Tag Archives: Strathbogie community

2017 Honeysuckle Art Show – forest celebration

The longer we campaign for improved forest management in the Strathbogies, the more opportunities we have to share this special corner of the north east with the wider world. The 2017 Honeysuckle Art Show was one such opportunity.

This year’s art show theme was ‘Ageing’, so it seemed fitting to celebrate those ancient trees, and the habitat they create, that are so important for the health of the forest ecosystem. The main image (above) is of the forest display at the show in the Violet Town Hall. The slideshow (below) shows the individual pics that comprise the exhibit. All images were taken in the Strathbogie Forest on the regular community activities run by the group. Click to view the slide show.

 

And we even received an ‘Honourable Mention’, in the ‘Textiles, print making & collage’ category!

This exhibit was part of our 2017 Strathbogie Forest Citizen Science Project. This project was funded with the support of the Victorian Government.

Giants, icons & elders walk

Perfect winter weather accompanied our group of 47 visitors to the Strathbogie Forest on Sunday. We came to see and pay respect to some of the grand old trees that still stand in this forest.

Two giants at the Messmate picnic area on Barjarg Rd are a continuing source of inspiration for visitors. These are perhaps the two biggest, oldest Messmate eucalypts (Eucalyptus obliqua) left in the entire Strathbogie Ranges. [Click an image to open the slide show.]

The Mountain Gum (E. dalrympleana) is another giant tree of this high elevation mixed species forest. Continue reading

8000+ Australians sign-up to support Strathbogie Forest

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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

VicForests gives ‘the finger’ to local community and threatened species

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Combined Media Release – 11th Sept, 2016

Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Group and Euroa Environment Group

After three years of discussions and meetings with the local community, VicForests has announced the imminent logging of a controversial coupe in the Strathbogie Forest. The announcement occurred, not with a letter or email or even phone call, but by nailing a logging notice to a tree in the coupe and expecting locals to find it! It follows a lengthy campaign earlier this year by the Forest Group, Euroa Environment Group and Firefighters for Forests to halt a planned burn of more than 3000 hectares of the Strathbogies’ remaining forests which was ultimately re-negotiated with DELWP but at a high community cost.

The Strathbogie Sustainable Forest Group has consistently argued for evidence-based decision-making regarding forest management in the Strathbogies. Spokesperson for the Group, Sim Ayres, says “There is not an extensive forest up here. What we have left after 150 years of clearing for agriculture and pine plantations is a small, quite fragmented forest, a forest that is under increasing threat, yet which still has amazing, magical hidden treasures that our community values and is prepared to fight for.”

VicForests plans to log up to 10 coupes covering 450 ha in the heart of the Strathbogie Forest. Sim Ayres again, “We’re not opposed to logging and we’ve said that over and over, but we are totally opposed to logging that does not adequately assess the risk to other forest values. Neither the Government, nor VicForests understands what values exist in these coupes because they have never had a good look. From our local knowledge, we know that these forests are the last stronghold of a variety of forest dependent species in the entire Strathbogie Ranges; species including the threatened Powerful Owl and Greater Glider.

But what’s most at stake is the relationship between the Group and VicForests, and by default the Victorian Government. “We believe there could be a win-win here,” says Sim Ayres “given the chance. Once the forest’s values are thoroughly assessed, then it will be clear where and how much forest might be available for sustainable logging. And our local community wants to have that conversation. We should not be in a rush to log these forests. We need to get it right. A moratorium on logging, pending a VEAC investigation is not a cost, but an investment in the future. But this unilateral action by VicForests will set the clock back years and usher in a new phase of conflict.”

In a previous meeting with the Group, VicForests tabled the idea of developing a ‘Community Forest Management Agreement’ to guide future logging – it seems they were just more empty words.

Logging is due to begin on the 19th September – just over one week away. And when that first chainsaw starts up, the goodwill and thousands of hours of volunteer effort that have gone into this, will be scuttled because VicForests declared war on the local community.

Media enquiries –

Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Group – Mr Sim Ayres   0455 246 141

Euroa Environment Group – Ms Shirley Saywell   0427 246 900

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