Media Release: Logging Rainforest Reserves virtually unconstrained in Draft Special Species Management Plan for Tasmania
Rainforest reserves can be logged without triggering any assessment of the impact on the specific reserve values or the effect on existing reserve management plans under the draft Special Species Management Plan released today by the Tasmanian government for public comment.
Additionally, over 350,000ha of high conservation value forests previously designated for future protection under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement would be logged, potentially affecting a huge list of threatened wildlife, including the wedge-tailed eagle, masked owl, spotted-tailed quoll, eastern quoll, swift parrot, grey goshawk, white-bellied sea eagle and Tasmanian devil as well as the other conservation values of these forests.
Also controversially, the purported sensitive logging allows for a method that effectively clearfells logging coupes over 3 separate incursions of 30% clearance each time.
“The Tasmanian government shows complete disregard for the conservation values of each reserve targeted for Specialty Species logging after they controversially amended laws on management of existing Conservation Areas and Regional Reserves to open them to logging, many of them rainforest reserves protected for their rainforest values. There is no provision requiring an assessment of the impact of proposed logging on existing reserve management plans and reserve values,” said Peg Putt, CEO of Markets For Change.
“Logging existing reserves is controversial in the extreme, unacceptable in conservation terms, and fraught with danger to Tasmania’s reputation, yet this draft plan to do so assumes that what amounts to three stage clearfelling is acceptable.”
“The large area comprising former proposed reserves designated by the abandoned Tasmanian Forest Agreement also is targeted for rainforest logging concentrated in the Tarkine, so the risk to Tasmania’s brand and markets is live if logging begins in October as planned.”
“The plan to log such precious places is ideologically driven madness,” Ms Putt concluded.