Protestors have taken a stand in a Tasmanian tree fern gully within forests at Meunna in north west Tasmania. The action has taken place where Sustainable Timbers Tasmania and tree fern wholesaler, Fernmania, have been cutting century-old Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns in native forests. The slow growing Dicksonia tree ferns grow as little as one inch per year.
“The very notion that in the 21st century we are cutting the giant Tasmanian tree ferns from the forests and habitats that rely on them, to sell them into the garden trade as curios, planters, stepping stones and mulch is archaic and well past its time,” said Bob Brown Foundation Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“These ferns, some well over two metres tall and over 100-years-old, are an iconic species of wet forests in Tasmania. They evoke an ancient, almost prehistoric landscape linking us to our Gondwanan past that is quintessentially Tasmanian.”
“Tree ferns nurture the unique biodiversity of Tasmania’s wet forests, providing shade to many terrestrial and epiphytic mosses, fungi and plant species. They ought be left in the forests to play their important role. But unfortunately, we know that the plundering of the tree ferns is the forerunner to the logging of these native forests.”
“Today north-west Tasmanian’s have said ‘no more.’ We are putting this industry on notice that plundering of tree ferns from native forests is over and will be opposed,” said Scott Jordan.
Bob Brown Foundation wrote to Bunnings CEO this week urging the company to cease the sale of tree fern products. Wild harvesting of Tasmanian tree ferns is conducted under licences from the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments.