In January Blue Derby Wild Inc received a group email from Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (formerly known as Forestry Tasmania) about their plans to increase logging around the town of Derby. The gist of the letter went:
As a near neighbour or identified affected stakeholder, we are writing to provide you with early advice of our intention to construct a new road, followed by harvesting and reforestation operations on Permanent Timber Production zone land either adjacent to your property or in an area you have indicated an interest in...
The specific road is Mutual Road 1, which is part of the Permanent Timber Production Zone land within the municipality of Dorset... At this stage, we anticipate road construction would commence in February 2021. Following road construction, harvesting and reforestation operations will be planned to commence during financial year 2021 / 2022.
Sustainable Timbers Tasmania
L 1, 99 Bathurst St
Hobart, Tas. 7000
Blue Derby Wild Inc response....
'January 29, 2021
Dear Mr McNamara,
We write in response to your email to stakeholders you have identified as having an interest in the logging of Tasmania’s forests in the north east region, specifically coupe CC119A around the town of Derby..
We have been advised you’ve had meetings with business owners associated with the mountain bike industry in the area, and have been clearly told that logging in the catchment of the mountain bike trails is bad for business. We concur with this view and that you are damaging brand Tasmania, Blue Derby.
The primary concerns we have with the ongoing and proposed logging of the forests of north east Tasmania are centred on science and the increasing research on the impacts of logging on our ecosystem services, biodiversity, watersheds and our most valuable assets for carbon storage in the intact native forests.
Blue Derby Wild Inc is of the position that logging of high conservation value native forests in Tasmania be ceased. This position is supported by the release of the landmark recommendations made in the Environment Heritage and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) report by Professor Samuel, specifically the call on the federal government to ‘abolish the effective exemption from environment laws granted to all native forest logging covered by Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA) between the federal and state governments.’ The report pointed out untenable issues with the Regional Forest Agreements allowing the logging of native forests in Tasmania, and across Australia, that are exempt from EPBCA laws. As we have seen in north east Tasmania, this exemption allows for the logging of forests contributing to habitat loss, loss of biodiversity and localised extinctions.
While we are awaiting the outcomes of the federal court case challenging the legality of the Tasmanian RFA, and the exemptions to the EPBCA it operates under, it would be responsible for STT to impose an immediate moratorium on the logging of native forests, as a show of good faith and ecological and social responsibility.
It is for the reasons listed above that the management committee of Blue Derby Wild Inc, and our member base, are calling for an immediate moratorium on the logging of native forest, and end to logging of high conservation value forests in Tasmania.
Mike Bretz (President)
Lesley Nicklason (Secretary)
Louise Morris (Treasurer)
Louise Brooker (Public Officer)'