Arthur River forest defence takes to the tree tops as new evidence of endangered Masked Owl emerges.

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While a young Smithton woman has climbed into a treesit 15 metres above the contentious forests, Bob Brown Foundation has released more photographic evidence of the endangered Masked Owls living in the forest currently being flattened in Takayna. The image builds on the 111 recordings of Masked Owl calls and an image published last week. Forestry Tasmania has continued logging despite clear evidence of Masked Owls in the coupe.

“This new photographic evidence is of a second owl, following the image we released last week. Overnight, while in this devastated logging coupe I heard multiple shrieks of the endangered Masked Owls. We are witnessing an extinction crisis with the destruction of this river’s edge wildlife habitat. Get the logging machines out of here now!”, said Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager Jenny Weber.

Twenty-six-year-old Monique Ker, who grew up in Smithton, has occupied a tree sit to defend the forest currently being logged.

“We think we can cut down trees and they will grow back just the same, but we are destroying the natural ecosystems of these wild places. You can see and feel the difference walking through a previously logged area and ancient Gondwanan rainforest that’s never been logged before. Ancient rainforest is sacred and crucial for our survival. It needs to be protected at all costs,” said Monique Ker.

“That’s why I am willing to put my body on the line to protect it. I am here because I love trees. I have dealt with some serious depression in my life that has hospitalised me multiple times. Walking among the trees is where I found peace, spending my time in wild places has helped to heal my depression. It breaks my heart to see the forest being destroyed. We modern-day humans are so disconnected from nature”, said Monique Ker.

Monique is tree-sitting in a portalege designed by John Middendorf.

“Our action team has dedicated this day’s action to John, just days after he passed away. We are more determined to defend these Takayna forests from these portaledge treesits in honour of John who had an international perspective on how wrong it is to be destroying Takayna. We send love and gratitude to John’s family and will continue John’s portaledge dream into future activism in Tasmania’s forests”, said Jenny Weber.

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