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East Gippsland

Kuark forest protected through Court injunction

The Kuark forest is located in far East Gippsland, Victoria. This magnificent forest is home to rare rainforest and endangered animals. Sections of it are currently on logging schedules and could be cut at any moment. An access track has been cut into the first coupe.

In response, campaigners have set up a camp in the forest to oppose logging. In response, the Victorian government announced it would increase the protection given to old growth forests, but activists are not prepared for any of the coupe to be logged.

On Wednesday November 1st, a Supreme Court injunction has prevented logging from starting in the forest. Campaigners are celebrating this temporary protection.

Further information is available on the GECO website.

Kuark forest old growth about to be logged

Kuark forest is located in far East Gippsland, Victoria. This magnificent forest is home to rare rainforest and endangered animals.

Logging of Kuark forest has previously destroyed the habitat of endangered forest Owls, Potoroos and Gliding possums. It’s also impacting on unique rainforest types, found nowhere else on earth. Kuark, which is just south of the Cool Temperate Forests of the Errinundra Plateau, contains stands of Warm temperate species which have evolved from tropical species that colonised Australia millions of years ago when the continent was joined to Papua New Guinea and Asia. These tropical like species slowly migrated down the east coast and East Gippsland is the most southerly extent of many of their distributional ranges (you can find additional information on the Kuark here and previous Mountain Journal stories are here).

VicForests is currently preparing to log some of the most spectacular old growth forest remaining in Victoria, wit logging equipment being moved into the coupe this week.

Continue reading “Kuark forest old growth about to be logged”

Help save Basin Creek rainforest

The W-Tree community near the Snowy River in East Gippsland need your help to stop logging of the Basin Creek rainforest complex. This spectacular rainforest area is currently under threat from VicForests logging operations.

The Basin Creek Rainforest Complex is a beautiful matrix of pristine rainforested gullies and old-growth forest that forms a crucial wildlife corridor in an area devastated by clear fell logging. This corridor links the Snowy River National Park with forests further to the West.

Please sign the petition to Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio MP calling on her to protect this stunning place from destructive clear fell logging.

Citizen science survey camp

 

The Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) in East Gippsland is running another ‘citizen science’ weekend.

There will be workshops and practical sessions on forest ecology, threatened species, survey techniques, remote fauna cameras, nocturnal spotlighting, Owl surveys, Frog surveys and rainforest identification, forest carbon accounting and more.

Continue reading “Citizen science survey camp”

GECO halts illegal VicForests logging operation

Conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) have halted logging operations in high conservation value forest on the St Patrick’s River in East Gippsland today due to multiple breaches of the law.

A person is positioned in a tree platform 30m off the ground. The platform is tied off to logging machinery which is preventing logging operations from continuing.

GECO believes the logging is illegal.  VicForests has failed to carry out necessary pre logging surveys for threatened wildlife, which it is legally obligated to do. Logging has also illegally impacted upon a large stand of protected rainforest.

 

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“The Minister was alerted to these breaches last week but as logging continues we’ve taken direct action to prevent further destruction of wildlife habitat and rainforest,’ said Ed Hill.

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Photo: Logging has illegally encroached on protected rainforest

Three threatened/protected species have been recorded close to the area; Yellow-bellied Glider, Sooty Owl and the endangered Long-footed Potoroo.  The forest is also rich in old trees with hollows – an indication that other rare and protected wildlife could be supported in this forest,” said Ed Hill.

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Photo: Hollow bearing habitat tree, likely to support threatened species. 

“Many stands of forest with high quality habitat for threatened wildlife are listed by VicForests as being currently logged or about to be logged and appear to have no surveys associated with them.  These may also be illegal operations.”

“After a controversial rainforest logging operation was exposed by GECO earlier this year, Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP ordered her department to conduct ‘spot checks’ on VicForests’ logging operations in rainforest areas.  This should have ensured rainforests are protected”, said Ed Hill

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“Instead we see repeated and blatant contempt of clearly worded laws which should see VicForests charged, as any of us would be for destruction of protected rainforest,” said Ed Hill.

“As the Minister responsible Lisa Neville must act to immediately halt the logging in this coupe and order a full investigation into the suitability of VicForests as a manager of public property,” said Ed Hill.

High resolution images and video available from 10am

For comment contact Ed Hill: (03) 5154 0109 or 0414199645

email: geco.media@gmail.com ,  website: www.geco.org.au

Continue reading “GECO halts illegal VicForests logging operation”

Summer of Citizen Science and Forest Defence

Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO), based in a mountain valley in far east Gippsland, is organising two weeks of ‘citizen science’ and a range of activities intended to protect the native forests of the region.

It runs from Friday, December 4 until Friday, December 18.

Continue reading “Summer of Citizen Science and Forest Defence”

Victoria to begin aerial baiting for wild dogs

Wild dogs are a big problem for graziers in the high country of Gippsland. Of course, its a complex problem: should we be running sheep in areas adjacent to national parks where there will be populations of dingoes or wild dogs? Should farmers be electrifying the boundaries of their properties (and what are the impacts of that on other species like kangaroos and wombats?). Is shooting, trapping or baiting more humane?

The following update comes from the ABC, the journalist is Laura Poole.

Continue reading “Victoria to begin aerial baiting for wild dogs”

Wild dog attacks. Farmers ask for more trappers.

Wild dogs are a huge problem in farming areas around the mountains in north east Victoria. They also prey heavily on native fauna. The issue of dog control has risen again recently in Victoria because of claims that there are fewer people employed to control population numbers.

According to a report in The Weekly Times (29/4/15):

“The Victorian Government employs 18 dog trappers, 10 in Gippsland and eight across the North East.

The Victorian Farmers Federation says that five years ago there were 25 trappers for the same area.

But the community engagement officer for the Government’s wild dog program, Barry Davies, said there were now “five or six casual wild dog controllers, two contractors and 25 field services officers who are trained to various deg­rees, some capable of trapping dogs.”

The full article, by journalist Kath Sullivan can be found here. It highlights the impacts on farmers and animals as a result of dog attacks on stock.

There are, of course, a number of ways of dealing with the problem. Trapping and shooting is a traditional method. Is funding for dog-proof fencing an option in key farming areas around the high country national parks? Some farmers use Maremmas (is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy), while others bait.

There is also some question about whether the government will allocate more resources to employ additional hunters in the state budget, due to be released in early May.

 

 

Protecting the Kuark forest

The spectacular old growth forest of Kuark in East Gippsland provides habitat for threatened species such as the Sooty, Masked and Powerful owls, Greater gliders, Long footed potoroos and a rare rainforest type where warm and cool temperate rainforest blend together in an ‘over lap” assemblage.

The state owned logging company VicForests plan on conducting extensive clear fell logging operations in the forest this year and local conservationists are getting organised to halt the proposed destruction.

Victorian conservation group, Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) are stepping up their efforts to protect these forests from logging. The group have launched a citizen science program and public campaign to collect data and publicise the Kuark forest in the far east of Victoria.

Check here for the full story.

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