More misleading claims by bogus web site www.taann.com.au
A group calling itself The Last Stand and claiming to be a charity has also registered a web site called www.taann.com.au despite this being in breach of regulations by auDA that states:
Domain names in the com.au 2LD must be:
a) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark; or
b) otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant.
The web site is also endorsed by the secretly funded Markets for Change and another charity, the Huon Valley Environment Centre.
On this site they make a series of claims and have also rebutted factual information published on the real Ta Ann Tasmania web site, www.taanntas.com.au
The claims are made to influence a process being undertaken by the Australian and Tasmanian Government that is another attempt to find a resolution to demands for more reservation and the needs of the Tasmania economy to have a sustainable forest and timber industry. The misleading claims are being used to harass customers of Ta Ann and SMKC in Japan and elsewhere.
Ta Ann Tasmania has factually stated that it is a manufacturer not a logger, it has also stated that it has a policy of maintaining identified high conservation values in forests. To demonstrate this commitment to the environment contracted wood supply from the Tasmania Government Business Enterprise Forestry Tasmania is from PEFC certified forests. The Australian Forest Standard and the forest practice code specify how special or high conservation values are maintained.
The misleading web site uses a photo of harvesting in a coupe near the Catamaran River to demonstrate the alleged threat to the wilderness.
Yet this area is not wilderness and is located at Recherche Bay in southern Tasmania that has for almost two hundred years been subject to industries such as whaling, coal mining and forestry.
Location of Coupe CM004C Historic activity
Ta Ann Tasmania also states that harvesting in these State forests is authorised by the Australian and Tasmanian governments and does not threaten World Heritage Wilderness Values. This statement is supported by the findings of a World Heritage Centre monitoring team that found:
“Considering the representation of old growth forest, including of the tall Eucalyptus forest within the area covered by the TWWHA and its management plan, as well as in the other reserves in Tasmania, and the fact that potential threats from production forestry activities are well managed, the mission does not recommend any change to the boundaries of the property to deal with such threats.”
This monitoring team met with the HVEC and other groups and were hosted by the HVEC during an inspection of the forest.
The false web site now relies on a claim for world heritage value compiled at the request of Greens Senator Bob Brown that aims to increase the TWWHA to 2.19 million hectares, or 32% of the state from its current 1.38 million hectares or 20% of the island state of Tasmania. ENGOs have developed a rating scale that awards 2 pts to any State forest within this claim. The claim is not endorsed by either the Government or the Opposition and until the completion of the IGA assessment process the Government has no plans to alter boundaries.
The false website also disputes the fact that the claim for HCV is yet to be verified. This process is being undertaken by an Independent Expert Group headed by Professor Jonathan West who are likely to report by 29th of February. Ta Ann Tasmania has publicly requested that this assessment be completed as soon as possible to remove any controversy.
The claim for HCV relies on a rating scale developed by ENGOs that shows the following assessment of State forest outside formal forest reserves:
(Source: ACF, WS ET, 2011 Tasmanian Native forests: Places for Protection)
Professor West and his team are yet to verify this scale and what constitutes “High” if it’s 19 to 29 or greater than 60% then it is an area far less than 572,000 ha claimed.
The bogus website also makes claims on old growth, and claims that the million hectares of old growth reserved by the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is inadequate. Ta Ann Tasmania cannot use old growth, but only regrowth and plantation wood.
The State forest is a mosaic of age classes and disturbance regimes ranging from new regenerating forest to forest that is ecologically mature and where the effects of disturbance are now minimal. Regrowth forest is defined in Tasmania as
“(Aged) Regrowth forest: Forest that has been logged and regenerated, generally since 1960, using deliberate site preparation and seeding techniques. The year of sowing is documented and the age of the trees may be determined. Also referred to as silvicultural regeneration or even aged regrowth.” and
“(Unaged) Regrowth forest: Forest regenerated after wildfire or other disturbances, and containing a majority of trees less than 110 years old, where there is no deliberate site preparation or seed sowing. Unaged regrowth forest may contain scattered individuals or stands of ecologically mature trees.”
In the Picton coupe featured by the false web site the forest is mostly regrowth from 1934 wild fire with small stands of mature forest that escaped the fire. These small stands include timber not suitable for Ta Ann Tasmania but suitable for other Forestry Tasmania customers such as saw millers, craft and furniture designers. A celery top pine to be on-sold by Island specialty Timbers has featured in recent claims on this bogus web site.
Regrowth forest in Picton 24B
This coupe in the Picton Valley (PC024B) and the one at Catamaran (CM004E) have been authorised for harvesting by the lawful Australian and Tasmanian Governments by being excluded along with other coupes adding to 1950 ha or 0.5% of the initial from a Interim Conservation agreement covering an area of about 430,000 ha. Thus it is the government not Ta Ann Tasmania who is the driver of the harvesting. It is also strictly in accordance with the intent of the IGA to ensure contracted supply be maintained during the assessment process.
The web site also claims that both the international certification scheme PEFC and the Australian Government’s Regional Forest Agreement are not credible. Yet the PEFC is accepted internationally including by the United Kingdom Government and PEFC has made detailed responses to claims of ENGO’s that seek to support a rival scheme by FSC.
The RFA signed in 1997 and extended in 2005 can be compared to the global target for protecting biological diversity of 10% set by the convention of Biological diversity for 2010 and recently increased to 18% for 2020. The RFA reserves 47% of Tasmania’s native forest and is described by the Australian government as:
Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) safeguard biodiversity, old-growth forests, wilderness, and other natural and cultural values. They achieve this outcome by setting aside representative areas of forest in conservation reserves, through the targets outlined in the nationally agreed criteria (JANIS) for a Comprehensive Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system and through sustainable forest management outside of reserves.