Vic Government to log Greater Glider stronghold

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At 3.5 m dbh, this Messmate is one of the oldest trees we’ve found anywhere in the forest!

The Victorian Government has given it’s commercial logging arm, Vicforests, the green light to log part of the Strathbogie forest that has the highest documented densities of Greater Gliders anywhere in Victoria, perhaps Australia. Good one Dan!

And as of 15 February 2018, logging is underway.

In late 2017 government ecologists undertook detailed surveys for Greater Gliders in the Strathbogie State Forest. This was a collaborative project, a welcome opportunity to share and build knowledge. It acknowledged the community’s involvement in forest management advocacy, as well as the citizen science surveys conducted in the last two years. A government report on the findings is being prepared. The project surveyed  a number of 500 m transects, both in coupes and in other areas of state forest. The survey detected 14 Greater Gliders in one of the 500 m transects located in Barjarg Flat coupe! These government surveys confirm what last year’s community surveys  found: that the Strathbogie State Forest is a Greater Glider hot-spot. The Greater Glider is a threatened species listed under both Federal and Victorian environmental legislation. Where such detection rates occur in other parts of the state, the government is obliged to create a 100 ha protection zone in that habitat. But here in the Strathbogies – zero, nothing!

We have called on the Environment Minister, Lily d’Ambrosio, to intervene and stop the logging in Barjarg Flat coupe. We’ve asked Vicforests to log one of the other coupes they have available. But all to no avail. Neither Minister d’Ambrosio, nor any of the dozen or more members of her government that we have directly contacted, are prepared to speak up about this vandalism.

Why vandalism? Because a lot if not most of the trees cut in Barjarg Flat will end up as firewood! That’s right, just as Parlour’s Creek coupe was logged for firewood, it looks like the same fate awaits Barjarg Flat. Some of the best known Greater Glider habitat in Victoria will end up being burnt for the lowest grade timber product imaginable – firewood!

Does it matter that, as Barjarg Flat gets logged, the government is preparing policy that will determine exactly how the Greater Glider will be protected in state forests like this? By the time this policy, being prepared by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (whose role it is to manage threatened species in state forest) is finished, Vicforests will have logged Barjarg Flat and some of the best Greater Glider habitat we know about, perhaps in the entire country, will end up as piles of firewood in a local timber yard. What clever, creative and thoughtful land managers we are! NOT!

And let’s not forget that the Victorian Environment Minister’s own Scientific Advisory Committee recommended a suspension of logging of a coupe in the Strathbogie Ranges in late 2016, due to concerns about impacts on the Greater Glider – the logging went ahead.

That this area is being logged at all, demonstrates that forest policy in the Strathbogies and Victoria is completely compromised and driven by short-term greed and expediency, rather than long-term vision. What hope have we got?

 

7 responses to “Vic Government to log Greater Glider stronghold

  1. 363 Tuppal Rd Tocumwal NSW 2714

    Bert is there nothing else we can do? Protest, sit in, the Victorian Greens? Blockade! Where is the ACF? Trust for Nature, Bird life! Feeling helpless! Val Bosher

  2. I have emailed the Minister and asked for her reply. Hope this helps. Rob

  3. Reblogged this on Mountain Journal and commented:
    It seems crazy that Vicforests would log this part of the Strathbogie forest. These ranges are already highly fragmented and remaining forests provide an important sanctuary for flora and wildlife. This forest has the highest documented densities of Greater Gliders anywhere in Victoria, perhaps Australia.

  4. Thanks for alerting us to this threat. I have re-posted on Mountain Journal. https://themountainjournal.wordpress.com/

  5. Pingback: Strathbogie Ranges – Greater Glider hotspot! | Our Strathbogie Forest

  6. It is very, very sad that this is about to be logged. Yes, we need timber and firewood, but other viable options have been suggested. We really should be forward planning by planting forests simply for firewood; a renewable resource which removes CO2. Timber is a fantastic renewable resource and there is so much degraded farm land which is marginal that could be purchased and turned into harwood timber plantations. Logging these forests is the cheap option and is indicative of just how bad the planning has been. It’s only going to get worse as the state’s population grows by 100000+ people a year.

    Misleading statements by government agencies such as Vicforests, DELWP and others on a range of conservation issues have severely eroded community trust. They lack integrity, work by stealth and while supposedly transparent in their decision making in reality network behind closed doors to achieve outcomes unknown to the public. It would be much better if they were up front for at least that way they would be respected and the decisions made, whether we like them or not, would at least have an air of legitimacy about them. It’s a great shame.

  7. Is there a peitition to sign?

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