Drafted the below media release earlier this week on behalf of the Wilderness Society Victoria. Unfortunately, the court ruled in favour of DEPI, so it seems the days of the Little Red Toolangi Treehouse are numbered. We can only pray that the same is not true for the Leadbeater’s possum.
Treehouse occupants stand (29.6m) tall against government takedown
By Meg Bauer
March 12, 2014
Mansfield, VIC: Young conservationists have been taken to court today over a treehouse constructed to protest the proposed logging of Mountain Ash trees in the Toolangi State Forest. The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI), the governing force in state forests, put a summons on the nearly 30 metre tall tree around two and a half weeks ago, calling for the owner of the treehouse to come forward or the matter would go to court. The hearing will take place at Mansfield Magistrates Court at 10 AM.
As a show of solidarity, fellow forest defenders including the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi (KNOT), Mansfield locals and members of the Wilderness Society Victoria will be staging a demonstration outside the courthouse to gather community support for the cause and further protest the proposed logging venture.
Non-Violent Direct Action has been taking place in the Toolangi State Forest for over a decade, with this latest tree-sit campaign ongoing since November last year. Beee, the previous occupant of the treehouse, recently came down to ground after 86 days straight and was promptly replaced by Harley.
Upon his ascension into the canopy, Harley declared, “I am 110% committed to putting everything I can into this campaign to save our beautiful forests and all the creatures that call these places home.”
Beee, Harley and members of the support camp at the base of the tree say they aim to educate and empower the public to respond to the commercial destruction of Australia’s native forests.
The Little Red Toolangi Treehouse, as it is known, is carefully positioned in an area of the forest where the world’s largest flowering tree, the Mountain Ash, is found. This is the habitat of Victoria’s state emblem, the fragile and threatened Leadbeater’s possum, which needs old growth like the Mountain Ash to nest in.
Harley explains, “This is why it is so important to keep the fight going to save our forests. These massive old trees provide a home to the endangered Leadbeater’s possum, the sooty owl and many other creatures. Studies also show that the Mountain Ash forests of Victoria and Tasmania are some of the most carbon-dense forests on Earth…(It’s clear that) logging in our state forests needs to stop.”
Emblazoned in fire-engine red and suspended at an imposing height, the treehouse is effectively standing sentinel over the forest, at the same time raising awareness of the cause.
If the case goes in favour of DEPI they will claim ownership of the treehouse, and inevitably remove it.
To learn more, please visit:
Little Red Toolangi Treehouse Facebook Page
*All images borrowed from the Little Red Toolangi Treehouse facebook page