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Forest Conservation Activist Miranda Gibson Spends 449 Days in Tree to Protest Its Destruction
After spending 449 days in a Eucalyptus tree protesting its destruction, Miranda Gibson experienced the satisfaction of an end to the threat of Tasmania’s world heritage wilderness.
According to The Guardian, Gibson began living in what she called the Observer Tree in December 2011, and resided only on a tree top platform with a solar panel and computer. She shared the forest with the world through blogging and video conferences, speaking with school groups and at conferences via the internet.
One of Gibson’s primary tasks was to expose international customers of wood products to the reality of misleading “eco” products, which are sourced from high conservation forests.
During her residence in the Observer Tree, Gibson said she was under imminent threat. At one point, loggers wielding sledgehammers attacked her. On another occasion, the area surrounding her camp was fire bombed.
Eventually, a bushfire burning close to her camp forced her out of her retreat.
Relief finally came when the World Heritage Committee, Federal Green members and Gibson’s campaign when the Australian government finally nominated the forest for World Heritage in February.
Gibson said the nomination is simply one step toward a victory in the battle for forest conservation, though she plans to enjoy the success.
"Today I think of the wedge-tailed eagle that I watched fly above my tree whose habitat was once under threat and is now protected,” Gibson said.