Media Releases - 04 August 2020

Community Pressure Wins Temporary Reprieve for Styx Forest That Remains on Logging List

The stunning hillside coupe in the Styx Valley that was set to be cable logged. Image: Bob Brown Foundation.
  • Beautiful native forest with rainforest adjacent to the World Heritage Area was due to be cable logged & clearfelled and the Styx Road closed.
  • IPCC’s landmark Land Carbon report makes clear two most potent climate change & species protection solutions are keeping forests intact and restoring degraded forests. 

An alliance of Tasmania’s environmental groups has welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s reversal of its plans to log in the Styx region’s ‘Valley of the Giant Trees’.

The Wilderness Society Tasmania, Extinction Rebellion Tasmania, Bob Brown Foundation, Forestry Watch and The Tree Projects had called on Tasmania’s ‘Premier for Climate Change’, Peter Gutwein MP, to immediately halt plans to clearfell native forest and rainforest in coupe TN034G bordering the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.  

The coupe in the Styx Valley that was set to be cleared. Image: Bob Brown Foundation.

Controversially, the Styx Rd, a vital artery to the area for tourists and visitors, would need to be closed to allow for this proposed logging to occur. 

“Cable logging and clearfelling this forest will scrape this beautiful fairytale native forest, full of moss, tree ferns, sassafras, myrtle and huge Eucalyptus regnans, from an entire hillside. We welcome the temporary reversal of these plans by Premier Gutwein but note that it remains on the logging schedule and that there are countless other threatened forests like this that are due to be logged,” said Tom Allen, campaign manager for the Wilderness Society/Tasmania. 

“Last week, Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service informed local people the Styx Rd would be closed in mid-August for this logging to occur.  Sustainable Timber Tasmania has recently constructed a road at taxpayer expense into coupe TN034G.  Conservationists and the local community, including tourism operators, are relieved it has a reprieve but admittedly only a temporary one. It still remains a threatened forest, which, because of its High Conservation Values, should be protected,”’ said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation Campaign Manager.

“Despite this reversal, some of the world's most carbon dense forests are facing imminent threat from destructive and unnecessary logging. This is outrageous, given the catastrophic climate and ecological crisis we face,” said Claire Burgess for XR-TAS. 

“Forestry Watch condemns the logging of TN034G. We conducted a habitat survey in this coupe and delivered our results to Sustainable Timber Tasmania long before they put in a new road,” said a spokesperson form Forestry Watch. “Our findings included that it was high-value habitat with an abundance of old hollow bearing trees, and consisted of large portions of old growth in a transitioning rainforest. Sustainable Timber Tasmania should not be logging native forest in this climatic and ecological crisis.”

“The Tree Projects believes the prospect of closing off all public access to the Styx Valley is clear evidence that Sustainable Timber Tasmania is directly opposed to the Styx Valley’s potential to be a major driver of the local economies as the premier Big Tree experience in Australia,” said a Tree Projects spokesperson.  

For further comment contact Tom Allen on 0434 614 323 and Jenny Weber on 0427 366 929