Tag Archives: threatened species

Protecting the Strathbogie Forest

 

Rocky Ned walk Toorour Reference area & Mt Strathbogie

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.

Report coverForest 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

Here’s why:

Continue reading

Australia’s environment laws are broken

With Greater Gliders in the news last week, we’ll take you back to a video released two months ago.

Greater Glider protection delayed by Vic Government

ABC RN PM

Link to story: Greater Glider protection delayed by Vic government

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

Strathbogie Forest gets short-shrift from Victorian Government

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A giant Messmate in the Strathbogie Forest – note the regenerating pole forest from previous logging.

We know that the Strathbogie State Forest is the last stronghold for both the Powerful Owl (FFG Act)  and the Greater Glider (EPBC Act) in the Strathbogie Ranges. More than 80+% of the native forest in the Strathbogies has been cleared and the remaining native forest is now isolated from similar forests to the east and south.  This forest and the regional community it supports and nurtures are getting a raw deal from the Victorian Government.

An open letter to the Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Daniel Andrews.

The fact that both Powerful Owls and Greater Gliders are doing well isn’t just a coincidence. Continue reading

Ten good reasons not to log Parlour’s coupe

dscn9220There are strong arguments why VicForests shouldn’t be logging in Parlour’s coupe, or any of the other 450 ha of planned coupes:

  1. The last comprehensive forest assessment was done 30+ years ago. Current forest management is like the blind leading the ignorant. We want a moratorium on all native forest logging in the Strathbogie Ranges until there has been a comprehensive assessment of forest values. How else can we make good decisions?
  2. In spite of preparing coupe plans, VicForests have not adequately assessed Parlours coupe, or any of the other 10 coupes they plan to log, for significant forest values.
  3. There are known, resident Koalas in the coupe and Strathbogie forests are well-known for their high density Koala populations. The methods used by VicForests to survey and manage Koalas are seriously flawed. Any management plan developed by VicForests to protect the resident Koala community will also be flawed.
  4. Timber from Parlour’s coupe won’t even be processed in our district. It’ll be hauled 180 km south to a Warburton mill. When we last spoke to VicForests they assured us all the timber would be supplied to local sawmills.
  5. The policy document that regulates how forest values are managed is seriously out of date and does not provide adequate protection for a number of threatened species: Greater Glider & Powerful Owl.
  6. Parlour’s coupe is home to a high density of the Greater Glider, an FFG and EPBC listed species whose remaining stronghold in the Strathbogie Ranges is the Strathbogie forest.
  7. Current forest management has driven one species of gliding possum to local extinction.  The Yellow-bellied Glider is dependent on big, old trees and a diverse forest of eucalypts – it’s gone from these forests. We don’t want any repeats.
  8. The Strathbogie forest, including Parlour’s coupe, contains some very big, old trees that likely pre-date European colonization of Australia. When the forest around them is logged they’ll certainly suffer.
  9. Many of the planned coupes are within or next to the Parlour’s Creek catchment. This 650 ha catchment contains some of the highest quality forest remaining in the entire Strathbogie Ranges. Logging this area is like performing open-heart surgery on the forest.
  10. VicForests have shown that they are interested in the timber in Parlour’s coupe, at the expense of all other considerations: community, forest health, local economy, koalas, good policy, good planning, informed decision making. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

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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