Good news first, a reprieve for Mutual Valley forests.
The new financial year brings a new logging schedule from Susstainable Timbers Tasmania (STT), the Government Business Enterprise that operates logging in Tasmania. The new plans have some big changes for the north east including two forest areas we've been working hard to protect disappearing off the immediate logging plans. While plans to log the forests of Krushka's (CC105A and CC119A) and Atlas (CC120B) are pushing ahead (with some boundary adjustments) despite widespread community and tourism industry opposition.
The good news first, two critically important Gondwanic forests in the Mutual Valley that link the Weld Hill to the forested hills of Derby have been given a reprieve. This comes after much work surveying these areas for rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species. As well as launching our Tastreefern.com markets campaign aimed at garden centres like Bunnings to ask them to stop trading in tree ferns logged from these Gondwanic rainforest areas. So what does that look like on the ground for the forests areas immediately between Derby and Weld Hill? The map below shows what was scheduled to be logged in the area as of July 1, 2020.
The Map below shows the changes to logging plans for the forests between Weld Hill and Derby as of July 1, 2021.
As you can see we have two critically important Gondwanic native forests off the chopping block , for now.
While this is a temporary reprieve for two important connectivity corridors for wildlife and biodiversity, it is a big win for our forests and endangered species. Unique Tasmanian species such as the Tasmanian giant freshwater lobster (Astacopsis gouldi), Tasmanian wedge tailed eagles, Spotted tail quoll and Masked owl we have recorded in this last areas of intact Gondwanic forest.
It's thanks to the continuing efforts of a small team of volunteers who have been conducting surveys with the guidance of scientific experts, reporting our findings and advocating tirelessly for the protection of the last stands of native forests in our area that this win has come about.
The coming spring will see logging activity begin in the two forests around the Krushka's Blue Derby Mountain Bike trails.
We have made repeated attempts to get more detailed information from STT on when they plan to start logging, the Forest Practices Plan (FPP) and what flora and fauna surveys they have undertaken in these areas. We are doubling down on flora and fauna surveys in these forests with experts in the fields of entomology and raptors (owl and eagle) to fill the gaps that STT does not provide.
The forests proposed for logging have registered Wedge tailed eagles nests just outside the logging boundaries, and the Derby Wedgie family frequent these forests often making themselves seen and heard over Krushka's and Atlas while hunting.
We need your help to raise the profile of these threatened forests nationally, and internationally. As Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Please sign and share our petition to the Premier to protect the forests of north east Tasmania.
Get in front of the line to be on the campaign front line, and sign up to be on the front line of our forest defence campaign. Whether you're able to get to Derby to be on ground and in the forest, or able to be online and on the phones lobbying and supporting the campaign, your support is invaluable.