Claims by the Bob Brown Foundation that Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) plan to harvest giant trees and shut the Styx road in mid-August, are a new low according to Tasmania’s Resources Minister Guy Barnett. Source: Timberbiz
“Facts have never been high on the agenda for environmental extremists,” Mr Barnett said.
“Broad-scale clearance and conversion of native forest ceased on public land more than a decade ago.”
The foundation yesterday claimed “victory” by stopping logging in the Styx Valley area of Southern Tasmania.
The Bob Brown Foundation moved into the Styx at the weekend, acting on “intelligence” that roads would soon be closed to allow logging during August.
According to STT’s three-year wood production plan, special timbers coupe TN034G, located on Styx Rd, is scheduled for a clear-felling operation in 2020.
However, STT said there were no immediate plans to harvest any coupe adjacent to the Styx Road.
“Sustainable Timber Tasmania is committed to working with neighbouring land managers to provide alternative access for the Big Tree Reserve if a road closure is required and will work to minimise the impact on local tourism operators,” STT said.
The state government reiterated that giant trees would be protected.
Mr Barnett said the claims about logging were “completely baseless”.
He said Sustainable Timber Tasmania did not harvest giant trees.
“Where giant trees occur in public production forests, they are reserved. The Government has been informed that the planned harvesting activity in the Derwent Valley is located within Permanent Timber Production Zone,” Mr Barnett said
Jenny Weber of the Bob Brown Foundation claimed the government had backed down from its logging plans following the protest action.
“Parks and Wildlife Service reliably told tourists last week that Sustainable Timber Tasmania planned to close the road into the Styx Valley of the Giants in mid-August. The closure would be for weeks if not months,” she said.
But Mr Barnett said the “completely baseless claims” from the Bob Brown Foundation and the Wilderness Society were “nothing more than scaremongering and a desperate bid to mislead the public and drive their revenue streams”.
“It is also irresponsible in the extreme, during a period of uncertainty for local businesses who need support during COVID-19, for these unnecessary scare tactics to be used.
“The fact is that Tasmanian forests are sustainably managed with some of the most stringent environmental protections in the world,” Mr Barnett said.