Saturday, April 3, 2010
Death of a Forest Shared
Our view in Karoola is dominated by magnificent Mount Arthur. At 1200 metres, it's one of Tasmania's higher peaks, and home to the burrowing crayfish which is listed as a vulnerable species. We love to take the road part way to the summit, sip sparkling wine in fresh air by the clearest mountain river, and walk through rugged bush to the summit to take in top-of-the-world views across northern Tasmania and Bass Strait. The top photo is what we call Fern Corner, taken in March 2008 on just one of these days. Yesterday, on Good Friday, we were stunned to see the same corner made bare by logging. We support our local sawmill, but it doesn't feel right that the one route to the top of our ancient mountain blessed by native bush and wildlife, should be dealt this fate, without comment or resistance, because those who have resisted have given up on being heard. Fern Corner will self-heal, but it has been destroyed for at least a generation and mountain lovers who crave summit roads will first have to trek open-mouthed through their version of Armageddon, made worse because it is industrial. Hectares of plantations have been established specifically for timber production; so why, we wonder, are public routes of immense beauty, and which give access to local wilderness and extreme amenity, treated with such lack of care or regard by the people entrusted to look after our forests?
"Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery." - John Ruskin