There has been a long running campaign by local residents to see the Strathbogie Ranges in north east Victoria protected from logging.
Since European occupation, 74% (177,600 ha) of native forest in the Strathbogie Ranges has been cleared. Less than 2% of the Strathbogie Ranges is permanently protected in reserves. The 24,000 ha Strathbogie Forest is the largest block of public land in the Strathbogies, but only 870 ha (3.5%) has permanent protection.
With a state election on the horizon, locals are ramping up efforts to get the forests protected in a new reserve.
The Save Our Strathbogie Forest Campaign has released an outline of the proposed reserve called Save our Strathbogie forest. It calls for the establishment of a Strathbogie Forest conservation area.
The proposed Strathbogie Forest Conservation Reserve (SFCR), in the far east of the Strathbogie Ranges, would encompass all of the existing State
Forest and other associated public land. The proposed reserve comprises the last extensive areas of native forest, the highest conservation value forest and the last secure habitat for all forest-dependent fauna species in the entire Strathbogie Ranges.
A total of 34 flora and fauna threatened species are known from the Strathbogie Forest including: Greater Glider possum, Squirrel Glider possum, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Brush-tailed Phascogale, the Powerful Owl and Barking Owl.
The report notes that ‘whilst wildfire, too-frequent planned burning, invasive species and climate change are significant threats to the Strathbogie Forest, the most serious, immediate and manageable threat, is native forest logging’. This immediate threat can be removed through creating the new park, which is widely supported in the local community.