Right now one of Tasmania’s most significant tracts of tall eucalypt forest is being torn apart by logging machinery. Known as BT013A, this logging coupe in Butlers Gorge, Central Tasmania, was once a part of a pristine and untouched wilderness area. For months now, machinery and chainsaws have relentlessly devastated this forest and logging continues. This is despite the fact that Butlers Gorge has been identified by the government-endorsed team of independent scientific experts as being one of, if not the most, ecologically important tracts of tall eucalpyt forest in Tasmania. Due to be protected by the conservation agreement, which was a critical part of the Intergovernmental Agreement signed in August last year, this area remained excluded from any protection and its values have been this area remained excluded from any protection and its values have been systematically degraded since then, along with those of other coupes along with two brand new roads which have been pushed into the pristine forests of Butlers Gorge.
BT013A is a logging coupe that spans 139 hectares in size, with 94 hectares to be felled. This area features a tall Eucaplytus delegatensis canopy with an understorey dominated by rainforest species including sassafras and myrtle. The coupe is bordered by a large stream and also features two smaller watercourses that run through the logged areas. These two creeks received only a small buffer, with what is called a Machinery Exclusion Zone. This means that machines can’t go within 10 meters of the creeks. However, logging can be done as close as 5 meters. Today’s blog features a photo essay documenting the forest that once stood here and the destruction that has occurred over the past few months.
This area of forest has been verified as having world heritage value and is a critical part of the proposed new reserves. We are calling for an immediate cessation of logging, and rehabilitation of this coupe. Despite the devastating impact of logging, it is not too late to protect Butlers Gorge. An extension to the current Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (only 1km from BT013A) to include all of Butlers Gorge would make a significant ecological contribution to the reserve and preserve this magnificent tract of tall eucalypt forest.
Please CLICK HERE and take a moment to help defend Butlers Gorge and other high conservation value forests across Tasmania.
To view more images, visit our Flickr page HERE.