Sharks and forests

No, sharks don’t live in forests: I have two quick stories today, just sharing a couple of recent good-news stories associated with some really nice photos and videos.

First, forests: a 30-year feud between loggers and green groups in Tasmania ended late last month with a deal between the parties. More than 500,000 hectares of native Tasmanian forest will be protected from logging, while about 140,000 cubic metres of sawlogs will be made available to the timber industry. The agreement doesn’t give any group everything they wanted (which suggests to me that it was probably as fair a balance as we could hope for) but the mere fact that we have an agreement is worth something.

But the main reason I wanted to mention it here is that the Wilderness Society, who have been working for the protection of Tasmania’s wild forests for many years put together this amazing slideshow of the forests which will be saved. Do take a look – it’s beautiful.

Closer to home, sharks made a rare – possibly unique – appearance in a feel-good story on the front page of our local paper which was picked up by the ABC and presented on ABC Queensland news.

The sharks were Leopard Sharks from our Reef HQ Aquarium, so I covered the story, too, in the aquarium volunteers’ newsletter and can share photos with you here as well.

Aquarist Hamish with friend
Aquarist Hamish with friend, as seen in our newspaper
one shark biting another on the fin
Standard leopard shark courting behaviour. Most of us wouldn’t like a love bite like this!

For a little more on Leopard Sharks’ courtship, and its relation to our own, click here for my previous story on the subject.

Tasmania’s Wilderness Battles

Buckman - Tasmania's Wilderness BattlesGreg Buckman

Tasmania’s Wilderness Battles

Jacana, June 2008, $29.95

Wilderness has been a bigger community issue in Tasmania than in any other Australian state, so a history of the fight to preserve it has a lot of ground to cover. Buckman organises it chronologically within four strands – hydro-electric power, forestry, mining and national parks – and traces them from the 1850s to the beginning of this year.

‘The Hydro’ created the biggest issues: Lake Pedder and the Franklin River made national headlines and political history from the 1960s to the 1980s. The conservationists’ focus then shifted to forestry, confronting the rise of woodchipping and the (stalled, as of October 2008) Tamar Valley pulp mill. Continue reading “Tasmania’s Wilderness Battles”

Forestry in Tasmania – a photographic souvenir

• This is one of a few articles I published elsewhere long before Green Path was begun or even conceived but is still relevant enough to deserve a place on the blog. The date-stamp will say 2005, the date of first publication, although the article was only added to GP in 2016. 

I was lucky enough to be able to visit Tasmania for a mixture of business and social reasons at the end of March 2005. The Tuesday after Easter was a perfect Autumn day in Hobart and my host suggested a trip to Hartz Mountains National Park, just over an hour’s drive South-West of Hobart (more info here). By the time we arrived it was nearly lunchtime, but we set off towards Hartz Peak anyway.

Hartz peak

We walked as far as Lake Esperance and stopped for a sandwich. While we were there, another hiker pointed out to us a small cloud of smoke rising from a valley over to our East, between us and the Huon Valley. Continue reading “Forestry in Tasmania – a photographic souvenir”