A forest a day! July 13: BT011C, Butlers Gorge
Image by Rob Blakers
Nestled deep in the wilderness is an area of forest known to the logging industry as BT011C. Recommended for inclusion in the World Heritage Area this coupe was meant to be in a moratorium many months ago. Yet, in blatant disregard for the very premise of the Tasmanian Forests Inter-Govermental Agreement (IGA) Forestry Tasmania (FT) has preceded to push a brand new road through the pristine forest to give the industry access to BT011C. If this area is close to receiving formal protection, the question remains why FT is spending tax payers money on establishing a new logging road?
Butlers Gorge has exceptional wilderness value, and prior to the advent of logging and new roads within the past decade, it was mapped as “high quality wilderness” [Wilderness Mapping 2006] (Hitchcock 2012: 147). It is absolutely remarkable that this tract of forest escaped, for as long as it did, the onslaught of logging that has ravaged so many places around Tasmania. It is even more devastating then, that its wilderness qualities should be compromised at this time, when it is on the table as a proposed new reserve.
Only a few kilometers away is the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which holds as one of its major reasons for protection its “wilderness quality” (Parks and Wildlife 2004). The maintenance and enhancement of this quality is one of the major objectives of the TWWHA management Plan (Parks and Wildlife 2004). The remoteness and wilderness value of an area is severely compromised by the encroachment of logging operations. For this reason forestry operations need to end immediately in Butlers Gorge. The new road to BT11C should never have been built, but it is not too late to ensure that it is never used by log trucks or forestry machinery.
The IVG report states “Only with the recent advent of roading and selective logging has the wilderness quality been eroded but with cessation of logging and some rehabilitation, this outstanding tract of tall eucalypt forest could again be restored to wilderness condition” (Hitchcock 2012: 146).
Please CLICK HERE to take a moment to help protect BT011C and other high conservation value forests in Tasmania.
For more information about the ‘A forest a day’ project, which is a collaboration between Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened, The Last Stand, Markets for Change and Code Green, please click HERE.
Parks and Wildlife Service (2004) State of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area—an evaluation of management effectiveness, Report No. 1 (Summary Report), Department of Tourism Parks Heritage and the Arts, Hobart Tasmania
Hitchcock, P. (2012), IVG Report 5A: Verification of the Heritage Value of ENGO proposed Reserves, p. 77 [View online]