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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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forestry

Logging threatens Leadbeater’s Possum habitat

Industrial scale clear-fell logging is NOW taking place in the Snobs Creek Valley.  The Central Highlands are the most heavily logged area in Australia.  The highly biodiverse ecosystem of mountain and alpine ash in the Rubicon State Forest has been virtually logged-out.

Lead beaters possum and Greater Gliders are widespread through the Snobs Valley. In one night 30 Greater Gliders were found in one of the proposed Vicforests logging coupes. These animals are listed as threatened species under the federal EPBC Act.

The three coupes currently being logged at Snobs are:  Shackle, Snobs 13 and Snobs 14 and other sensitive coupes are also being logged at Torbreck and Bull fight (see map).

Continue reading “Logging threatens Leadbeater’s Possum habitat”

Walking the Mountains of Home – protect Mt Bride

Community members from Warburton are attempting to stop the proposed logging coupes on and surrounding Mt Bride.

They say that “logging this area will reduce water security as the proposed coupes are within water catchment areas and it has long been recognised that logging has a negative impact on water yield”. The mountain has great value to many locals for a range of reasons.

To highlight community concern about the imminent logging plans, they have organised a walk up the mountain which is open to all interested people. It will happen on March 21.

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Protect the ‘Kalatha Giant’

The Little Red Toolangi Treehouse (Mission Statement: “To raise awareness, educate and empower the public to respond to the commercial destruction of Australia’s native forests.”) has issued an urgent call for community members, especially Victorians, to contact the state environment minister to ask her to stop logging around an old growth mountain ash tree known as the Kalatha Giant. A community blockade has now started – scroll down for updates.

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Old Growth ‘verification’ threatens forest protection

In November, the Victorian government announced that logging native forests will end in 2030. The government also committed to state-wide protections for 90,000ha of old growth forests, and 96,000ha of new protected areas, 48,500 of which are in East Gippsland. An action statement for the threatened Greater Glider was also finally released.

An ongoing issue has been the question of how and when the Old Growth would be protected. The state government has now provided details on how this will occur, and this has confirmed fears by environmental groups that protection will be watered down through the methodology that will be used.

East Gippsland based activist group Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) has issued a call for members of the public to engage in the process around Old Growth modelling. 

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What does the VIC government’s promise to protect Old Growth mean for the High Country?

Public conversation about the recent announcement of an end to logging of old growth forests in Victoria has so far focused on the implications for East Gippsland, where large areas of ‘Modeled Old Growth (MOG)’ is expected to be protected, and the Central Highlands, where there will be very little protection. Given this announcement covers forests right across the east of the state, what does it mean for the High Country?

The short answer, at this stage, is ‘we don’t really know’. While the government map that has been circulated shows considerable areas of MOG throughout the foothills and valleys of the High Country, and even what looks like older Snow Gum Woodlands, we are yet to get the details on what the protection of these areas will look like.

Continue reading “What does the VIC government’s promise to protect Old Growth mean for the High Country?”

Victorian government protects Old Growth forests

In a major announcement, the Andrews government has stated that it will ‘immediately’ protect all remaining old growth forest on the east of the state as part of a plan to phase out native forest logging and protect 96,000 hectares of forests. The old growth areas amounts to 90,000 hectares of mountain and foothill forests.

Environmental groups such as Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) have welcomed the announcement and also called for the release of extra detail and maps to ensure the announcement results in lasting and effective protection.

This outcome is especially good news for the heartland of remaining old growth – the hill country of East Gippsland.

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Victorian public wants to see forests protected

Results of a public survey conducted by the Victorian government show overwhelming support for protecting native forests from logging, and provide the Andrews Labor government with a strong platform to protect forests and transition jobs out of the native forest logging sector, say environment groups.

The survey shows that:

  • The public think that the future of industry is in plantations
  • Victorians support protecting forests and improved forest recreation opportunities
  • Results show no need to continue with the failed Regional Forest Agreements

Continue reading “Victorian public wants to see forests protected”

Report shows destruction of Greater Glider habitat

A new report from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) has been published which documents logging of more than 600 hectares of Greater Glider habitat in East Gippsland since the species was listed as vulnerable under Victorian legislation in June 2017.

Gliding towards extinction – an investigation into Greater Glider habitat logged since the species was listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act highlights how government inaction and failing environmental laws are having dire consequences for forest dependent threatened species in Victoria.

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Logging stopped near Icy Creek

Forest Conservation Victoria reports that:

“Logging has been halted today in an area of forest at Icy Creek, along the main scenic tourist road out to Mt Baw Baw. A person is suspended 25 metres above the ground up a tree on a platform tied to logging machinery. Their actions are preventing the destruction of Ballantynes Saddle, which still remains after major decimation on the adjacent ridge.”

Ballantynes Saddle lies on the road to Mt Baw Baw between Icy Creek and the township of Tanjil Bren.

Continue reading “Logging stopped near Icy Creek”

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