Styx Valley: The Adventures of Tim Georgeson

Hear photographer Tim Georgeson talk about his adventures at the Global Rescue Station in Tasmania

Feature story - 26 April, 2004
In March 2004, photographer Tim Georgeson overcame his fear of heights and returned to his native country, travelling to the Styx Valley Global Rescue Station in Tasmania, Australia. His photo's and audio interview document the destruction of this unique forest and the determined efforts to save it.

The Global Rescue Station, Styx Valley, Tasmania

But first, a little background on the tree-sit know as the Rescue Station .... on April 7, 2004 the Global Rescue Station in Tasmania's threatened Styx Valley finally came down from its 65m high perch in one of the world's tallest hardwood trees, affectionately known as "Gandalf's staff". The project was a joint effort between The Wilderness Society (Australia) and Greenpeace to protect the area from logging.

Activists from around the world inhabited the tree from anywhere between a couple of days to five months to raise public awareness of the forest's plight. They must have done something right because the Rescue Station residents had thousands of visitors including singers, politicians and international media.

There was also a diverse and colourful protest held on March 13th with close to 15,000 enthusiastic participants marching through Hobart, Tasmania. Now that the Rescue Station has come down it is hoped that a clear message has been sent to parliament and that the same fervent feeling will show up in the ballot boxes during Australia's elections later this year.

Tim Georgeson's aim was to document both the defiance and spirit of protestors and campaigners as well as the devastation of old-growth forest that is already being logged, not to mention woodchipped, poisoned and firebombed.

Here you can hear Tim talk about his experiences, from eating scrambled eggs 65 metres above the ground to being chased by a "metal spider", as well as see some of his powerful photos.

Listen to Tim talk about his adventures (mp3, 7min36secs, 1.14MB).

View Tim's photos as a slideshow.

Read weblogs, listen to singers and find background information on the project.

Do your bit:

Help save the Styx Valley by pressuring the Japanese buyers of the wood chips.

The Global Rescue Station in the Styx Valley, Tasmania, Australia. The station was over 65m above the ground so Tim had to overcome his fear of heights to take this shot!

Beautiful dense forest surrounds the station.

Below the Rescue Station was the base camp - home of email, late night chats and scrambled-egg production facilities.

A dead wombat lies on a nearby road at the edge of the forest. Once the forests are cut down they are also poisoned to prevent wildlife destroying the plantation regrowth.

Part of the colourful and diverse crowd at the March 13th protest. The crowd was reportedly 15,000 strong and as you can see, had young and old in attendance.

The base of a huge ancient tree which has been cut down - these trees can be up to 40 feet in diameter.

Scene of forest destruction with untouched Tasmanian forest close by.

Thanks to Tim for the great photos and making time to tell us about his experiences of the destruction of the forest.