Media Releases - 18 December 2020
Turn Tasmania's Widest Known Tree Into A Tourism Asset Not Woodchips
"Tasmania has a new widest-known tree but it's currently unprotected, vulnerable and could easily fall victim to logging. There's huge scope to protect it and turn it into a tourist drawcard," said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania.
“Today, we’ve written to the Premier, Peter Gutwein, in his capacity as Minister for Tourism and Minister for Climate Change, as well as Luke Martin, CEO of the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania and Steve Whiteley, CEO of Sustainable Timber Tasmania, to ask them to work together to protect the tree and turn it into a tourism destination sorely needed by the local community.
“It’s really easy to envisage this tree becoming a tourism asset, with a walking board around it, signage at its base and featuring in tourism marketing collateral.
"Having spoken to Maydena Bike Park, which use a track metres from the tree, I'm really pleased that they're up for a conversation about how this could work.
“This tree, which is currently unprotected and vulnerable, stands in an area that is due to be clearfelled. It would be tragic for this tree to become collateral damage and woodchipped when logging commences. We've asked Sustainable Timber Tasmania to protect it and create a buffer around it.
“We hope that the Premier will intervene to protect this tree and, with a common sense decision, turn this into a good news story, a tourism asset for the Maydena regional community and a new destination in the State’s emerging big tree tourism scene.
"The tree, a Eucalyptus regnans, was first named and discovered by Brett Mifsud and was recently rediscovered thanks to Forestry Watch. Without their collective efforts, there's a real risk this tree could have been quietly logged and no one would have known better. Now, thanks to them, we do," said Mr Allen.
Local mountain biker, Bianca Sciaretta, said "We'd just like to see places like this protected and used for tourism."
The tree in question:
- measures over 20 metres in circumference
- is on Permanent Timber Production Zone land
- is unprotected and vulnerable to logging
- At 66 metres high, the tree is below Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s (entirely arbitrary) giant tree height of 85 metres
- is metres from logging coupe TN031B (which is on ‘Sustainable’ Timber Tasmania’s logging schedule and is due to be clearfelled)
- metres from a track used by Maydena Bike Park
Contact Tom Allen, 0435 614 323