Recently I was driving home from Bulahdelah NSW and decided to take the longer tourist route home so I could stop and look the tallest tree in NSW at the Grandis picnic area. As I drove down the dirt road in my little pink car, (lol, yes true), avoiding the fallen trees after the recent storm, I felt so happy. The rainforest is my happy place, the peace, the birdsong, the trees and the fragrance fill me with joy. It was quite ironic that when I got home I had an email reminding me that I had been invited to watch takayna, a documentary on the Tarkine forest in Tasmania to review for Sydney Chic.
Photo: Tallest Tree in NSW
takayna is the work of sustainable outdoor clothing brand Patagonia. The story unfolds as it is told through the experience of a local doctor who is an avid trail runner. takayna weaves together the narratives of activists and the Aboriginal community. The documentary unpacks the complexities of modern conservation and challenges us to consider the importance of our last truly wild places.
There is so much beauty in this film that makes me want to jump on the next plane to Tasmania and see it for myself. There is a lot of ugliness in this film too; the destroyed forests and humans at war with each other over making a living, or conserving the planet. There are a couple of scenes that really haunt me; one when our runner (Dr Anderson) is in front of a logged tree, the same tree she stood in front of at the start of the film and predicted 'it wouldn't be here by the end of summer'. She was right, it's devastating. The other is the view of the forests destroyed.
Another part of the film resonated with me too; the four wheel drive vehicles that driving along the beach. The same thing happens here where Iive, and in summer the beach almost becomes like Pitt Street! It's wrong!
There is one part of the film that I thought was unfair, and that's near the end where a couple of timber workers are interviewed. Bits were cut out and I think this part might have been manipulated to show these guys in a bad light. I also wonder what happens to the livelihood of the people who work in the timber and mining industries? I don't know the answer to that, but I was soon to find out more.
So this brings me to another point. There are always two sides to a story.
The largest contiguous area of cool temperate rainforest (Savage River National Park) in the area is under no threat whatsoever. It is so remote that nobody can even get into the area. Further information on the Savage River National Park can be found here.
There are eight classes of public reserves which include National parks, State Reserves and Game reserves (for hunting). Two other classes of reserves are Regional Reserves and Conservation Areas. Both of these classes allow for conservation through sustainable use and have done so for many decades. Under State legislation, light touch, selective harvesting of specialty timbers can occur in these two land classes, and any harvesting is completely sustainable and based upon scientifically backed annual sustainable harvest levels for each species used. These fine timbers underpin Tasmania's culturally significant special species timber sector whose artisans and products are world renowned. A great example of how forests regenerate in the Tarkine following harvesting for these timbers can be seen in this film. Further information on the state’s specialty timber sector can be found at www.livingwoodtasmania.org.au .
If the Tarkine is added as a world heritage property, the culturally and economically significant special timbers sector would be closed down overnight.
For information on future screening dates and times visit www.patagonia.com.au/takayna.
Note: This post is not intended to be political. I don't vote for the Greens or support the Bob Brown Foundation. All photos supplied except for the Tallest Tree NSW. After publishing the original post I was contacted by someone who wanted to share another side of the story. This prompted me to go do a bit of research and try and put a balance to this article.