The Tasmanian state government has intervened in Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s plan to close the Styx Valley for logging this month.
“Parks and Wildlife Service reliably told tourists last week that Sustainable Timber Tasmania planned to close the road into the Styx Valley of the Giants in mid-August” said Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber earlier this week. “The closure would be for weeks if not months.”
“We now have a rear-guard action by the government, Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Luke Martin to reverse the decision,” Weber continued.
“It is temporary. Cable logging of this stunning tall forest roadside coupe is still Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s intention.”
Bob Brown wrote to Premier Gutwein last week, asking him to reverse the road closure and logging.
“A lock-out from the Styx Valley while destroying the very thing tourists come to see is outrageous in Tasmania in 2020,” Brown said on Saturday.
“Under ministerial direction, Sustainable Timber Tasmania plans to clearfell and incinerate forest adorning the entrance to this World Heritage valley. There will be lifeless, smouldering ruins, right to the roadside gutter.”
The Styx valley – often referred to as the ‘valley of the giants’ – is named for the mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) trees that make up the main canopy of the forest. They have the distinction of being the world’s tallest flowering plants, and some of the trees are thought to be more than 500 years old.
Campaigner Joseph conducted a treesit in a large eucalypt in the forest late last week. Filmed sitting 30 metres from the ground, he said:
“Sustainable Timber Tasmania… have decided that this [tree] and all the others around it are more valuable as paper… [but] there’s far more value in these trees staying together as a forest for all the wildlife, for us to come and visit and get to enjoy, and for future generations to do so as well.”
The Bob Brown Foundation is now calling on Premier Gutwein cease logging of the forest in TN034G and protect native forests across Tasmania from ongoing destruction, wildlife loss and greenhouse gas emissions.
Photos and video: Bob Brown Foundation
Sarah Jacob is a journalist and editor and is currently The Advocate's Deputy Editor. She has written for a range of print and online publications across Australia and internationally with a focus on the environment and human rights. Previously she worked in conservation science and protected area management, and has completed postgraduate degrees in journalism and marine science.