No logging in Strathbogie forest for 2 years – VicForests

DSCN3430

A Greater Glider in ‘Tattoo’, a coupe next to Parlour’s that also has lots of big, old trees with hollows.

Such is the advice VicForests have given DELWP and the Environment Minister, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio. In May this year, DELWP released documents under FOI about Ministerial correspondence relating to Greater Glider conservation. In that correspondence, signed by the Minister 3 Jan. 2017, DELWP advise the Minister that:

Once harvesting in Parlours coupe is complete … Vicforests has advised they have no plans to harvest further coupes in the Strathbogie ranges within the next 2 years.” (MIN023780 Item 11; page 17 of the FOI)

Logging of Parlour’s coupe finished in January 2017. VicForests’ statement is indeed good news and suggests it acknowledges the importance of the Strathbogie forest for Greater Glider conservation.  Importantly, there is now breathing space to allow consideration of how best to manage this important Greater Glider habitat.

The FOI documents make for extremely interesting reading, as they repeatedly mention the Strathbogie Ranges and both the fauna survey and advocacy work undertaken by the SSFG. But there are also very disturbing revelations in the FOI documents. Continue reading

Tree-top living, just don’t look down

DSCN2899

This Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) was 25 m up in a Mountain Gum (Eucalyptus dalrympleana).

Our night-time surveys are revealing a forest rich in wildlife.  And the stable, clear Autumn weather has been ideal for working in the forest at night. Though the Strathbogie Forest doesn’t have the tallest of trees, craning one’s neck to look up into 30-40 m canopies can take its toll.

We document all our sightings : time of the observation, species ID, latitude and longitude, species of tree the animal was in, height of the animal in the tree and the number referencing to the photo of the animal. For example: Continue reading

May 2017 community spotlighting program

DSCN2492Dates: generally Monday and Friday, with some exceptions – read on.

May: Mon. 1, Tues. 9, Fri. 12, Mon. 15, Frid 19 (Cancelled – rain), Mon. 22, Fri. 26;
June: Frid. 2 (last chance!)
Times: 6.30 to 9.30 pm, or part thereof. Continue reading

Forest surveys hit the road

DSCN2415Our Autumn-Winter surveys of the Strathbogie State Forest have begun.

What role does the Strathbogie State Forest play in conservation of  native wildlife in the Ranges?

That’s the question we’re addressing with our forest surveys. The techniques we are using are: spotlighting for nocturnal, arboreal mammals; using camera traps (aka trail cameras) to monitor ground-dwelling animals; surveying the forest for hollow-bearing trees. The methods being used are described below and detailed here. Continue reading

Image

Hippie Camp Forest Walk – 2nd April 2017

SSFA Hippy CampThis is a Strathbogie Ranges CMN project. This project was funded with the support of the Victorian Government.

8000+ Australians sign-up to support Strathbogie Forest

dscn0583

Look at these rat-bags: teachers, truckies, vignerons, apiarists, ecologists, farmers, hospitality staff, retirees, mums, dads and grandparents. They care about this forest.

In early November 2016 we created a petition calling for a moratorium on logging in the Strathbogie Forest, until there’s a thorough assessment of the forest’s values. Initially, we thought we might get 1000 signatures, after all, how many people even care and could be bothered signing. But the 1000 target was reached in less than a week, so the target became 5000, which was reached two weeks later.

The petition has now closed and a staggering 29,521 people have supported the call for a moratorium on logging in the Strathbogie Forest.

That 8000+ Australians care so much about this small, isolated forest in north-east Victoria was beyond our wildest imagination and gives us heart and energy to continue our campaign.

Care petitions are international and it was surprising and totally fantastic that we had so many overseas supporters – from 169 countries around the world. There were 25 countries that supplied more than 100 supporters and 15 countries supplied more than 200 supporters: USA 11,174, Australia 8,486, Canada 1,259, UK 769, France 741, Germany 666, Italy 633, Spain 395, Mexico 385, Belgium 340, Brazil 337, Netherlands 327, South Africa 311, Switzerland 272, Portugal 234; forests have friends everywhere!!

Continue reading

No Plan – “No Complications”

Logging straight through a drainage line.

Logging straight through a drainage line.

We have just learned that Vicforests’ logging of Parlour’s Coupe has finished. The news came via a media release that found it’s way to us via a third party. At least Vicforests is being consistent in the way it treats this local community – as an afterthought.

On the 11th November 2016, with logging of Parlour’s Coupe underway, Vicforests announced: “Once operations have commenced, we are planning on inviting community members to view the operation in progress.  This is likely to be mid December, though that is weather dependent.  An invitation will be sent out via email.” Suffice to say, we’re still waiting for the invite! Though there’s little point and no community appetite to continue playing Vicforests’ games.

Most of the timber cut from Parlour’s coupe has become firewood for the domestic market. Yes, there were probably a few sawlogs in there, though we seriously doubt that much was turned into “high quality timber flooring and furniture”. At $85/cu m for firewood (retail), the contractor (who also has a large, local firewood business) has every incentive to use the wood he’s cut down, for his own business – who can blame him. Without a doubt the community pressure that resulted in the shift from clear-fell to selective logging  is an improvement. But the devil, as always, is in the detail and more on that another time. Continue reading