Save Our Strathbogie Forest – Media release, 11 Nov. 2019
Victorian Government Announces Permanent Protection for the Strathbogie Forest
The Save Our Strathbogie Forest (SOSF) community campaign, with it’s hundreds of members and thousands of supporters, applauds the Andrews Government’s announcement last week to remove all logging and immediately protect the Strathbogie Forest.
Bertram Lobert, spokesperson for SOSF, said “By taking this step the Andrews Government is showing far-sighted leadership with regards to Victoria’s natural environment and climate-change action – recognizing the over-arching value of these forests for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, water yields, recreation and ecotourism, over and above their short-term value for low-grade timber products. This is a great day for our forest, and for many other significant areas of native forest to be protected forever as a part of this package announced by the Government last week. What we now need to ensure is that these commitments are followed through, and that the Government keeps working to protect other, irreplaceable native forests in Victoria.”
“SOSF has campaigned tirelessly for increased protections for the Strathbogie Forest since 2013, and we are delighted that this Government has listened to regional Victorians and responded with such far-reaching, positive outcomes for the natural environment and for all Victorians.”
Protection of the Strathbogie Forest will:
- Expand nature-based tourism and build the tourism economy in surrounding local government areas.
- Protect one of the healthiest populations of the nationally threatened Greater Glider possum in all Victoria, along with 36 other threatened and iconic native species.
- Create opportunity for an expanded hardwood plantations sector and remove loss-making native forest logging.
- Provide opportunity for Traditional Owners to manage country.
- Protect the highest conservation value forests in the entire Strathbogie Ranges, along with the host of native species that have already disappeared from elsewhere in the ranges.
- Improve water yields from these forests into Murray-Darling Basin, and
- Achieve the annual sequestration of significant amounts of carbon-dioxide-equivalents.
“Removing logging from the Strathbogie Forest will also create additional opportunities for plantation forestry on already cleared land”, said Shirley Saywell, President of Euroa Environment Group. “Native forest logging provides few contractor jobs and has contributed very little to the region’s economy in recent years. Now, we have the chance to establish a sustainable, local plantation-based industry, with support from the Andrews Government. This is a win-win for our local, native forests and for the local economy – with the additional benefit of helping grow more trees to capture carbon”.
SOSF now looks forward to working with government, agencies, Traditional Owners and local communities to develop a positive vision for the future of the Strathbogie Forest.