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!
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
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