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Butterflies and Biodiversity Efforts Awarded

17, November 2006

Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) Chairman Don Burke visited Tasmania today to present Gunns Limited with a national environmental award for their management of high altitude natural grasslands on their Surrey Hills estate near Burnie in North West Tasmania.

Mr Burke said he was thrilled to be able to visit some of the highest conservation value plant communities in southeastern Australia and to observe real conservation management in action by Tasmania’s biggest forestry company.

“Grassy ecosystems are among the most endangered plant communities in the world and Gunns has been recognised by the Australian Environment Foundation for their active management of more than 2000 ha of high conservation value native grasslands on its own land”, he said.

“Many of these grassland communities are not represented in Tasmanian National Parks or World Heritage Areas and Gunns commitment to the conservation of grasslands on their own land is vitally important to the long term future of these floristically diverse plant communities”, explained Don Burke.

Gunns North West Resource Manager Chris Davey said “We are delighted to be acknowledged by the AEF for our contribution to environmental management.  Gunns has reserved over 40,000 ha of its own land for conservation purposes in Tasmania but the jewel in the crown is most definitely our high altitude native grasslands”.

The AEF Award is one of three National Awards that recognise those who have done the most to advance the realisation of the Foundation’s values.

“Gunns valued efforts in grassland conservation management have nurtured an abundance of individual pant species assuring native habitat and survival of endangered species such as the Ptunarra Brown Butterfly.  This is a level of biodiversity the equal of anywhere in the world and it is right on our back door step”, said Don Burke.

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