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Erik is a public policy professional and owner of the online training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Saving the Old Growth Forests

A face growing in an ancient, mossy tree
A face in the forest.  This used to be in Mt Field National Park.  It has now been logged.

Ever wondered what the world would look like without people?  I once answered that question by walking solo through unbroken old-growth forest for five days on a compass bearing.  Those forests are gone.  Forty years of industrial logging have taken their toll on the great forests of the world and Tasmania’s forests are no different.  I spend the better part of a decade fighting to save them. We are now in the end-game fighting over what’s left and there is still much to gain.  This photo essay is as relevant as ever since these sorts of forests are being logged as I type. 
Girl standing in front of a huge tree
This is the East Picton forest, now logged.
So am I against logging?  Where is the balance?  I’ll just say that after 200 years of land clearance and four decades of industrial logging it is time to protect what’s left of world heritage value and transition to plantation and re-growth, with some small scale carefully managed logging for furniture/craft timbers.  Meanwhile the timber industry is experiencing the collapse that academics and environmentalists predicted 20 years ago.
Woman sitting on tree stump looking out over logged forest
This wasn't protected by the Feds. Can you spot the lady?
Note that the Tasmanian government has actively suppressed development of industrial hemp as an agricultural industry in Tasmania.  Now even the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is asking for those restrictions to be removed so they can found a new industry.  We did it before with poppies and essential oils.  Only ignorance keeps us poor.

Ancient forest destroyed by Forestry Tasmania
Forestry Tasmania felt the need to regenerate this patch of old growth forest that had been there since the last ice age.
Where the road ends.  Logging road pushing west into virgin forest.
Get a birds eye view from the observer tree: www.observertree.org

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