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FAQs

Forest Watch uses a combination of data from satellite and radar surveillance, natural values atlas records of threatened species, and Forestry Tasmania’s three-year wood production plan.
Forest Watch is updated daily as new data is obtained.

All threatened species data listed on our website is from the Tasmanian government’s database, the Natural Values Atlas.

Bob Brown Foundation makes a significant contribution to this database with threatened species records collected during our campaign field work and citizen science surveys in native forests threatened by logging.

While we have listed threatened species in some coupes on our website, this is not a comprehensive list of the threatened species relying on this habitat. Forestry Tasmania and other government agencies fail to survey, document and account for threatened species.

Threatened species are highly likely to live and rely on all native forests in Tasmania.

Although it should not be up to eNGOs and citizens to make up for the inadequate work of the government, our foundation tries to survey as many coupes as possible.

Threatened species’ habitat is shrinking every day due to logging without knowledge of what we are losing.

One of Bob Brown Foundation’s objectives in our campaign to end native forest logging is to reveal the importance of all native forests for their threatened species values by conducting surveys that Forestry Tasmania fails to do.

Native forests play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change by absorbing and sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Older forests absorb more carbon than new or disturbed forests. On our website, we expose how much carbon native forests were absorbing each year before logging and burning occurred. It shows the terrible impact that Forestry Tasmania has on our planet’s climate by clear-felling essential carbon pumps.

The numbers are directly derived from a peer-reviewed dataset, Harris et al. (2021). Their dataset provides an annual average of forest carbon removals from the atmosphere between 2001-2022. This dataset is open-source via the website of “Global Forest Watch” and includes a list of cautions related to the interpretation of this dataset.

References:

Tasmania’s forests are home to many threatened species like the Masked Owl, Tasmanian Devil, Swift Parrot, and Giant Freshwater Crayfish. 

The state’s giant eucalyptus forests are also some of the biggest carbon storehouses in the world.

Native forests need protection for their climate, wildlife, economic and water values as intact carbon sinks and wildlife refuges. If left standing, our climate, water, and wildlife all benefit.

Native forests on public land in Tasmania are logged and burnt. Every year, wildlife-rich native forests are crushed to the ground at an industrial scale. More than half of the forest’s biomass is left on site by Forestry Tasmania after logging operations, which they scrape into piles and then burnt.

Areas of native forests ranging from 20 hectares to several hundreds of hectares are clear-felled in only a few weeks or logged in large clumps over several years, resulting in a highly disturbed forest.

All native forest logging is unnecessary.

The majority of timber taken out of the forests is for export woodchipping.

Tasmania exports woodchips to China and Taiwan and exports plywood, veneer and whole logs to Malaysia that then is exported to Japan.

Logging causes us all to be more vulnerable to wildfires, as an intact mature forest is far more resilient to fire than a logged one (Lindenmayer and Zylstra, 2023). Recent scientific studies have shown intact native forests, old and wet forests slow down the pace and intensity of bushfires, whilst regrowth forests and plantations increase the pace and severity.

Forestry Tasmania’s aim of native forest logging and aerial firebombing with napalm is to destroy any vestige of the natural forest and its wildlife habitat to facilitate the fast-growing replacement crops for export.

Reference:

  • Lindenmayer, David, and Phil Zylstra. “Identifying and managing disturbance‐stimulated flammability in woody ecosystems.” Biological Reviews (2023).
Tasmania’s government logging agency, Forestry Tasmania, deliberately incinerates large areas after logging. Helicopters drop incendiaries onto the logged area, and massive plumes of smoke spread across large areas.

They are unnecessary and polluting our atmosphere, kill wildlife, harm human health and damage the climate.

  • Damage Climate: Forestry Tasmania’s logging burns have enormous climate impacts. They put greenhouse gas emissions into Earth’s already-overloaded atmosphere.
  • Kill Wildlife: In 2023, a bushwalker gave BBF photos of a Tasmanian Devil that was burnt to death in a logging burn. Nothing lives through these dangerous and unnecessary fires. Every lizard, possum, quoll, and devil that does not escape in time is burnt to a cinder.
  • Human health: Smoke from these fires can cause harm to human health. They place particular stress on people with respiratory issues. In 2022, the smoke from forestry burns made the air quality in parts of Hobart and southern Tasmania worse and less healthy than in Beijing. In 2023, residents of a rural Tasmanian town were told to either leave or wear masks when dense “acrid” smoke blanketed their town after these logging burns.
  • Create economic loss through lost productivity for local businesses — In 2021 and again in 2023, wine and beer producers north of Hobart pleaded with authorities to stop planned forestry burns that they said threatened their livelihoods.
Native forest logging in Tasmania is one of the most unprofitable logging industries in the country, with the ludicrously named “Sustainable Timbers Tasmania” losing $454 million from 1997 to 2017. Since 2017, losses have continued at between $24 and $72 million per annum. This does not include the millions in subsidies, grants, and assistance paid to cartage contractors, millers, and woodchippers.

In 2018, the forest industry released employment figures that showed 1112 people employed in the Tasmanian native forest logging industry.

258 employed consultants, equipment sales, training; 197 employed in harvest and haulage contracting businesses, and 656 in primary wood and paper processing.

No new figures have since been released, and the industry has been shedding jobs — not increasing. Reference here.

The two million hectares of soft and hardwood plantations in Australia are quite enough to meet the nation’s needs.

The employment opportunities and economic growth opportunities are from managing protected forests and the plantation estate which already employs more people in regional Tasmania than logging native forests.

All native forests in Tasmania must be off-limits from logging destruction. Destruction of these forests accelerates Earth’s sixth mass extinction and global heating.

Native forest logging has been leaching millions of dollars from the public purse while annihilating vast tracts of unique life-giving forests. It has sent wildlife like the Swift Parrot to the brink of extinction.

Native forests cool the planet and support life on Earth. They are irreplaceable tools in addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies we face together.

They have a crucial role in sequestering carbon, which is urgently needed to mitigate the climate crisis. We must protect all remaining native forests and allow degraded forests to recover their natural carbon stocks by prioritising restoration.

Protection of Tasmania’s native forests will end the economically damaging, wildlife killing, environmental destroying logging and climate bombing that is shamefully entrenched.

Sadly, most of the parliamentarians in the new parliament support ongoing and expanded logging. Both the Labor and Liberal parties are committed to more logging and locking it in until 2040. The Grand Coalition of ‘dig it up and cut it down’ Laborials is now back governing Tasmania.

Tasmania’s Labor and Liberal parties are not sleep-walking into the climate and extinction crisis, they are deliberately running towards it by locking in native forest logging at a time when the destruction must end.

Disclaimer

WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE CONTENT WILL BE ERROR FREE, ACCURATE OR WITHOUT INTERRUPTION

This website has been prepared using best practices and due diligence using information available at the date of publication. All information is subject to change. All data is obtained from public or government sources. If the website displays information from an entity you represent and you believe the data is not accurately represented, supplemental information or a request for correction can be sent to forestwatch@bobbrown.org.au

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