It isn’t just the future of the takayna/Tarkine Forest that’s at stake – now takayna Trail, the ultramarathon that raises money for the protection of the forest, may be in jeopardy too.
The annual takayana Trail ultramarathon is currently under threat from Tasmania’s forestry body, Sustainable Timbers Tasmania, who last week refused to allow public access to takayna/Tarkine for the event.
Outdoor brand Patagonia has joined the throng of voices, including the Bob Brown Foundation and high profile trail runners, calling on Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein to overturn the decision.
‘Patagonia Australia stands behind the Australian public’s right to access its public lands,’ said Dane O’Shanassy, country director for Patagonia Australia & New Zealand.
takayna is an iconic trail run that raises awareness and money to support the Bob Brown Foundation and its campaign to have the takayna/Tarkine Forest in Tasmania’s North West returned to its Traditional Owners and protected as a World Heritage-listed national park. Patagonia has supported the Foundation and its efforts to protect takayna/Tarkine since 2015.
Every year, takayna Trail brings trail runners from all over the world to Tasmania’s North-West and provides a much-needed economic boost to the area.
‘Premier Gutwein will be responsible for robbing the north-west community of hundreds of thousands of dollars if takayna Trail is not permitted to go ahead in takayna/Tarkine…We demand that Premier Gutwein, as Minister for Tourism, provide access to public land for our legitimate sporting event that the public are entitled, by law, to attend,’ said Jenny Weber, Campaign Manager for Bob Brown Foundation.
Photos by Tim Cooper
This year’s event is set for March 20th, and over 110 athletes have already entered.
‘Let us run. Let us fill our lungs with the air of ancient forests. Immersed in the magic and wisdom of the Tarkine wilderness with the heartbreaking thought that it could be our last chance to see it. Let us pass through this sacred land to protect it,’ said professional surfer, Pacha Light.
Patagonia and Bob Brown Foundation are calling on the public, Tasmanians in particular, to contact the Tasmanian Premier, write to Tasmanian newspapers, and call ABC Radio talkback in an effort to have the public’s voice heard on this issue.
Feature photo thanks to Kelly Slater