26th April 2012 – Tasmanian Devils Demand Den Protection
15 conservationists from Still Wild Still Threatened, Huon Valley Environment Centre and Code Green are conducting a “sit in” at Forestry Tasmania’s Hobart headquarters, dressed as Tasmanian devils. The groups are calling for the protection of maternal devil den sites and formal reserves to secure habitat areas. The “devils” have occupied the atrium of the Forestry Tasmania building and are refusing to leave.
Today’s action highlights community concerns surrounding recent findings of a healthy juvenile devil in an area scheduled for logging, in the forest of the Tyenna Valley, surrounding The Observer Tree. Miranda Gibson, permanent resident of The Observer Tree platform for the past four months, released footage of the young devil on Monday
“This footage is evidence of the existence of devil dens in the area. In December Still Wild Still Threatened released footage of a mother devil in the same location. Had logging proceeded in this area over summer, the maternal den site would have been disturbed and this young devil may not have survived. This highlights the importance of protecting these forests for the future survival of this species” said Ms Gibson
“Maternal dens are used from generation to generation. It is likely that this young devil may raise young in the same area. With these findings it is now more critical than ever that these high conservation value forests are formally protected” said Ms Gibson.
“Tasmanians are calling for greater protection for Tasmania’s most iconic species. The Tasmanian devil and other endemic species are at risk of extinction due to rapid decreases in population and secure undisturbed habitat. The community is demanding Forestry Tasmania and the State Government install immediate measures to ensure the restoration and protection of habitat for our unique species. Protection of the 572,000ha of native forests, over half of which were identified by the government’s experts as key habitat for the Tasmanian Devil, is the obvious first step to take.” said spokesperson for today’s action Ali Alishah (Still Wild Still Threatened).
Four conservationists have been arrested today at Forestry Tasmania’s Hobart headquarters. An alliance of forest groups including Still Wild Still Threatened, Huon Valley Environment Centre and Code Green conducted a “sit in” dressed as Tasmanian devils. The “devils” occupied the atrium of the Forestry Tasmania building and refused to leave. Four demonstrators were arrested and charged with committing a Trespass. They have subsequently been released on bail.
“Today’s successful action has shown the level of community concern regarding the welfare of this endangered species. With recent findings of a healthy juvenile devil in the forest near the base of my tree, there has been widespread concern about the impact of logging operations on young devils and in particular on maternal devil dens” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Miranda Gibson.
“These committed conservationists today have risked arrest in order to highlight the plight of the endangered Tasmanian devil. The protection of habitat and maternal den sites is a critical first step to ensuring the survival of the Tasmanian devil” said Ms Gibson.
Hi, my name’s Miranda Gibson and I have been occupying an old growth tree in southern Tasmania for the past four months. The tree sit, called The Observer Tree is fully equipped with power and internet access. From my upper canopy home I have been connecting with people all around the world to share the message for forest protection. I came up the tree on December 14th 2011, when logging began in this area of forest. It had been several months since the Australian government had promised an “immediate conservation agreement” on this forest as part of 430,000 hectares. Yet, this promise was not kept and logging continued as rapidly as ever in Tasmania’s high conservation value forests. This is why I decided to climb this tree and I have made a commitment to stay up here until the forest receives the protection it so desperately needs. Through out the past four months I have spoken at community forum, stalls, festivals, events and press conferences both in Tasmania and around the world. As part of this weeks international action of Occupy the Trees I am having a virtual “Open Day” all week in the Observer Tree. Anyone from anywhere around the world is invited to chat to me (via Skype). I would love to talk to you and let you know what I’m doing here and what life is like in the upper canopy of this spectacular forest that is currently threatened by logging. Contact me to organise a time to skype. You could even get together a group of friends, colleagues or community members. I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org You can check out my website and daily blog: www.observertree.org
Check out this video about The ObserverTree
Media Release 24 April 2012 – Call for ban on forest burns, climate and health hazard, Flare Protest and online action in Tasmania
Huon Valley Environment Centre has today launched a campaign with a protest flare on Hobart’s Parliament lawns. Members of the community let off twenty flares on the lawns of the state parliament.
“The community has demonstrated today to call for a ban on the environmentally disastrous logging burns. The so called “regeneration burns” turn the world’s cleanest air into a health hazard. The entire state of Tasmania has to suffer air pollution and climate impacts, because Forestry Tasmania and the logging industry continue to pursue the archaic, ecologically unsound practice of logging and burning in the forests,” Jenny Weber said.
Huon Valley Environment Centre today launched an online action that will provide citizens the avenue to write to the State and Federal Ministers for Health and the Environment and the respective Attorneys General, calling on them to introduce legislation to ban the practice of “regeneration burns” in Tasmania.
“Tasmania needs a breath of fresh air and the Huon Valley Environment Centre is calling for a ban on the forestry industry’s “regeneration burns,” Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.
“We oppose the wasteful practice of polluting the clean air, threatening our health and environment and damaging the clean green brand of Tasmania,” Jenny Weber said
“Forestry Tasmania’s clearfall and burn method is destroying the natural forest ecology to turn it into a loggers wonderland, at the same time that it is dumping massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and polluting people’s lungs with particulates that are injurious to health,” Jenny Weber said.
Media Release: 23rd April 2012 – ObserverTree exposes baby devils in area threatened by logging
Miranda Gibson, Tasmania’s long-time treesitter in The Observer Tree has today released footage of a baby devil in the threatened forest that Gibson is living in.
New footage captured in the forest surrounding The Observer Tree shows a healthy juvenile Tasmanian devil. Still Wild Still Threatened conservationists have been monitoring this area of forest for the past six months and in December 2011 captured footage of a devil believed to be taking food back to young in the den. The new footage reveals a young devil that is of right age to be the offspring.
Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Miranda Gibson has been at the top of a tree watching over this area of threatened forest for the past four months.
“It is a significant find to see young healthy devils in this forest, adding to the already clear evidence that these areas need protection. Tragically we are losing this species to a rapacious disease (DFTD) yet everyday habitat and maternal dens are being destroyed by ongoing logging ” said Ms Gibson.
“It is not clear what happens to mothers and their young devils when maternal dens are destroyed by logging and heavy machinery. If logging had proceeded in this area, this young devil may have been trapped and died in it’s den. The habitat of the young dispersing devil is still under threat from logging, despite the area being verified as having world heritage values by the Government’s commissioned
independent report by Jonathon West.” said Ms Gibson.
“The Jonathon West report showed that more than half of the proposed forest reserves are high priority for the protection of Tasmanian devils. Immediate and full legislated protection is required for these world heritage value forests and to ensure the protection of den sites which are passed on between generations of Tasmanian devils ” said Ms Gibson.
Still Wild Still Threatened releases this footage today coinciding with an International Day of Action for Occupy the Trees. An alliance of forest groups including Still Wild Still Threatened, Huon Valley Environment Centre and Code Green will join forest advocacy groups in the USA and conduct a calendar of events this week to highlight the destruction of wild places around the world and the irreversible impacts of climate change.