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East Gippsland

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.

Forests Forever Easter Ecology Camp

Spend Easter in the heart of East Gippsland 18-21 April, 2014

Every Easter for the past 30 years Environment East Gippsland has been showing people the best of East Gippsland’s beautiful and complex forests as part of its Forests Forever ecology camps.

Participants camp on the Brodribb River surrounded by peppermint and manna gums.

Over four days people can spotlight for nightlife, sample hearty home made soups, learn the history of the ongoing fight to save these forests and how they can help.

> Book online
> Download flyer

A range of guided short and longer drives and walks into the forests are led by experts in forest conservation, wildlife and rainforests.

 

NATURE’S ARK

East Gippsland has some of the most ancient and beautiful forests in the world. The area’s huge trees and rich dense understorey capture and store carbon, create rain and produce clean water in abundance.

Although they have been relentlessly clearfelled for the past 50 years, the remaining stands of unaltered forest are like an ark; habitat for some of Victoria’s most charismatic wildlife, like the Quoll, Yellow-bellied Glider, Long-footed Potoroo and large forest owls and Glossy Black Cockatoo.

 

CAMP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Be guided by expert ecologists and botanists into old growth and rainforests, spotlight for nocturnal animals.
  • Spend four days learning about East Gippsland’s ancient forests and the impacts of logging.
  • Camp by the beautiful Brodribb River in Goongerah.
  • This event has been organised by Environment East Gippsland and the Victorian National Parks Association.
  • All proceeds go to help the campaign to save these forests.

 

COST

  • Full 4-day weekend (18-21 April): $60 (concession $40)
  • One day only: $25 (concession $15).
  • Under 13s free.

 

HOW TO BOOK YOUR SPOT

The best way to book your spot is via the Environment East Gippsland website.

For more information please email forestsforever@eastgippsland.net.au (preferred) or phone (03) 5154 0145.

Please note: By participating in this event you agree to do so at your own risk. For more details visit www.disclaimer.vnpa.org.au

 

HOW TO GET THERE

Environment East Gippsland has produced fun maps to help you get to the Forests Forever Ecology Camp.

Download maps

NSW Government to remove independent Snowy Scientific Committee?

The Snowy River, in Kosciusko National Park looking downstream from Island Bend Dam
The Snowy River, in Kosciusko National Park looking downstream from Island Bend Dam

The NSW Government’s Bill to amend the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act and replace the independent Snowy Scientific Committee with an advisory committee under the control and direction of Katrina Hodgkinson (NSW Minister for Primary Industries) passed the Lower House last week.

Check here for some background.

One of the key benefits of the current Committee is that it was “firmly independent of government” as Ms Hodgkinson puts it (ie, doesn’t tow a government line).

According to a report in the SMH:

Scientists, including former members of the six-member scientific committee, said the separation from powerful interests such as the giant Snowy Hydro Ltd gave the panel a critical watchdog role that is likely to be lost. Irrigators, Snowy Hydro and government officials from NSW and Victoria are likely to hold sway, they say.

Independence is “the way scientists give you the best advice”, said Sam Lake, an aquatic expert from Monash University, who served on the committee.

It is set to pass the Upper House Tuesday 25th March unless the Shooters and Christian Democrats change their mind and vote against it.

An independent Snowy Scientific Committee is vital for the restoration of the Snowy River and all other rivers affected by the Snowy scheme.

take action

If you value the Snowy, please write to the Christian Democrats and Shooters and Fishers policy managers, urging them to oppose the government’s Bill.

A quick email is sufficient.

Possible text:

(cut and paste, make any changes you want, add your name and address and email to the two emails below).

Dear Paul and Robert

Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act

I write to you to express my concerns about the NSW Government’s Bill which will amend the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act and replace the independent Snowy Scientific Committee with an advisory committee under the control and direction of Katrina Hodgkinson.

I believe it is essential that the panel continue to be composed of independent, appropriately skilled people. If the proposed changes in the Bill are passed, a critical watchdog role is likely to be lost. Irrigators, Snowy Hydro and government officials from NSW and Victoria are likely to hold sway, rather than scientists.

Having the ability to get independent advice is the best way for government to make sound, long term decisions about the Snowy River. An independent Snowy Scientific Committee is vital for the restoration of the Snowy River and all other rivers affected by the Snowy scheme.

I urge you to vote against the proposed amendments to the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act.

Yours sincerely,

Send to:

Paul.Green@parliament.nsw.gov.au  for the Christian Democrats

robert.despotoski@parliament.nsw.gov.au for the Shooters and Fishers Party

or alternatively contact the Minister directly:

Katrina Hodgkinson: office@hodgkinson.minister.nsw.gov.au or call her office on (02) 9228 5210.

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