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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Cambarville

Logging planned near Cambarville

Before the 2009 Black Saturday fires, the forests around Cambarville, to the east of Marysville in the Central Highlands of Victoria, were a paradise. The area was dominated by ancient mountain ash forest, with trees up to 85 metres in height, and Nothfagus dominated rainforest that was as fine as anything you could ever see in Tasmania. The Leadbeater’s Possum was rediscovered in the area in 1961.

This was once a location of a logging village and sits as an important ecological link between the Lake Mountain Plateau and protected water catchments to the south. While the 2009 fires didn’t burn the entire area, it has been greatly changed by those fires, with the loss of significant areas of rainforest and old growth ash.

Now, there are plans to allow logging close to the Cambarville area. This will further fragment this highly significant forest.

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Riding for the Great Forest

The proposal for a Great Forest National Park is an idea whose time has come. The forests to the east of Melbourne contain incredible mountain ash and cool temperate rainforest. The proposed park could draw almost 380,000 extra visitors a year to the Central Highlands, add $71 million annually to the local economy and generate 750 jobs. It would protect the heart of the Highlands, including the catchments that supply much of Melbourne’s water.

Many people and groups are campaigning for the park. Aidan Kempster has been raising profile about the proposal through riding the trails and roads of the Central Highlands. He has been sharing his trips and insights on his website Riding for the Great Forest. Here he explains why he started riding to promote the vision of a Great National Park in the Central Highlands.

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