Tag Archives: Powerful Owl

Greater Glider habitat and local jobs exported to China

… and cut for firewood.

Barjarg Flat coupe contained some of the highest quality forest left in the entire Strathbogie Ranges and was home to the highest ever documented Greater Glider numbers in Victoria. So, how does the Victorian government manage habitat of this EPBC Act and FFG-listed species? Easy – they let Vicforests loose. Continue reading

Native forests – going, going, gone @$80/cu m

2 12-2-18$80/cu m – that’ll be roughly the value of timber from Barjarg Flat coupe, once the trees have been converted to firewood. Vicforests is at pains to convince everyone that only the rubbish leftover from their logged coupes is used for firewood, but one look at the yard that sources firewood from local forests, puts paid to that fiction. These images show that Vicforests is plundering local forests for a quick buck and the lowest quality forest product – firewood! Firewood is not a by-product of local logging – it appears to be driving the whole enterprise!

Firewood is certainly a useful commodity, but can Environment Minister d’Ambrosio honestly sit on her hands while some of the best Greater Glider habitat in Victoria might be turned into firewood by Vicforests? Perhaps these photos of the local firewood yard just outside Mansfield will help convince her that the process that is meant to protect threatened species, also allows their habitat to be logged for firewood – the system is broken!

 

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Last chance to see – Barjarg Flat

SSFA Barjarg Flat Coupe Rev A

Barjarg Flat coupe, one of the dozen or so coupes on the current logging plan (below), has some of the highest conservation value ‘wet’ forest remaining in the Strathbogie Ranges. DELWP knows this, Vicforests knows this. We asked Vicforests to log a coupe of lesser conservation value instead of Barjarg Flat, but they refused.

Recent community surveys had identified this part of the forest as high quality greater glider and powerful owl habitat. During 2017, government biologists surveyed 25, 500 m transects in various parts of the forest for greater gliders. The greatest number of greater gliders recorded in any transect was 14 – in Barjarg Flat coupe. In East Gippsland, any patch of forest where there are more than 10 greater glider sightings per km, gets a 100 ha reserve where logging is excluded. By here in the Strathbogies, high greater glider densities seem to be a signal for Vicforests to move right in.

DELWP specifically included the coupes that Vicforests was considering logging in the surveys, so that Vicforests could make an informed decision about coupe selection and minimizing impact on threatened species. Then, Vicforests selected Barjarg Flat to log, before DELWP even finished their surveys! Perhaps they just wanted the timber and no complications. So, unless the community can convince DELWP, or the Minister to intervene, Barjarg Flat will go the way of Parlour’s coupe.

See you Sunday.

“Don’t it always seem to go,
that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”

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Strathbogie Ranges – Greater Glider hotspot!

SSFG Greater Glider detections from 27 km of transect survey.

Location of every Greater Glider detection recorded during this study.

GG survey context

Location map

As part of our Strathbogie Forest Citizen Science Project, in the last year or so, we conducted 42 hours of spotlighting, along 27 km of forest tracks, surveying approximately 161 ha of forest. Most of these community surveys occurred in April and May 2017 and ran twice per week – Monday and Friday evenings. Twenty-five different people took part in the spotlighting surveys. All fauna detected during the surveys were recorded, but the focus was on three species- Greater Glider (Petauroides volans), Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis) and Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua).

During these surveys, Greater Gliders were detected 202 times, Common Ringtail Possums 46 times, Koalas 27, Mountain Brushtail Possums 16 and  Sugar Gliders three times. There were no detections of Yellow-bellied Glider. We detected Southern Boobook Owls on 10 occasions, Powerful Owls four times and Tawny Frogmouth and Owlet Nightjar once each.

Update: Victorian government surveys have confirmed that the Strathbogie Forest contains the highest detection rates of Greater Gliders recorded anywhere in Victoria, possibly Australia. And those forests are about to be logged!

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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

VicForests logs Powerful Owl habitat for …. firewood?

Powerful Owl (Image Duncan Fraser)

Powerful Owl (Image Duncan Fraser)

You’ve got to be joking, right? VicForests are spruiking the importance of  firewood as a sustainable product from Parlour’s Creek coupe. Is firewood really such an important part of their business model?

Which kind of means that they’re logging Powerful Owl and Greater Glider habitat for firewood!

Minister d’Ambrosio – can you and your Department of Environment honestly endorse this action? After years of telling us how important it is to have sawlogs for the booming native hardwood industry (NOT!), VicForests have trotted out a contractor to tell us he’s logging some of the richest forest left on the Strathbogie Ranges for firewood, FIREWOOD?! Continue reading

Strathbogie forest rally – c’mon Lily, get on-board.

Locals care about their forest.

Locals care about their forest.

A cool, sunny weekday morning on Lima East Rd in the Strathbogie Forest. All seems normal, other than the 60 forest supporters protesting the logging of some of the best forest left in these ranges. The rally was as much a show of support for the hundreds of people that have joined in the campaign over the last three years, as it was to appeal to the Government, particularly the Victorian Environment Minister Lily d’Ambrosio, to not continue to ignore Continue reading