UPDATE 10/10/2010: Loggers, greens bury axe on native forest: Australian http://j.mp/cUVgEF - details being worked out for logging phase-out now. TAKE ACTION BELOW!
Tasmania is home to the tallest hardwood forests on Earth, with eucalyptus trees reaching nearly 100 metres and living for over 400 years, existing within Australia’s greatest tracts of temperate rainforest. After thirty years of forest protest, Australia’s largest native-forest logging company Gunns Ltd. has finally announced an end to the logging of native forests in Tasmania, Australia. Gunns CEO Greg L’Estrange recently said at a conference that “native forest is not part of our future.” Campaigning against Gunns is still needed to ensure their end to native forest logging is in fact implemented. Thus far it has not been, as logging continues in the Huon area and logging activists continue to be sued. Further, Gunns must have no illusions that a paper and pulp mill industry based upon toxic chlorine-bleaching and plantation mono-crops - FSC certified or otherwise - will be acceptable.
Gunns’ announcement they plan to end their old native forest logging – as well as a recent court win ending old-growth forest logging in Victoria – highlight the need for Australia to fully stop logging old native forests. Such areas provide critical ecosystems, water and habitats and must be preserved and restored as urgent responses to land degradation, water scarcity and climate impacts. The national challenge is to establish all remaining large and old native forests - including in Queenland's northern rainforests - as ecological reserves, while creating buffers and a matrix of well-managed land elsewhere. Permaculture was invented in Australia, restoration ecology is well-established, and they have a long history of ecological mapping. There are jobs in tending regenerating secondary forests, planting ecologically restored native forests, and in establishing non-toxic, mixed native species plantations. Such a forest and job restoration vision, along with strict protection of old native forests as ecological reserves, is the only path to Tasmanian, Australian and global forest sustainability.
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Ancient trees such as these found in Tasmania's Upper Florentine must be considered still at risk until Gunns releases more specifics regarding their pledge to end native forest logging
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