Blue Derby Wild lead protest over logging of Blue Tier forests in Tasmania

ACTION: Protesters gathered at the 'big mama' near the Krushkas trail in North-East Tasmania. Picture: Supplied
ACTION: Protesters gathered at the 'big mama' near the Krushkas trail in North-East Tasmania. Picture: Supplied

Mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners and activists converged on a Tasmanian town to protest logging of coupes near mountain bike trails in the area.

Protesters gathered at the head of the famed Derby trails in the state's north-east on Tuesday afternoon before heading up the Krushkas trail to a giant Eucalyptus Regnan commonly referred to as 'big mama'.

The, Ride for Forests, protest was organised by a grassroots organisation which has been battling logging in the area for years.

Blue Derby Wild's efforts this year have been focused on citizen science expeditions aimed at cataloguing the biodiversity in the area.

Coordinator Louise Morris said the goal of the protest was to get more people involved in the efforts to save Blue Tier forests.

The groups overarching goal is to have the forests removed from production and protected in the National Park system.

The Blue Tier forests are one of only a few places in Tasmania where you can find glacia refugia - an area of land which remained unfrozen during the last great ice age.

Ms Morris said they decided to protest now because Sustainable Timber Tasmania had moved up their logging schedule putting the forests in more immediate danger.

"Since June three new logging coupes have turned up no this hill which will cover the Krushka's, Dam Busters and Atlas mountain bike trails," Ms Morris said.

"As more people are coming to the North-East, for mostly mountain biking, they are discovering these trails are set in these glorious forests which are a mix of eucalypt rainforest and then dry forest.

"Every time we talk to these people they say 'we had no idea the North-East of Tasmania had places like this,' then they are coming back with their families."

Local mountain bike guide Kerry Costello said logging the forests people were coming to see made no sense for local businesses or ecologically.

"The north east of Tasmania has seen a revival off the back of people coming to experience the natural places we have here, central to that experience are the forested trails of the Blue Derby and St Helens mountain bike trails," she said.

Two coupes near the Krushkas trail are set to be logged in 2021 with a third coupe, containing 40 ha of eucalypt, is due to be clear-felled in 2022.

This story Protesters descend on mountain bike trails first appeared on The Advocate.