January 01, 2004


I've been having trouble finding online images of the ecological effects of the clear felling of Tasmania's old growth native forests. What has happened to Tasmania's wilderness photographers?

So an American image will have to do as a placeholder until I find Australian work:
Emmet Gowin, Mount St. Helens Area, Washington, 1980

I've been looking for landscape photographers producing images of the ecological devastation caused by the air pollution from smelters downwind of the Mt Lyell copper mine in Queenstown Tasmania.

The ecological devastation of temperate rain forest resulted in a lunar landscape.
Martin Walch, Erosion, Mt Lyell

In my search I came across the photography of Martin Walch:
Martin Walch, Acid Drainage, West Mt Lyell mine,

In 1998 Martin was an artist in residence at Queenstown’s Mt Lyell mine.
Martin Walch, Comstock Mine.
The old copper ore mine is now back in production just four years after its leases were relinquished by the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company.

The landscape tradition in the visual arts has been very strong in Tasmania.

So I will keep digging away for images of the ecological devastation of Tasmania's old growth forests.

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at January 1, 2004 09:53 AM | TrackBack

You can find a couple of historical photos in the TAS State Library's photo archive: http://images.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/. Search for logging. Nothing that shows the clear devastation of the photo you chose, however. Tassie is one of my great loves, and visiting the Tahune Forest Airwalk (http://www.tasmaniasouth.com/huon/airwalk.html) made me hopeful that preservation will begin to pay off.

Posted by: DW on January 1, 2004 10:34 AM

Hi DW,

I'll chase up the images you mention. Many thanks.

Though I now live in Australia I've never been to Tasmania.

Reminded me so much of New Zealand(my homeland) that I explored the differences--eg. the desert in South Australia.

Posted by: Gary Sauer-Thompson on January 1, 2004 11:58 AM

Hello all,
If you need true photos from Tassie's forest and about what is really going on down here, I can help you! Just respond via email.
You may also check out www.discover-tasmania.com; http://www.discover-tasmania.com/events ;
www.tarkine.org; www.tasmaniantimes.com, www.doctorsforforests.com
Ecoforester, mobile Sawmiller
and Community-forestry Adviser

Posted by: Frank Strie on January 9, 2004 09:22 AM

Thanks Frank. I'll check them out.

The public debate on the logging Tasmania's native old growth forests can be found at public opinion

Posted by: Gary Sauer-Thompson on January 9, 2004 09:43 AM


I was in Queenstown a couple of weeks ago. Driving from the lush rainforests toward the town, at first I didn't register the problem. It looked like an area in the American Southwest and as the sun was breaking through the clouds, forming rainbows across the sky, the effect was quite attractive.

Then I looked at the tree-covered mountains behind me and mourned.

My photography is purely amateur, but if any interesting shots of Tassie ended up on my camera, I'll send them along.

Posted by: Eden on July 16, 2004 10:19 PM

goodo. I do look forward to seeing them.

I do hope that you have very enjoyable wanderings during your holidays in Tasmania.

Posted by: Gary Sauer-Thompson on July 19, 2004 12:49 PM

i think that yes we need trees 4 paper and toilet paper and that sort of stuff but we do not need to cut everyone of them and if we take 1 out plant another then we can have trees for the future and trees keep us alive so why cut them down what do u want to die before your time

Posted by: katie on August 24, 2004 12:10 PM
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