Recently, The Weekly Times published an article about community and industry concerns over logging in the Strathbogie Forest. The role of bee keepers in developing a new form of logging, based on ‘continuous cover forestry’, is to be commended. Anything that puts an end to clear-fell and ‘seed tree’ logging in mixed species forest is a step in the right direction and protection of apiarists and their industry is critical food security. That it took community and industry pressure to achieve this, shows just how myopic Vicforests is, caring little for forest values, or what/how/where the timber will be used.
Though the article presents a positive picture, Vicforests has not committed to using this selective logging technique (‘continuous cover’) in Victoria’s mixed species forests, instead maintaining that there is still a place for clear-fell/seed-tree logging in the Strathbogies. But such a discussion begs a bigger and more important question: should all mixed species forest be available for logging, or are some areas so precious, so value-rich, that they should be excluded from logging and protected for, for example, recreation, regional tourism, nature conservation, research and threatened species survival? Continue reading
A new report has recommended protection of the forests of the Strathbogie Ranges in new conservation reserves. The report has been funded by local communities in north-east Victoria frustrated at the lack of action by the Andrews government.
Download the Media Release
Download the report
Local trucking company owner and spokesperson for Save Our Strathbogie Forest, Shirley Saywell, said ‘the Strathbogie Forest is being wrecked by logging and local communities and businesses have had enough. The Andrews government is not listening to regional communities, and we fear the loss of forests and threatened species which support local tourism and visitors to our region’
The report recommends the following:
● That the Andrews Government enable the formal protection of the Strathbogie Forest under the National Parks Act, encompassing all of the existing State Forest and other associated public land, as part of its election commitments in 2018.
● The statewide significance of these forests for meeting National Reserve System targets, Victorian Government protection commitments and for the future survival of the nationally endangered Greater Glider possum population requires their urgent protection in a conservation reserve.
● Formal protection of these forests for nature conservation also helps demonstrate the commitment of the Andrews Government to land settlement agreements being negotiated with the Taungerong Clans.
‘The Andrews government has the worst record of any Victorian Government over the past sixty years in declaring new national parks’, she said. The Government has been in a forests policy vacuum for 4 years, in the meantime allowing known habitat for threatened animals to continue to be trashed by its state-owned forestry business. It’s time to protect the Strathbogie Forest as part of a comprehensive policy to protect wildlife, forests and valuable tourism economies in our region.
A decision to protect the Strathbogie Forest by the Coalition or Labor, as part of a forests and conservation policy, prior to the November election would receive strong support from communities across our region. It will demonstrate furthermore that regional communities’ forest concerns are being listened to. It will also provide opportunities for new jobs and economic growth in regional Victoria.
● The Victorian Coalition committed to a Victorian Environmental Assessment Council investigation into Strathbogie forests before the 2014 election.
● 74% of native forest in the Strathbogie Ranges has been cleared, with less than 2% of the Strathbogie Ranges permanently protected in formal conservation reserves.
● At 24,000 ha, it is the largest block of Public Land in the Strathbogies.
● The Strathbogie Forest is of statewide significance for the Greater Glider possum, listed as a threatened species under the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act. The forest has one of the healthiest Greater Glider populations known in all Victoria.
For comment Shirley Saywell 0427 246 900, Bertram Lobert 0409 433 276
Members of the Save Our Strathbogie Forest campaign get their first look at the new report.
And this is what’s worth protecting.
Ancient Messmate eucalypts of the biggest olderst trees we’ve found anywhere in the forest!
Mountain Gums that predate European arrivals
Exciting granite landscapes
Granite tors in heathland
Threatened species, like this Greater Glider(Image Lance Williams)
A vision for the future
The Strathbogie Forest has been ignored for too long. The Victorian Government has the opportunity to capitalize on the strong community support and compelling weight of policy, which underpin the significant benefits of protecting the Strathbogie Forest.
Though modest in size, the statewide significance of this forest is now beyond argument. Its protection in a conservation reserve is urgently required for meeting National Reserve System targets, Victorian Government protection commitments and for the survival of iconic national and state endangered fauna species.
Forest protection will provide, not only significant biodiversity outcomes, but demonstrable support for regional communities, a genuine commitment to people caring about nature, improved visitor experience, and increased tourism opportunity. Regional communities and businesses want protection of the natural environment and the benefits of sustainable economic development, particularly the burgeoning economies around nature-based tourism – these will return real benefits to regional Victoria.
Local communities and many thousands of Regional Victorians are calling on the Victorian Government to protect the Strathbogie Forest as a conservation reserve.
Download the report
With Greater Gliders in the news last week, we’ll take you back to a video released two months ago.
Read the full article here.
Read the Media release here.
$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!
Firewood cut from big, straight logs.
Multiple stacks of straight logs wait for processing – firewood?
The sign on the gate suggests prying eyes are not welcome..
Firewood-quality timber left to rot at the coupe.