Styx Valley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coordinates: 42°49′S 146°41′E / 42.81°S 146.68°E / -42.81; 146.68
Styx Valley
Region AU-TAS
Location Tasmania, Australia
 - coordinates 42°49′S 146°41′E / 42.81°S 146.68°E / -42.81; 146.68

The Styx Valley is located adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site on the island of Tasmania. The Styx River is the main drainage system of the valley. It lies about 100 km northwest of Hobart, with the nearest town being Maydena.

Temperate wet eucalypt forests in the region are home to the world's tallest flowering plants, Eucalyptus regnans. Rainforest gullies are carpeted in mosses and lichens and shaded by the tree ferns Dicksonia antarctica, known locally as Man-ferns, and other rainforest tree species including Southern Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum), Myrtle Beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and Celery-top pine (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius).

Clear-felled forest in the Styx Valley. Old-growth trees to the right and pine plantations in the distance

In 2002, Australia's most massive tree, nicknamed El Grande, was discovered. Unfortunately, it was killed in an autumn burn in 2003.[1]

Conservation[edit]

The valley has been the site of an ongoing conflict between environmentalists, who have proposed the protection of the site as a National Park, and supporters of the logging industry. One of their arguments, as well as the obvious environmental benefits, was that a tourism-based economy would be more beneficial for the local economy than logging the area.

Community blockades including tree sits have been supported by Greenpeace and the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. Gandalf's Staff, an 85 metre tall eucalypt, holds the world record for supporting the highest tree sit platform. The campaign was successful in gaining protection for the proposed clearfell coupe containing some of the tallest trees, and protection was proposed by the Latham opposition in 2004 for an area of the northern Styx valley containing high conservation value old growth forest.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forestry officials admit killing biggest tree". BBC. 10 December 2003. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  • Brown B & Bayley V (2003). The Valley of the Giants. The Wilderness Society. ISBN 1-875768-10-6.