*Pic: The couple in question …

Logging is scheduled to commence today, Monday, April 18, at Mutual Valley forest area CC104B. This high conservation value forest is adjacent to the iconic Blue Derby Mountain Bike trail known as Krushka’s.

Grassroots community group Blue Derby Wild have been strongly advocating that the forest areas around the Blue Derby Mountain Bike trails be removed from Forestry Tasmania’s logging schedules. These trails are driving a nature-based tourism economic boom for all the towns attached to them.

Tin Dragon Trail Cottages operator, Christine Booth said, “From Derby, Branxholm, Weldborough and over to the Blue Tiers, people are flocking to the region to experience our world class mountain bike trails.

“The Blue Derby trails are being celebrated as some of the best in the world for their outstanding flow and natural setting. We fear logging around these trails is seriously undermining this beautiful brand we are building, and want to protect.”

Federal member for Bass, and patron of cycling in Tasmania, Andrew Nikolic, has repeatedly stated he put $2.45 million of taxpayers monies into funding the Blue Derby trails, yet has repeatedly and very publicly said he is happy for these areas to be logged.

“With almost two and a half million dollars of our taxpayer dollars at stake for this one tourism venture, it is fiscally irresponsible to jeopardise its success by allowing clearfell logging near the trails. Blue Derby and the associated wealth it can bring to Bass needs to be prioritised over a loss making Government Business Enterprise like Forestry Tasmania.

The North East of Tasmania is sitting on the crest of a nature-based tourism boom that can take many economically depressed towns, such as Derby, into a bright new future. One where local businesses can flourish from MTB riders, trail running events, bush walkers, naturalists, food travellers and those who love green rolling hills and wild forests. No to mention attracting those looking for a tree change and want to make Tasmania their new home.

Continuing to clearfell state-owned lands, to the detriment of other business ventures in the area is the sort of business as usual approach that has left NE Tasmania languishing economically and socially. It is yet another example of why FT cannot get FSC certification,” said Ms Booth.

A secure Blue Derby reserve that encompasses the whole of this taxpayer-supported multi-million dollar project is needed to protect our investment, and grow the region’s economic prosperity and diversity.

EurekAlert!: Clear-cutting destabilizes carbon in forest soils, Dartmouth study finds HANOVER, N.H. – Clear-cutting loosens up carbon stored in forest soils, increasing the chances it will return to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and contribute to climate change, a Dartmouth College study shows. The findings ( HERE ) appear in the journal Soil Science.

WEDNESDAY, April 20 …

• Rosalie Woodruff MR in Comments: … The divide and conquer mentality of this Government has sadly cast a dark shadow over the successful rejuvenation of the Derby community. …