Today in the Southern Central Highlands of lutruwita / Tasmania, the growing forest-defending community is holding the space between logging machines and native forests.
Fourteen forest defenders with Bob Brown Foundation are protecting large habitat trees and carbon stores in a Forestry Tasmania logging area in Wentworth Hills.
“The logging machines today will not continue forest destruction while our protest is underway in these forests. We are taking non-violent direct action for the preservation of nature. One community member is defending the forests by attaching themselves to one of the nature-crushing behemoths,” said Erik Hayward, Bob Brown Foundation Campaigner.
Fiona Gipters, 57, a concerned citizen is today on the front line at a time when the last resort is to defend the forests from the logging machines by hand.
“I can’t stand idle a moment longer – this is not the time for apathy. This ecocide has to stop! Thank you to those who are standing up – come and join us,” said Fiona Gipters, who was attached to a logging machine this morning.
“The southern central highlands is a stronghold of massive and ancient wild forests. A large tract of continuous native forest is being annihilated by the logging industry. Wentworth Hills on the plateau is a unique ecosystem with fragile moss beds and pencil pine forest, thousands of years in the making. This area has been progressively fragmented by large-scale logging through years of systematic devastation, but vast areas are left untouched. The trees are often massive Eucalyptus delegatensis with a wet and lush rainforest understory,” Erik Hayward said.
“These tall forests store vast amounts of carbon and are proven to be a buffer against catastrophic fires, retaining moisture and dampening the blow of our heating Earth. This area of native forest is critical for our native wildlife species including the endangered Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spotted Quoll, Tasmanian Devil and Masked Owl. Recently, there have been reports of the critically endangered Swift Parrot travelling through.”
“The world is watching as our planet heats to unprecedented levels, wildlife is being pushed to the brink of extinction and our ecosystems collapse before our eyes. The Australian logging industry has to move on from the archaic practice of native forest logging, clearfell and burn, predominantly for chip and low grade pallet wood,“ Erik Hayward said.