habitat destruction has done more to imperil this creature’s log-term survival nowadays than any historical fishing.

  39. Michael

    November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Hmmm, I wonder what the deniers think about this, I’ve personally found this species in creeks that are situated in 15 yr old plantation on ex-pasture sites. Lucky, they survived the constant predation from the local Tewkesbury residents, that is their biggest threat….

    Anyways, suitable habitat is protected through, FPP and special values evaluation processes. As others have already mentioned.

  40. Russell

    November 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Re #17
    “on my way to breaking my record for most snail species found in one day higher up Mt Arthur, for anyone interested”

    Oh wow, how many? That must have been an incredibly exhilarating experience!

  41. Mrs Smyth

    November 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

    #17 knows the Mt Arthur coupe intimately in his role of consultant and would also know that it is illegal for the lay person to go onto that, or any, coupe and “check it out”. We all trust that under the rigours of the Private Timber Reserves and the Forestry Act that this coupe will be one of the many that are inspected for compliance. Please tell us again roughly how many get inspected every year; I hear it is roughly 5% but that sounds a bit high. Why inspect forestry operations when the person inspecting is also usually the one who wrote the Forest Practices Plan and everyone in forestry is so honest and caring about the environment and stuff.

  42. Pete Godfrey

    November 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

    #15 Hugo stick to forestry you are over your head with this one.
    First the “monster” you refer to in the photo is obviously an adult Astacopsis.
    They start out very small and grow up, the juveniles are very vulnerable to predation.
    Secondly when they grow they have to shed their carapace (shell) and when they do that they are soft and very vulnerable for quite a while. They need places to hide during this stage no matter how big they are. During this time they can be attacked and eaten by other Astacopsis, fish or platypus.
    If you had read the article it clearly states that “Sediment covers their homes, which means the juvenile lobsters have nowhere to live, which means they’re exposed to predators like platypus and blackfish.”

  43. Dr Kevin Bonham

    November 9, 2011 at 2:51 am

    “one of the last strongholds” is the usual journalistic hyperbole that tends to crop up in something like this. It creates the impression that the species is now holding out in only a handful of areas, which is false. “threatens the survival of the Tasmanian giant freshwater lobster.” also sounds a bit over the top.

    As for #6, Dr Obendorf should be well aware (and probably is well aware) that it was precisely the “own fishing season” that made the species threatened in the first place. Any claim that can even be read as pinning the blame for the species’ fate solely on forestry has no place in any discussion of this species.

    If the case concerning the lobster is valid (which I don’t take absolutely for granted) then this all sounds like a bit of an ENGO stuffup and possibly an example of the consequences of excessive green-group greed. If this is really such a critical site as being claimed then how on earth did it manage to escape inclusion in the massive area listed for immediate interim protection? Because the ENGOs were so busy getting their hands on everything else under their grab-bag of slender pretexts for protection? Ah well, I guess it doesn’t matter how much they missed since no matter what is reserved, green groups outside the peace-deal tent can just go on protesting about other areas afterwards as has always happened in the past.

    By the way re #5 I walked past some of that logging in the Rocky Creek coupe recently (on my way to breaking my record for most snail species found in one day higher up Mt Arthur, for anyone interested) and what I could see of the logging from the road looked rather piecemeal. So how close to the creek in question did the logging actually get?

  44. Clive Stott

    November 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I would like to know more….
    Which river system near Wynyard? Could it be the Flowerdale?
    Whereabouts is the logging to take place? What is the coup name or number?

  45. hugoagogo

    November 9, 2011 at 12:40 am

    And further;

    I can’t imagine a blackfish tackling that monster pictured. I daresay the result would go the other way. Same for platypusseses.

    And Experts? I’ll allow that ‘school of hard knocks training’ warrants some reverence; but only [i]one[/i] of ’em is mentioned in the release.

    If our correspondent thinks there is a realistic risk of the consequences from harvesting affecting the lobsters or their young on that stretch of stream, why not perform an experiment and find out for sure. There’s at least a Masters in it. For a resolvable design seek advice outside of TT, and be sure when to say ‘correlation’ and when to say ‘causation’.

  46. Steve

    November 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    7; But what facts are you supplying JohnBoy?
    As I read the article and the news report, Todd Walsh has researched this animal in a great number of other streams and is simply stating that this site is a major study site of great importance.
    Many people in Tasmania are very sceptical about FT’s “hoops and hurdles”. I’ve personally seen streams in the NE that have been logged within an inch of their lives. You’d have to be assessing with some pretty heavy blinkers on to reckon that the buffer zones had been observed.
    How’s 30m going to prevent sediment anyway, even if they did respect it? Sediment will wash hundreds of metres in heavy rain.

  47. hugoagogo

    November 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Having read this I feared I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep tonight worrying.

    Fortunately I came across this. It might help you too.

    Pin the creek on the map!

    http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Images/BHAN-54Q7DV?open

  48. john hayward

    November 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    JohnBoy #7, precisely where are these hoops that FT and Co have to jump through in order to trash GFC habitat? You won’t find them in the FP Authority’s office unless you are non-Tas Inc.

    FT blocked adoption of a GFC Recovery Plan for about 8 years before falling back on the usual expedient of just ignoring it.

    The habitat hotspots mentioned by Godfrey, #1, have become notspots since the advent of the RFA. As a coup de grace, the chippers add a shot of herbicide, to which the crays are very sensitive.

    John Hayward

  49. William Boeder

    November 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    It is so typical of FT spokespersons to adopt this posture posed by he and the rest of the camp followers, to express, the way I see it, the extremest levels of arrogance and culpability that ever permeates out from the headquarters of the reviled State government GBE of Forestry Tasmania, truly a destructive intending juggernaut strongly determined to leave its ruinous trademark upon the demise of this species of inland crustacean!

    Worst of all are all the complicit State ministers eagerly clinging to the rectum of this “absurd and wildlife abusive” State Government Business Enterprise!

    Then we have that small rag-tag mob of pro-logging worshippers that encourage this logging for loss operation of Forestry Tasmania.

    A certain comment subscribing attendee to Tas Times has refuted my prior statement in claiming that Forestry Tasmania will be the death of this State, yet this same person is impervious to the ignorant species slaughter by this State Government’s sponsored gaggle of “purposely transfixed, then trained to be as as so evil intended, the mind-altered active mass-destroying logger individuals.”
    Such are the people who encourage the decline and death of so much, as is “so regularly demanded by the Executive Board of Forestry Tasmania?”

    Be pleased with yourselves, you dangerous to Tasmania evil-worshipping foresting gluttons!

  50. Philip Lowe

    November 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Encourage the whole world to know about things like this.

  51. John Powell, Myrtlebank)

    November 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Gary Stannus I agree!

    Oh and by the way I have a written comment to me from Graham Wilkinson (CFPO) that explicitly states that Bill Manning was a “disgruntled former employee that had no credibility”. I am sure I can find the exact statement if needed.

    And I would suggest that not only FT be abolished but the 15 year reign of the sycophantic CFPO should also disappear into the epheremal ether! I am not sure about my spelling but I am certain that the CFPO will correct me!

  52. Keith Antonysen

    November 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    It’s not possible to expect anythingelse from that rogue Government Enterprise, Forestry Tasmania.

  53. JohnBoy

    November 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    This is the”most important site we’ve got” and “there’s been more lobsters surveyed and tagged downstream from this tributary than anywhere else”. This is only because the self professed expert has not surveyed or tagged lobsters from many thousands of other streams throughout Tasmania.How does anyone know which stream has the highest density of fresh water crayfish unless every stream in Tasmania has been surveyed? It’s once again easy to make generalisations about ecological situations without providing the facts.Sorry don’t buy into it.FT or anyone else wanting to log go through nearly 18 months of hoops and hurdles taking into account threatened species,flora and fauna reports, aboriginal heritage studies,restictions on waterway boundary clearances to name a few, try it sometime.

  54. David Obendorf

    November 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    A species that has gone from being so prolific and healthy that it had its own fishing season to becoming a threatened species where its habitat has been buggered by forestry.

    The years of gatekeeping by the DPIPWE Secretary and FT and the FPA allowed this uniquely Tasmanian creature – the largest freshwater crustacean in the world – to slip further into oblivion.

    Welcome to Taz-mania! Who knows what aerial sprays of forestry regions with the synthetic pyrethrins and the neurotoxic organophosphates do to this species!

  55. John Alford

    November 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Listening to Todd Walsh speaking a year or so ago in Launceston, he claimed that the habitat of the lobster in the north-east was already stuffed through forestry operations, except for Rocky Creek on Mt Arthur, recently logged directly above the village’s water supply catchment. He also stated that the north west was its last stronghold in Tasmania.

  56. Lester Barker

    November 8, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Me and Cletus have been huntin and eatin this critter for years.

    We cant afford a proper licence for rock lobsters so what are spose to do if those mongrels down at the forestry commission kill em all.

    Rotten mongrel Evan Rolley and FT.

    Save the Cray!

  57. Garry Stannus

    November 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Reading the article was distressing. I was reminded of the story from the North East, where Bill Manning came across a most appalling situation, FT had logged a hillside, and bulldozed to/into the streamside. Set fire to the lot. Hill and streamside. That stream was known as habitat of the world’s largest freshwater cray. He told the Australian Senate (if memory recalls truly) that he simply could not understand why they’d done it.

    Even if this ABC article were a piece of fiction, which I’m in no way suggesting it is, it would still be appropriate to call for the abolition of FT. Kim booth calls it a rogue agency. I empathise with its many worthy employees, who love our natural environment, and our island, but the agency as a whole has let us down continually.

    Gunns and FT. I do not like them at all.

  58. Karl Stevens

    November 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Either the ‘forest reference group’ in the ‘Principles-IGA’ agreement somehow forgot to include this important habitat, or the agreement has totally collapsed and Forestry Tasmania logs whatever it likes. Maybe the answer to this question will not be released publicly just as the legal advice on Gunns compensation payout was covered-up by the Greens.

  59. Pete Godfrey

    November 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Good luck Todd getting them to stop.
    They have decimated the Garden of Eden Creek, Eel Hole Creek and Minnow river upper catchments.
    The industry don’t actually seem to care much about threatened species at all. We once had a minister for Threatening Species, but he retired hurt.

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