World's tallest living Christmas tree is home to Greenpeace activists in Tasmania.
The activists, from Japan, Australia, and Canada watched their
forest perch turn into a beacon of hope for the Tasmanian Forest
December 17th when more than 3,000 solar-powered lights were
"This ancient tree has seen over 400 Christmases in its long
lifetime," said Wilderness Society Campaigner Geoff Law.
"It is a great pity that a living relic such as this is could be
clearfelled, ground into woodchips and sent to paper companies in
Japan," he said.
Like other trees in the Styx, the tree is scheduled to be logged
in the coming year.
The Styx Valley, just 70km (44 miles) west of Hobart in southern
Australia, has the largest hardwood trees in the world. Many are
taller than a 25-storey building, over 400 years old and up to five
metres wide at the base.
The forest is home to endangered and rare animals such as the
majestic wedge-tailed eagle and the grey goshawk, as well as
bettongs, bats, wombats and possums. Its dramatic terrain features
limestone caves, the high dolerite bluffs of the Snowy Range, and
the Styx River.
These forests are being logged for woodchip, using practices
banned in the rest of Australia and seen only in developing
countries. Old growth forests are clearfelled and fire-bombed from
the air with petrochemicals. Carrots laced with poison are then
used to kill wallabies and possums that browse on the seedlings
established in place of the cleared forests. The poisoned carrots
also kill other wildlife ('non-target' species) such as bettongs,
quolls and owls.
The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace and other community groups
are calling for the immediate protection of about 240,000 hectares
of old growth forests. This is about a quarter of the public
forests currently available for logging.
The activists have been living in the world's tallest tree-sit
since November 12. They were recently joined by acclaimed singer
John Butler, who recorded "Treat your mama with respect" high
above the forest. (You can listen to the song here.)
You can wish the activists a happy holiday via their weblog, where you can join
their efforts to stop these magnificent forests from being turned
into woodchips by
adding your voice to the more than 5,000 cyberaction emails
that have been sent to buyers from over 91 countries, urging them
not to source woodchips from Tasmanian ancient forests.
As Japanese activist Sakyo Noda said, "I want to show
Mitshubishi, Oji and Nippon, the Japanese buyers of Styx woodchips
the beauty of this ancient forest, which is home to rare and
endangered species, and to let them know that they can help stop
"They can choose to source their woodchips from sustainably
managed plantations instead of buying from the destructive logging
company Gunns Ltd," he said.
Gunns is the biggest native-forest logging company in Australia
and the biggest hardwood-chip company in the world.
"Living in that tree-sit, they remind me of Merry and Pippin
riding the shoulders of a wise and ancient Ent," said one
cyberactivist, in a post referring to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
-- "I hope their battle against the logging industry will end the
evil that is being done to their forest."
Contact the Japanese buyers of Tasmanian woodchips.
Become a forest
Visit the Styx Valley