South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

South Sister

supporter's letter

I thought I'd write to you to say how much Louise and I enjoyed the day we spent with you and your friends in the South/North sister area last Sunday.

Although we had driven through St Marys dozens of times we had never thought to detour into that area, usually being in a hurry to get to our shack.

What a revelation it was! It has everything a bushwalker/rockclimber/naturalist could want.

We are keen bushwalkers with a particular interest in native plants and we were amazed at the variety of the flora in the area you showed us. Despite the best of the flowering season being past, we were impressed at the large number of species which we saw in bloom, some of which we rarely see elsewhere e.g the Euphrasia which we saw in profusion and in full flower and the Lobelia gibbosa (which I have only seen once before). The variety and profusion of the fern species was also impressive.

What a beautiful area and what a terrible shame to think that it is slated for logging.

Having seen other areas which have been 'selectively logged' I am appalled at the thought of the damage which will be wrought on this beautiful spot. If it were practical for trees to be felled by people on foot and then removed by helicopter, it would be bad enough. However, when heavy machines must plough through the forest to gain access and then to remove the felled trees the 'collateral damage' is awful. Add to that the weeds introduced by the machines and trucks, the possible adverse effects on the water cycle and the damage to the habitat of the local fauna and you have a dismal scenario.

Far better for the decision makers in this state to make people more aware of the attractions of areas like this and to promote their use in a more sustainable and less damaging way e.g. for tourism, education etc. I am sure that the local people would benefit much more from such alternative uses and for a lot longer. Certainly, more detailed studies of the flora and fauna should be done before the logging is allowed to go ahead.

I wish you ever success in your endeavours to save this wonderful part of Tasmania.

Roy Skabo
January 14, 2005

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50419-5326 (1, 2, 17, 101)