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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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forestry

Mountain Ash forests in VIC face ‘almost certain collapse in the next 50 years’

Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) is the ‘signature’ tree of the damp montane forests of south eastern Australia. Generally growing in temperate areas receiving over 1,200 millimetres rainfall a year on deep loam soils, this species is the tallest flowering plant on earth.

They have been heavily logged for well over a century, and massive areas have been burnt in wildfire. Now climate change and extreme fragmentation of habitat is driving Mountain ash forest in south-eastern Australia towards ‘almost certain collapse in the next 50 years’, according to an assessment by researchers from the ANU.

The key message in this research is:

Researchers “modelled 39 different scenarios and found there was a 92 to 99.99% chance of collapse of the mountain ash forest in Victoria’s Central Highlands by 2067”.

It is also important to understand that there is still a “critical window where we can act to prevent the loss of the mountain ash forest ecosystem”.

Continue reading “Mountain Ash forests in VIC face ‘almost certain collapse in the next 50 years’”

Threatened species protected on Toorongo Plateau

Mt Toorongo is a magical spot: it is a mountain in the Central Highlands to the east of Melbourne. If you drive to the Baw Baw ski village from Noojee, it is the steep dark mountain that fills the skyline above you as you head through the last of the farming country at Icy Creek.

Not many people go there. It’s a bit off the track, but is accessible quite easily via a number of dirt roads. As I understand the ecology of the mountain, it was burnt twice in close succession (in the 1920s and the infamous 1939 fires). So the eucalypt forest on the summit was replaced by a remarkable ‘cloud forest’ of what are normally understorey species. The summit itself is a long ridge which offers wonderful views of the Baw Baw Plateau, the Latrobe Valley and distant Strzelecki Ranges to the south.

Continue reading “Threatened species protected on Toorongo Plateau”

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”

An update on logging at Toolangi

Earlier this year we reported on logging that was planned for an area near Toolangi, just north of Healesville. The Tanglefoot picnic ground is the gateway to the amazing Kalatha Giant which is 300- 400 years old, and the start of the wonderful and popular Myrtle Gully Walking Track . Its accessibility and rich ecology has led to it being visited by many thousands of tourists each year. Despite strong local opposition, the logging has been allowed to proceed.

Logging can now be seen from Tanglefoot picnic ground in Toolangi.

Please take action

Local campaigners, the Knitting Nannas of Toolangi, have put out a call asking concerned people to call Daniel Andrews. You can ask to leave a short message for the premier, and then explain that you’re upset that this logging is proceeding, that it will impact on threatened species, tourist income, and local recreation opportunities.
The office phone number is (03) 96515000.

Save the iconic Tanglefoot Picnic Ground Forest Area

The Tanglefoot Picnic Ground is an iconic area in the heart of the Toolangi Forest to the east of Melbourne – complete with beautiful surrounds, an information stand, picnic tables and a toilet. It is also the gateway to the amazing Kalatha Giant which is 300- 400 years old, and the start of the wonderful and popular Myrtle Gully Walking Track . Its accessibility and rich ecology has led to it being visited  by many thousands of tourists each year.

But the area behind the picnic ground is now being being logged! Eventually the coupe will cover 51 hectares. This will greatly impact on the general beauty of the area and make it far less attractive to visitors. It will see the needless further destruction of precious native forest.

Continue reading “Save the iconic Tanglefoot Picnic Ground Forest Area”

Koala spotted in logging coupe near Baw Baw plateau

Volunteers from Wildlife of the Central Highlands (WOTCH) have found a koala on one of their wildlife surveys in an area on the slopes of the Baw Baw plateau where that species had not been sighted in almost two decades.

Continue reading “Koala spotted in logging coupe near Baw Baw plateau”

Legal action planned to protect Strathbogie forests

The Strathbogie Ranges, in Victoria’s north east, contain valuable remnant forests across a range of elevations. Logging in the Ranges has long been opposed by many locals.

The Shepparton News is reporting that locals are now considering a legal challenge to the VicForests logging.

Continue reading “Legal action planned to protect Strathbogie forests”

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”

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