Conservationists say they are shocked by the federal government's decision to "abandon'' the Tarkine to mining and have vowed to continue to fight for its protection.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke said he had been forced to put Tasmania's economy and jobs ahead of the natural values of the Tarkine, which is home to Australia's largest tract of cool temperate rainforest.
While a thin section of coastline will be added to the National Heritage list due to its indigenous values, Mr Burke has rejected the Australian Heritage Council's advice to list the entire North-West region for its natural values.
The area listed accounts for just 21,000 hectares, or less than 5 per cent of the 433,000 hectares proposed for heritage listing.
While the decision was praised by the mining industry and state government, environmentalists were outraged and labelled it a cynical political move.
Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the party was considering its options and would investigate whether it could appeal against the decision or mount a legal challenge.
Environmental groups had resigned themselves to not getting a ``blanket'' listing but had expected a significant amount to be given protection.
``We got absolutely nothing. It's a signal that working together, dialogue, trying to find common ground doesn't work very well in Tasmania,'' he said.
Acting Tasmanian Greens leader Tim Morris declared that the fight was far from over.
``We've been campaigning for 30 years on the protection of the Tarkine: if need be we'll campaign for another 50 years,'' he said.
Mr Morris said the campaign had been strengthened by the Australian Heritage Council's assessment, which found the Tarkine had outstanding heritage value for its high wilderness quality and as a relic of ancient vegetation.
National Tarkine Coalition spokesman Scott Jordan said Mr Burke's decision was ``an insult and a betrayal of Australia's natural heritage''.
But Premier Lara Giddings said the decision struck the right balance as mining proposals in the Tarkine, most of which is covered by reserves, would still be subject to strict regulations.
``It will have a minimal impact on this area but a huge impact in terms of jobs and economic growth for this state,'' Ms Giddings said.
``Any arguments that Tasmania is closed for business are now dead in the water.''
She hoped the announcement would give Venture Minerals the confidence to go ahead with its Mount Lindsay project, which would create about 1000 jobs.
Tasmanian Minerals Council president Wayne Bould said Mr Burke had listened to industry and union concerns.
``It's timely and pragmatic and reduces a major point of doubt and will certainly encourage the investors who have been fence-sitting for the past few years,'' he said.
The Liberal Party supported the decision and called on Mr Burke to take the same approach to forestry.