Now We Know Why People Are Outraged About This Photo Of A Log On A Truck

A video capturing the removal of a massive native Australian tree from Tasmania’s old growth forests has ignited a firestorm of controversy and indignation online. The footage showcases a segment of an immense trunk that is believed to belong to a Eucalyptus regnans, the world’s second tallest tree species after the California Redwood, filling an entire trailer.

Conservationists and environmentalists are deeply concerned about these logging practices, as they believe they are detrimental to the delicate ecosystems of old growth forests. The image of a century-old tree being transported for processing has struck a chord with individuals worldwide.

Prominent conservationist Bob Brown expressed his outrage, labeling the logging of these pristine forests as “globally shameful.” Brown lamented the loss of this natural wonder, emphasizing that the tree’s death represents an unnecessary and publicly subsidized act. He decried the destruction of the tree, which also brought about the displacement of birds, mammals, and other wildlife that had coexisted with the tree for centuries.

The fate of this colossal tree, however, is already sealed. Forestry Tasmania, now known as Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT), plans to burn most of the remaining tree on the forest floor. Tasmania’s timber industry is economically significant, contributing over $1 billion to the state’s economy and providing employment opportunities to thousands. STT defended its actions by citing “safety reasons” as the driving force behind the felling.

Suzette Weeding, STT’s general manager for conservation and land management, clarified that the decision to remove the tree was documented and that the timber product was being recovered whenever feasible. She further explained that the tree was felled as part of harvesting operations within an area known as FO020B, which adheres to a Forest Practices Plan, a legal requirement under the Forest Practices Act. This plan dictates specific management protocols, including the documentation of tree measurements to ensure compliance with appropriate guidelines.

While STT claims to operate within the certified Forest Practices Plan, critics remain unconvinced. The Wilderness Society and other conservation groups have raised concerns about the logging of large trees within designated areas, questioning the efficacy of existing regulations in safeguarding these ancient giants.

Euan Ritchie, a Professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at Deakin University, aptly described the situation as an “utter environmental travesty.” He posed a poignant question, asking what the public’s reaction would be if the felled tree were a whale rather than a tree.

As public dissent continues to grow, Bob Brown took to the Florentine Valley in protest. He bemoaned the transformation of what was once a forest of towering giants into a landscape of broken branches and debris. Brown issued a call for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to intervene, urging him to visit the site and address the issue at the upcoming Labor’s National Conference.

The controversy surrounding the felling of ancient trees underscores the broader debates over environmental conservation and sustainable practices. While some states have pledged to end native logging, the situation in Tasmania and other regions without such commitments highlights the ongoing struggle to strike a balance between economic interests and the preservation of invaluable natural habitats.