Change of ownership of part of Tarkine

A 338-hectare stretch between the Arthur River and Marrawah has been purchased from a private owner by the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania with a donation of $325,000 from well-known Tasmanian philanthropist Graeme Wood, combined with funds from the Indigenous Land Corporation the Bob Brown Foundation, and the Tasmania Land Conservancy according to an ABC new story  – with photos.

This land, known as ‘Kings Run’, “is home to Indigenous burial sites, hut depressions and habitats for multiple threatened species, including the Tasmanian Devil and the wedge-tailed eagle.” The land was originally owned by Geoff King who changed his land use practices from a cattle property once he understood the consequences to the natural and cultural environment; read more here

The Advocate newspaper offers photos and information not presented in articles by other news sources.

The Mercury newspaper extends the story and shows photos of the area.  Apparently “Under the ownership arrangement, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre rangers will manage Kings Run as an extension of the nearby Preminghana Indigenous Protected Area.”  Further information about this protected area can be read here.  A booklet describing plans for the Preminghana area can be read here

This small piece of land is situated in the northern Tarkine on the coast between Marrawah and the Arthur River. My plans to travel to this part of Tasmania to discover more about the northern Tarkine are set – my friend and I are allowing two weeks to see the coasts, the forests, the lakes and the rivers. It is not much time for all that territory but it should give us a reasonable understanding of the diversity of the area, and its value.  We are now counting the days until we leave.

Marrawah to Arthur River

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Federal government has sanctioned more access to the Tarkine

The Bob Brown Foundation has released a number of statements including the following:

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed a new Regional Forest Agreement with Tasmanian Premier Hodgman in August, it was a death sentence for forests protected in reserves for decades, right across Tasmania. Even forests protected by Prime Minister John Howard are now open for logging. Australia’s largest temperate rainforest in the Tarkine wilderness is the main target for the chainsaws and bulldozers.  These suddenly-vulnerable forests include crucial habitat for rare and endangered species like the Swift Parrot, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Masked Owl, Tasmanian Devil and Giant Freshwater Crayfish. Sadly this is not a bad dream – it’s a real nightmare – our governments want to log protected rainforests in one of the last great wilderness areas on the planet.

You can read more about the wonders of the Tarkine here and more about the appalling situation being furthered by governments here.

Have a think. Is there anything you can do other than say ‘this is bad’.  Is there any practical action you feel you can take which will alert decision makers to your feelings about the situation?  Don’t worry that your action might seem puny or irrelevant.  Any action will be a further reminder to those who should know better, that their decisions are flawed.

Did you know the Tarkine in Tasmania’s northwest is not protected as a National Park or World Heritage Area?  You have seen some of my photos of this glorious landscape throughout this blogsite, and there are thousands of others out there to enjoy – if you cannot travel to see the forests and rivers.  Apart from the beauty, surely the natural history and the social history of both indigenous and non-indigenous people are worth preserving – especially when there is no benefit to be gained there that cannot be gained by forestry in other parts of Tasmania.

You can lodge a vote for the Tarkine hereI have voted. Will you?

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Life in the Tarkine

One of my favourite bloggers shared his photo of a healthy example of Tasmania’s wonderful fauna. Have a look at This Amazing Planet. This little critter looks very much like our macropod, the Pademelon.  Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service provides information here (http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=4863).

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Destruction in the Tarkine

I have written before about loutish behaviour and disregard of the environment in the Tarkine. The news today brings another grim story, complete with a horrifying photograph. Have a look at “4WD damage in Tasmania’s Arthur Pieman Conservation Area stokes anger”.

Our spineless State Government thinks that allowing vehicular access will prevent more hooning.  I cannot work out how they reach this view.  Very puzzling.  Very sad.

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Mainland ‘discoveries’

For blog followers who enjoy the photographs of our natural landscape and related information, you may enjoy  accessing my new blog titled Mainland ‘discoveries’.

It will be a few months before our Tarkine story is ready to continue (we are yet to visit the northern Tarkine) so, over the coming weeks, I have a treat for you to fill the gap.

I have written this new blog to give you the opportunity to ‘see’ some of the extraordinary Savannah country west of Cairns in northern Queensland which I ‘discovered’ a couple of months ago, and to ‘see’ a little of the East and West MacDonnell Ranges , Uluru and Kata Tjuta in central Australia which I visited recently.

Here are a few photos (from Undara, Almaden and Chillagoe) to whet your appetite.

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If you want to see more then please go to: Mainland ‘discoveries’ here

This new blogsite is set up with an explanation of ‘what the blog is about’ ready for you to read. The first post will be published the day after tomorrow so, today,  if you take action as described below you will be ready for that new set of photos and stories.

Please make sure you add in your email address on the right hand side of the front page of this new Mainland ‘discoveries’ blog that every time I publish a new post you automatically receive an email. I will not be creating a separate Facebook page or Twitter connection so accessing the photos and stories directly through the blog or via the automatic email will be the only method.

Of course when I have visited the northern Tarkine the record of that discovery will continue being published on this Touching the Tarkine blog.

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From the southern to the northern Tarkine

Thank you to all those people (and I have been delighted that there have been so many) who indicated regularly that they enjoyed my report from visiting the southern Tarkine.  If you have never toured around the Tarkine then I urge you to think about doing so for your own personalised experiences. Guaranteed to uplift your spirits.

This post is to let you know that the first stage of the trip is finished and all the posts with their glorious photos have been published online.  But there is much more to Tasmania’s Tarkine. My friend Jeanette and I have now finished creating a 12 day itinerary to look at the diversity in the northern Tarkine’s physical and cultural environment. We will travel there later this year.

We are both incredibly excited and have planned to explore the coastal terrain from slightly north of Marrawah to slightly south of Temma. From time to time we will head inland to places including Dismal Swamp, and the Sumac, Julius River, Rapid River, Lake Chisholm, Milkshake Hills, and Trowutta Forest Reserves.  Possibly the highlight of our trip (but who knows what wonders we will uncover) will be our 6 hour journey upstream along the Arthur River to the junction with the mighty Frankland River.

If you access Google maps and look at the satellite view of the landscape between the Frankland River junction and the west coast at the settlement of Arthur River, you will appreciate the density of the vegetation and the impenetrability of that landscape.

Coast to Frankland River junction.JPG

The owner/pilot of the Arthur River Red Boat Cruise tells me that during the 19th century, two prisoners escaped from Risdon (now a suburb of Hobart in the south east of Tasmania) and made their way north until they reached the mouth of the Arthur River.  Somehow they obtained a small boat and the pair rowed their way up the river (of course they had no idea where they were or where they were going) until they reached the Frankland River junction.  The boat capsized and one died and the other set out to walk back to the coast keeping to the Arthur River’s edge as much as possible.  Apparently his walk over these approximately 18 kms took 9 days (a strong indication that this is an appallingly difficult bushwalking landscape). Once back he was so exhausted and demoralised that he handed himself in and asked to be taken back to prison.

Between now and when our northern Tarkine experience is complete, you should not expect new posts.  If I write any posts, they will be of a general nature and not directly related to the journey which Jeanette and I have made to date.  Of course,  I look forward to reinvigorating the blog with all the stories (and many more photos) from our northern Tarkine trip as soon as I return in a few months’ time.

Perhaps you can help in the meantime. If you see interesting information about the Tarkine, please let me know so I can spread the information more widely through the blog.  Just send me an email on touchingthetarkine@gmail.com with links or suggestions or facts.

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Love the Tarkine

Online I continue to come across websites and social media sites devoted to the Tarkine.

One of those on Twitter, Love the Tarkine can be found at @lovethetarkine.  You may be interested to follow this Twitterer either on Twitter or on his/her Facebook site at facebook.com/LoveTheTarkine. You will find more glorious photos of the bush, the waterways and the coastline of the Tarkine.

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