Tasmanian photographer Steve Pearce spent several days climbing great heights to capture the perfect Tree Project Portrait of a 250-year-old Blackbutt near Bellingen, to show communities what they have. The tree is set to be logged under new NSW Coastal Logging Laws????
Steve's interest in the area was sparked after seeing photos of the forest on the Facebook page of a local member of the Bellingen Environment Centre, Jonas Bellchambers
"It's one of the only good patches of old growth in that area of the horseshoe, and it straddles a ridge in the headwaters of the Kalang river," Mr Bellchambers said.
"Locals and members of The Bellingen Environment Centre have been spending more time out there exploring ever since NSW Government announced plans to log the area. So far we have found endangered Rufous Scrub Birds, Koalas, and some massive trees. It's just a rare little ecosystem that stands out in the area."
“Like any emerging school of thought, wild-animal welfare makes visible what was previously overlooked, or ignored. For example, you might reasonably imagine that clearing wild-animal habitats for houses, or farms, or auto malls, involves a respectable trade-off: human needs vs. animal inconvenience. A 2017 study of land clearing in Australia addresses what is actually involved. Turns out the animals do not simply pack their bags and make a fresh start somewhere new. “The clear scientific consensus is that most, and in some cases all, of the individuals present at a site will die as a consequence of that vegetation being removed, either immediately or in a period of days to months afterward,” the authors write.
They lay out the suffering in exhaustive detail: Animals are crushed, impaled, or lacerated. Some are buried alive. They endure internal bleeding, broken bones, spinal damage, eye injuries, head injuries. Limbs are lost. “Degloving”—partial skinning, alive—occurs. Those that flee their homes (many are surprisingly reluctant to do so) are often run over on nearby roads, entangled in fences, die of exposure, or are made easy prey for predators. You don’t really want to hear this, but tree-dwelling species may cower in their holes up to the moment they pass through the sawmill or the wood-chipping machine. You don’t really want to hear that koala bears may starve when land is cleared—“an issue that has surprisingly not generated much discussion.” By the authors’ estimate, 50 million mammals, birds, and reptiles ultimately die each year due to land clearing in two Australian states alone.” #deforestation