Upper Florentine Valley

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Upper Florentine Valley
Upper Florentine Protest Camp 3.jpg
Upper Florentine protest camp near Timbs Track.
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Upper Florentine Valley
Location of Upper Florentine Valley in Tasmania
Area60 square kilometres (23 sq mi)
Location Australia, Tasmania
Coordinates 42°46′S146°24′E / 42.76°S 146.4°E / -42.76; 146.4 Coordinates: 42°46′S146°24′E / 42.76°S 146.4°E / -42.76; 146.4
Upper Florentine protest camp near Timbs Track Upper Florentine Protest Camp 2.jpg
Upper Florentine protest camp near Timbs Track

The Upper Florentine Valley is a valley in the south of Tasmania, Australia, is an area recognised for its landscape and old growth forests. It is situated along the Gordon River Road near Maydena in the southwest of the island, roughly three hours drive from Hobart and comprises around 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi) of temperate rainforest and tall eucalypt forest. The Upper Florentine forms part of the Florentine catchment upstream (south) from Churchill Creek. Geographically it is an area of generally low relief valleys and flats. The area is a known habitat for threatened species of flora and fauna, including myrtle elbow orchid, grey goshawk, and spotted-tail quoll. [1]


In 2009, the Upper Florentine received attention in the media for a series of arrests made by Tasmanian Police of protesters taking part in various pro-conservationist rallies. [2]

Management controversy

The valley was managed by Forestry Tasmania [3] on behalf of the Tasmanian Government and featured in the ongoing political debate on deforestation and the logging of old-growth forests of Australia. [4] While Forestry Tasmania asserted that only ten percent of the Upper Florentine catchment is available for sustainable timber production, environmental groups argued that protected areas consist of shrubs and trees that are of little use to the timber industry, whereas old growth and high conservation value forests have been specifically targeted for timber harvest. [5]

Reaction to logging operations

Ongoing logging operations in this area have prompted pro-conservationist groups such as the Derwent Forest Alliance and The Wilderness Society (Australia) to set up a permanent blockade in the area known as Camp Florentine as early as 2006. [6]

In 2011, community activism and environmental civil disobedience were continuing in the Upper Florentine with over 80 arrests being carried out in the area in 2010. [6] Protesters utilised obstructionist techniques, such as blockading structures attached to tree sits to stand in the way of logging operations and prevent forest harvester equipment from moving into the valley. The conservationist camp was manned by environmental campaigners, including the organisation Still Wild Still Threatened. [7] In 2013, the Upper Florentine was protected from logging when the area was added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Protected areas of Tasmania consists of protected areas located within Tasmania and its immediate onshore waters, including Macquarie Island. It includes areas of crown land managed by Tasmanian Government agencies as well as private reserves. As of 2016, 52% of Tasmania's land area has some form of reservation classification, the majority is managed by the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service. Marine protected areas cover about 7.9% of state waters.

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Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a World Heritage Site in Tasmania, Australia. It is one of the largest conservation areas in Australia, covering 15,800 km², or almost 20% of Tasmania. It is also one of the last expanses of temperate wilderness in the world, and includes the South West Wilderness. In 2014, the Abbott Government proposed de-listing the Tasmanian Wilderness as a World Heritage Site so as to allow the logging of trees within the protected area. This would have been the first time a developed nation has de-listed a site for economic purposes. It was rejected by the World Heritage Committee the same year. In 2016, the Tasmanian government withdrew the bid to allow logging in the Tasmanian Wilderness after a UNESCO report opposed the idea.

Hydro Tasmania

Hydro Tasmania, known for most of its history as the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) or The Hydro, is the trading name of the Hydro-Electric Corporation, a Tasmanian Government business enterprise which is the predominant electricity generator in the state of Tasmania, Australia. The Hydro was originally oriented towards hydro-electricity, due to Tasmania's dramatic topography and relatively high rainfall in the central and western parts of the state. Today Hydro Tasmania operates thirty hydro-electric and one gas power station, and is a joint owner in three wind farms.

Old-growth forest Forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance

An old-growth forest – also termed primary forest, virgin forest, late seral forest or primeval forest – is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines primary forests as naturally regenerated forests of native tree species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. More than one-third of the world’s forests are primary forests. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. Virgin forests are old-growth forests that have never been logged. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.

The Wilderness Society (Australia)

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Gunns Limited was a major forestry enterprise located in Tasmania, Australia. It had operations in forest management, woodchipping, sawmilling and veneer production. The company was placed into liquidation in March 2013.

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Styx Valley a valley on the island of Tasmania, Australia

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Helen Gee was an Australian author, editor, conservationist and environmental activist.


  1. Environmental Tasmania http://www.et.org.au/system/files/userfiles/Upper%20Florentine%20Special%20Values%20Dec2006.pdf Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "More arrests in the Upper Florentine". ABC News. Australia. 11 May 2009.
  3. Upper Florentine Valley, Forestry Tasmania, 2009. http://www.forestrytas.com.au/topics/2009/01/upper-florentine-valley
  4. ABC Radio http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s1894832.htm
  5. Friends of the Earth Australia http://www.foe.org.au/resources/chain-reaction/editions/105/tasmanias-old-growth-forests Archived 2011-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  6. 1 2 Still Wild Still Threatened http://www.stillwildstillthreatened.org/camp-florentine/about-camp
  7. YouTube - Triple J TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SsQrXhNwdI
  8. The Guardian - Tasmania's old growth forests win environmental protection https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/24/tasmania-forests-environmental-protection-heritage