Media Release: Forest skillshare shows community commitment to protecting forests

Next week a collaboration of forest groups will conduct a Forest Skillshare in southern Tasmania, featuring workshops and talks about the campaign to protect Australia’s native forests.

The forest skillshare will feature a week of workshops about the forest and forest ecology, current threats to forests including plans by the Liberal government to allow logging of the recently extended Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and effective ways of building the campaign to see better protection for Australia’s native forests” said Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened.

This is an opportunity for people to come together and strengthen their knowledge and understanding about the forest campaign.  There will also be talks about forest ecology, the impact of current industrial logging practices, the growing threat of biomass to our native forests and training sessions on threatened species monitoring” said Ms Gibson.

Over 60 people attended a similar skillshare last month in Victoria, showing the determination of the community to take a stand for Australian native forests. Fearless Summer is bringing together groups from around the country in a co-ordinated effort to highlight the need for native forest protection right across Australia” said Ms Gibson.

These skillshares are about empowering community members to take informed, peaceful  and effective action on an issue that is clearly important to them. What we see in Tasmania is the ongoing destruction of our native forests, but we also see a community that is determined to ensure that our precious forests are protected and stay protected into the future” said Ms Gibson.

“The Tasmanian Forest Agreement failed to adequately protect our native forests and now the Liberals are promising to undo what little protection we do have, as well as impost draconian mandatory prison sentences on community members who try to protect our forests, so of course the community are going to stand together. 

“Next week’s skillshare is a testament to the fact that people are willing to engage and will continue to engage in peaceful community protest to defend our forests” said Ms Gibson. 

By nativeforests

Media Release: Tasmanian conservationists join national action for forests

Today a group of conservationists have gathered at the Hobart port, where a ship is currently loading native forest veneer for export overseas.  Holding a banner calling for an end to native forest destruction, the group are standing in solidarity with conservationists from New South Wales and Victoria who are today halting the loading of a woodchip ship in Eden.

 “From the veneer ships in Tasmania to the woodchip ships exporting the forests of New South Wales and Victoria, conservationists are today taking a stand against the chain of forest destruction” said Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

In Eden (New South Wales) two people are risking arrest, locking themselves to the woodchip conveyor in order to stop loading of the woodchip vessel.  This action is part of Fearless Summer, a national collaboration between grassroots forest groups from around Australia.

“The destruction of our forests is a national shame.  To add insult to injury, our biodiverse native forests are being destroyed at a loss to Australian taxpayers, while being shipped offshore by international companies like Ta Ann and Nippon Paper” said Ms Gibson.
“Every day our precious forests are being lost, and our wildlife pushed closer to extinction, while the taxpayer foots the bill. The forestry industry has proven itself time and again to have blatant disregard for the environment and its own regulations. What we are seeing is an extinction crisis in the making, happening across Australia, and the fearless actions of these conservationists to confront this shows great courage” said David Caldwell of Goongerah Environment Centre
010814_11
By nativeforests

Media Release: Conservationists halt loading of woodchip ship

A group of conservationists have halted the loading of a woodchip ship at Eden in NSW, the latest in a series of actions by a coalition of grassroots forest groups known as Fearless Summer.

Two people have locked themselves to the conveyer that delivers woodchips from the Eden chipmill to ships waiting to transport them for export.

“This summer we have targeted every stage in the chain of destruction, from halting logging in old growth forests in East Gippsland to shutting down the Eden woodchip mill.  Now conservationists have brought their actions to the ships that export our precious native forests offshore” said Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened.

“Once common species have been pushed to the edge of extinction, as a result of decades of industrial scale logging and woodchip exports. Every day the unique forests of Victoria and New South Wales are being felled to feed the insatiable appetite of the Eden woodchip mill, and then exported overseas and turned to low value paper products by Nippon” said Dave Caldwell of Goongerah Environment Centre.

“The destructive, and largely loss making enterprise of native forest woodchip exports is a threat to ecosystems across Australia. These activists show great courage to take a stand and give the forests a voice.” He said.

DSCN7681

DSCN7641

By nativeforests

Fearless Summer Update

Fearless Summer is off to a powerful start…

In December around 60- 80 people gathered in Far East Gippsland, Victoria, for a national forest skillshare. A week of practical skills, talks, films and walks, informing and training people from around the country in preparation for grassroots forest activism.

Nippon Paper continues to exploit our native forests, chipping and shipping them offshore, while driving our endangered species to the brink of extinction. We will not be silent and allow our precious forests to be lost forever. In December a spate of Fearless Summer actions brought the forest destroying machine to a grinding halt on several occasions, as operations were stopped at logging sites across East Gippsland in Victoria and at the Eden woodchip mill in NSW.

IMG_1762

40 conservationists held up operations at the chipmill on December 9th and then again a week latter, when two protesters climbed onto a woodchip conveyor belt and attached themselves by lock-ons to the machinery. Woodchipping was halted until the pair were removed latter in the day by Police Search and Rescue.

In a stand of old growth forest at Stony Creek, conservationists captured footage of endangered long footed potoroos in the middle of an area that is now being logged. For two days logging was halted as protesters perched atop tripods blocking the road at both access points and another person climbed 30 meters to the top of a tree in the middle of the logging zone. Check out the video:

A further action halted work on the Errinundra Plateau, with another conservationist perched on a treesit platform, attached by cables to logging machinery.

These actions not only slowed down the logging of endangered species habitat, they also brought national attention to the role of Nippon Paper in the destruction of these ancient forests. And this is only the beginning…..

 

IMG_7420

What’s next?

In January, Fearless Summer heads down south to Tasmania, where industrial scale logging continues to obliterate vast tracts of native forests, driven by Malaysian timber company, Ta Ann. The Tasmanian Forest Agreement signed last year not only failed to protect forests, it in fact propped up the unviable industry, entrenching forest destruction into the future. It is now more critical than ever that we provide a voice to the forests and wildlife that are being devastated by Ta Ann.

People from around the country and the world are invited to join us in Tasmania to learn about the forests, celebrate the recent World Heritage listing and stand together to defend those forests that are still falling.

Fearless Summer Tasmania will kick off on Janary 3rd-5th with a camping trip in Upper Florentine Valley. This forest was once under threat of 15 logging operations. It was successfully defended by grassroots direct action, in Tasmania’s longest ever forest blockade, Camp Floz. Come and stay with us at the site of Camp Floz and enjoy guided walks and talks through these magnificent forests.

camp-florentine1

Three weeks of actions, events and forest monitoring projects will take place around the state. Including the Weld Echo Art Exhibition opening, in Hobart, Jan 9th. And the 2nd National Forest Skillsahre, January 12- 17th. The skillshare will feature workshops on practical action skills such as tree climbing and non-violent direct action, talks on topics such as campaign strategy and forest ecology. As well as guided walks and wildlife spotlighting.

Through out Fearless Summer volunteers can take part in monitoring Tasmania’s threatened native forests. You can learn new skills in forest surveying and contribute to this important citizen science project to document the values and threats to our forests.

If you need assistance with accommodation or transport to events, please contact us: fearlesssummeraus@gmail.com

Please download and distribute the poster below:

Fearless Summer January posterFINAL

By nativeforests

Media Release: Forest blockade enters second day

Conservationists have halted logging operations for a second day today, in a controversial area of old growth forest on the iconic Errinundra Plateau, far East Gippsland. A person is occupying a tree platform positioned 40m up an old growth gum tree. The platform is attached to logging machinery and preventing logging operations from continuing.

Logging contractors arrived this morning and are recklessly endangering the life of the conservationist occupying the tree platform by tampering with ropes attached to machines. Police have been notified and are expected to be in attendance shortly.

“Until recently this area of forest was reserved as a special protection zone, it contains a number of different forest types and is of high conservation value. it also contains old growth forest and is a known site for the endangered powerful owl” said David Caldwell, spokesperson for Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

“This area was made available for logging in 2011 as part of changes to the informal reserve system. This process swapped a large number of forest areas reserved for specific values, for areas that don’t reflect the same value. this has been something of a lifeline to  the logging industry, who have repeatedly shown poor management of Victoria’s forests at the expense of the taxpayer” he said.

“This is another example of forest destruction in the face of evidence of threatened species. Our native forests are becoming degraded and without areas like this one, they won’t be able to provide our endangered animals with a chance to survive. This is a looming extinction crisis that is being assisted by forest agencies around the nation” said Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

Today’s action is the latest in a series of actions over the last week, known as Fearless Summer, a coalition of grassroot environment groups, committed to an end to industrial scale native forest logging and export woodchipping.

 

IMG_7452

???????????????????????????????

By nativeforests

Media Release: Protesters halt logging in forest on the Errinundra Plateau

Environmentalists have halted logging in state forest on the iconic Errinundra Plateau in East Gippsland. One protester has climbed a tree more than 40 metres, and sits on a platform tied to machinery.

“Until recently this area of forest was reserved as a special protection zone, it contains a number of different forest types and is of high conservation value. It also contains old growth forest and is a known site for the endangered powerful owl.” Said David Caldwell, spokesperson for Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO)

“This area was made available for logging in 2011as part of changes to the informal reserve system. This process swapped a large number of forest areas reserved for specific values, for areas that don’t reflect the same value. This has been something of a lifeline to the logging industry, who have repeatedly shown poor management of Victoria’s forests at the expense of the taxpayer.” He said.

“This is another example of forest destruction in the face of evidence of threatened species. Our native forests are becoming degraded and without areas like this one, they won’t be able to provide our endangered animals with a chance to survive. This is a looming extinction crisis that is being assisted by forest agencies around the nation.” Said Miranda Gibson spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

Today’s action is the latest in a series of actions over the last week, known as Fearless Summer, a coalition of grassroots environment groups, committed to an end to industrial scale native forest logging and export woodchipping.

By nativeforests

Media Release: Woodchipping stopped as protesters shut down mill

Four conservationists have attached themselves to machinery inside the woodchip mill at Eden, in New South Wales. This is the second protest at the mill in the past week, calling for an end to Nippon Paper’s ongoing role in the destruction of Australia’s native forests.

 “Last week conservationists halted logging at Stony Creek, East Gippsland, in a stand of old growth forest that is home to the  endangered long footed potoroo. We are following the chain of destruction from the forest floor to the mill, where Australia’s irreplaceable forests are being chipped and shipped offshore” said Miranda Gibson spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

“Nippon Paper are an international company exploiting the destruction of Australia’s native forests and pushing our unique wildlife towards extinction. It is the tax payers who are made to foot the bill and prop up this unsustainable industry. Every state logging agency is a drain on the public purse to the tune of millions of dollars a year. Why should the Australian public pay for our forests to be lost?” said Harriet Swift spokesperson for South East Regional Conservation Alliance. (SERCA)

“Four people are today risking arrest, climbing the woodchip conveyor belt and chaining themselves to machinery in order to send a clear message to Nippon Paper. It is unacceptable that this company continues to take wood from Australian native forests, including threatened species habitat.  This follows on from actions last week, which saw three people arrested while halting logging operations in East Gippsland, Victoria.” said David Caldwell spokesperson for Goongerah Environment Centre.

“This action is part of Fearless Summer, a national collaboration of grassroots environment groups committed to defending Australia’s native forests.” he said.

IMG_1774

By nativeforests

Two years since Miranda Gibson climbed Observer Tree

Exactly two years ago Miranda Gibson climbed 60 meters to the top of a tree in Tasmania, vowing to stay until the forest was protected. It was the beginning of her 14 month long tree sit. Right now, Miranda is in East Gippsland as part of Fearless Summer. Check out and share this video she made to mark her two year anniversary of the start of Observer Tree, and a call for support in our ongoing efforts to end industrial scale logging of native forests.

Click below to view video:

Two years since climbing Observer Tree from Observer Tree on Vimeo.

By nativeforests

Short film of today’s action

Forest action at Stony Creek.
Conservationists have halted logging in a stand of forest that is home to endangered wildlife. This action is part of a national campaign to protect Australia’s native forests from destruction. Please watch and share!

By nativeforests

Media Update: Protesters remain despite police attempts to remove tree sitter

For the second day 40 conservationists have maintained a forest protest action at Stony Creek in East Gippsland. Police Search and Rescue arrived at the site this afternoon. They proceeded to tie-off cables connected to the tree sit, to release the logging machinery. Police climbed the tree-sitter’s tree, removing the platform and the protester’s personal belongings, including blankets, food and water. The tree-sitter remains perched on branches at the top of the tree. Two people are still  at the top of tripods on the road, continuing to block access to log trucks. Logging contractors have began felling trees within the logging coupe.

“The commitment of these dedicated people, willing to face arrest or difficult conditions in the tree-tops, demonstrates their resolve to see our  forests and endangered wildlife protected for the future” said Miranda Gibson, spokesperson for Still Wild Still Threatened.

“The destruction of forests that are home to threatened wildlife displays repeated disregard for the  the government’s own scientists and is an afront to the tax-payer who foots the bill. ” said David Caldwell, Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

 

By nativeforests