Local group Protect Warburton Ranges (facebook page here) have expressed alarm that a planned clearfelling operation near the town will threaten local water security.

This area is being logged at present (May 2020). Most recent updates at the top, please scroll down for background information.

UPDATE JUNE 4:

Protect Warburton Ranges reports:

Big Pats June 4‘Forest defender Andjela has locked on this morning in Big Pat’s Creek halting all logging operations. This marks the 5th week of actions to stop native logging in this incredible ecosystem.

In a statement Andjela says:

“This is urgent, so I’m taking action to make sure this ecosystem is protected and safe right now.”

“These forests are massively under threat. We must take direct action to stop trees from falling even amidst court cases, negotiations and internal political dialogues. We can’t risk standing back and watching as logging evidently continues throughout these processes.”

TAKE ACTION below.

* GET INVOLVED by messaging Protect Warburton Ranges

* DONATE to support frontline forest defenders here
https://chuffed.org/project/fcv

* CALL, EMAIL and WRITE to the government and tell them to stop logging at Big Pat’s Creek and end native forest logging in 2020.

Environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au
9422 5171 (make sure they formally record your call)

Agricultural minister Jaclyn Symes
jaclyn.symes@parliament.vic.gov.au
9637 9504

Premier Dan Andrews
daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au
9548 5644

UPDATE MAY 27:

Protect Warburton Ranges reports:

Big Pats Creek Blockade

Big Pats week 4“Today another brave forest defender Kim has locked on to a logging machine to halt the clearfell logging 6kms out of Warburton.

The Dan Andrews government and it’s logging agency have not responded to the local’s plea for community consultation. Protect Warburton Ranges community continues to stand up for the local area.

In a personal statement, Kim says:

“I am doing this today because enough is enough. We must stop all native forest logging immediately.”

“We need to properly acknowledge the context we’re in now. It’s 2020 and we are experiencing climate collapse, ecological decline, an extinction crisis, and the aftermath of horrific bushfires. Wilfully trashing more carbon dense forest and wildlife habitat should be unthinkable, but logging continues.”

“We are still mourning the loss of more than a billion animals and huge areas of ancient, irreplaceable forest that was destroyed in the fires. It should be a no brainer to protect what is left.”

“We need to start looking after forests and reassess what we value as a society. If the bushfires weren’t enough to make it clear to the government that meaningful change is urgent, then I don’t know what will be. So, ordinary people need to stand in the way of this destruction. It’s up to our communities to drive change.”

“I grew up in the Central Highlands and these forests of beautiful tree ferns are some of the most incredible in the world. Clear-fell logging them for cheap paper, especially now, is completely negligent.”

– Kim, 28

UPDATE: MAY 19

big pats day 10Protect Warburton Ranges report:

Day 12 Isolation & Walking for Nature.
‘Locals walking to protest the clearfell logging of our backyard. No stakeholder engagement. Our community will be facing a much higher fire risk because of this in the years to come. In an already very fire-prone region.

Logging makes forest more flammable. Multiple scientific studies show logging dries forest out, thousands of young trees spring up and wind speed increases on hot days

The precautionary principle should be applied on this point alone – 1.5km from Big Pats Creek & 6km from Warburton’.

UPDATE: MAY 15:

big pats May 15Forest Conservation Victoria report:

Logging has been halted again in Big Pat’s on Wurundjeri Country. There is NO consent from Traditional Owners to log here.
Loggers have hired private security guards to keep people out of the forest but the community won’t be silenced. These forests must be saved’.

UPDATE: Day 8 MAY 12.

Big Pats day 8Protect Warburton Ranges reports:

‘Another brave conservationist has locked on to logging machinery today. Logging has been halted. This forest is being logged without any community engagement. Machines (pictured) continued destroying our native forest just out of Warburton on Friday. The Dan Andrews government and it’s logging agency have not responded to the local’s plea for consultation.

In a personal statement Nick says:

“My name is Nick and I’m isolating for nature. I got the call for action after seeing the courage shown by Alice and Nic. VicForests have been given #NoConsent to decimate Country.

These ecosystems are a critical carbon store for our planet, which we need now more than ever. By clearfell logging, our government and VicForests drastically increase the intensity and severity of bushfires that could come through this area.

Big Pats Creek is a source of the township’s water supply and is in danger of being contaminated.

We are in a Climate Emergency, our governments need to tell the truth about what deforestation does to our planet. We need to urgently stop destroying our treasured
biodiversity.”

UPDATE: MAY 8

Protect Warburton Ranges reports that:

DAY 5 Logging of Pat’s Corner has commenced despite our pleas to the Ministers who have not bothered to respond.

Here are some images of Big Pats Creek taken this morning. This beautiful creek flows through the coupe being clear felled. It is home to platypus, is a pristine tributary of the Yarra River, water supply to locals and part of Melbourne Waters healthy waterways.

Government sanctioned destruction of vital clean water- see what VicForests have done to Snobs Creek, another area destroyed by VicForests clearfelling practices. They claim this is taking appropriate care of waterways according to the regulations.

This is a travesty- a rogue tax payer subsidised government agency destroying ecosystems, water security and threatened species habitat and increasing fire risk to our community – all to supply wood to be made into copy paper.

Please keep up the campaign – help us stop this environmental vandalism that is driving more species to extinction.

The VIC Resources minister, Jaclyn Symes tweeted that ‘Several on-the-spot fines of $1650 were given to protesters breaching  health directives’.

UPDATE: MAY 7

Update: Forest Conservation Victoria reports that ‘At 4pm today after 10 hrs locked on to a logging machine Nic was cut out & arrested by gov authorities’.

big pats day 4Forest Conservation Victoria reports ‘Big Pat’s Creek local Nic locks onto logging machinery halting further destruction of the forest! She says, “I will not be silent. I will not stand idly by while the very trees that are integral to our survival are ripped out of the earth increasing our fire risk.”

UPDATE: MAY 6

The local group are reporting that ‘Government authorities are onsite to arrest’ the person in the treesit. Alice was removed.

Pats ck day 3
Image: Forest Conservation Victoria.

UPDATE: MAY 5

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 9.45.16 amForest Conservation Victoria reports that a tree sit has been established in the coupe, with a single person present:

‘Alice is taking a stand for the forest in her backyard. Clearfell logging has commenced in Big Pats Creek. So far, all attempts to discuss concerns with the government have fallen on deaf ears.

pats ck treesitPlease contact the ministers below asking them to halt the destruction of native forests so close to home’:

Jaclyn Symes Ph: 8392 2261 jaclyn.symes@parliament.vic.gov.au

Lily D’Ambrosio MP Ph: 9637 9504 lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au

 

The local residents group Protect Warburton Ranges also has images and updates on their facebook page about the treesit.

Background

They said on April 28:

Big Pats CK“Machines are in place to start clearfell logging 1.5 km from Big Pats Creek tomorrow. The proposed coupe “Pat’s Corner” (Coupe number is 345-511-0004) has Big Pats Creek running directly through it.

Clearfell logging here will threaten our water security, heighten fire danger and utterly destroy endangered species’ habitat (the Sooty Owl was recorded in this coupe recently).”

The header picture used with this story shows the area that will be destroyed if logging proceeds.

Big Pats“The coupe management plan, released today, denies that any steps need to be taken to protect water supply or endangered species. Vic Forests policies dictate that a period of ‘stakeholder engagement’ is to be undertaken before logging commences – this has not occurred”.

Logging increases fire risk. The dense young regrowth forests that result after logging are highly flammable, and will remain so until they move towards maturity, when the understory starts to thin out.

Research from the Australian National University (ANU) and Melbourne University after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires found that the increased fire risk began about seven years after an area had been logged and lasted for another 50 years.

Many towns in areas that have experienced recent logging, such as Healesville, Toolangi, Warburton, Noojee and Marysville, must now exist with heightened fire risk as a result of logging. Professor Lindenmayer said there should be no logging within five to 10 kilometres of towns to ensure “that we don’t add extra risk through extra logging”.

Take action

Please call the minsters below to ask that they put a halt on logging “Pat’s Corner” until community stakeholder engagement is undertaken:

Call Ministers and email VicForest today: vfs.engage@vicforests.com.au

Minister Jaclyn Symes
Ph: (03) 8392 2261

Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Ph: (03) 9637 9504

Images courtesy of Protect Warburton Ranges.