*Pic: Spot the eagle’s nest …

After 20 months of research, negotiations, protests and pleas by the Lapoinya Community to reserve or buy or remove from harvest a local 49 hectare high conservation value forest from its production zone, Forestry Tasmania, supported by its Tasmanian Government shareholders Paul Harriss and Peter Gutwein, insisted it be clearfelled.

Three months of protests by mums and dads in and around the coupe resulted in 5 arrests, 6 fines and over 100 move-on notice issues by Police who were daily required to shepherd Forestry Tasmania in the disputed Forest.

The protests were heard round the world and echoed all the way to the High Court of Australia where a challenge to the constitutionality of the Liberal Governments’ Anti-Protester laws will be heard. The only echo that was heard in Lapoinya was the sound of chainsaws.

Forestry Tasmania has completed its mission to clearfell the Forest, undisputed home to rare, endangered and threatened plant and animal species such as Brooker gums, devils, quolls, goshawks, eagles and the world’s largest freshwater crustacean, the Giant Freshwater Crayfish.

Remarkably, Forestry Tasmania has recently been instructed to conclude as quickly as possible its operations in the Coupe by the Forest Practices Authority, the body charged to ensure compliance with the Forestry Code of Practice.

The holy grail of habitat conservation, a current Wedge Tailed Eagle nest was reported just metres from the clearfell line in the coupe. The bones of prey are littered at its base as are the bones of the clearfelled forest around it.

The exclusion zone for an Eagle nest is one kilometre in diameter. A five metre fire break has been dozed within 20 metres of the nest. To add insult to injury, it is Forestry Tasmania’s apparent intention to burn within metres of the nest.

The insistence in clearfelling of Lapoinya against strong and documented objection messaged to the international Forest Stewardship Council auditors that Forestry Tasmania was unable to comply with their world standard practices especially in the following areas as reported by the FSC auditors in the middle of last year:

CAR 2014.8:
Forestry Tasmania (FT) must modify and enhance coupe-level environmental planning, assessment and monitoring procedures so that rare, threatened ,endangered (RTE) species, particularly wide-ranging landscape species, and other high conservation values (HCV) are being consistently identified and appropriately protected

Principle #8: Monitoring and assessment. Page 117
Monitoring shall be conducted — appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management — to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts.

CAR 2014.1:
Consultation must also seek expert and stakeholder input on the results (i.e., identified locations and attributes) of applying FT’s HCV approach. Results of this consultation and resulting changes to FT’s HCV Forest approach must be documented.

In the sad case of the Lapoinya, Forestry Tasmania has knowingly failed in their stewardship of our forests and failed international accreditation for our products.

SHAME!

• Lynn Jensen-Schnapper in Comments: It is with great sadness that we read today of your report Stewart of the destruction of Lapoinya. Upon returning to Germany this week, a Tasmanian Fan from Tübingen who visited our precious NW Tassie last year, could not understand the criminal acts of environmental destruction that these politicians have condoned. I explained to her that it’s basically a dictatorship of money and greed and the tourists just shake their heads at this ignorance …

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Mutual valley … before the clearfell … The coupe is on the right …
• Peter Coxhead MR in Comments: The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is found wanting while at the same time Forestry Tasmania (FT) push on with logging CC104B in Derby despite a clear breach of regulations, local residents said today. At a meeting with Mutual Valley residents last week Forestry Tasmania was presented with a case in coupe CC104B that showed unequivocally that the harvesting happening was in breach of the Forest Practices Code due to inadequate emergency access. FT has started harvesting in this coupe knowing full well that the emergency access route has not been built and maintained to the standards required in the code code, said local resident of 30 years Peter Coxhead …