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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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forestry

Protection for some of Kuark forest a welcome first step

Following a long community campaign, the Andrews government that it will increase protection of the Kuark forest in East Gippsland.

As part of the extension of the Victorian Regional Forests Agreements (RFAs), the government has announced protection for the Kuark forest. The Kuark is a classic ecotone forest that exists on the interface between the cooler forest types of Gippsland and the sub tropical forests that stretch up the eastern seaboard. There are plans to create a ‘coast to mountains’ walking trail through this forest.

Spokesperson for the Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO), Ed Hill, said “we welcome the government’s announcement that parts of the Kuark forest will now be protected. This is a good step in the right direction and we look forward to working with the government to ensure the Kuark forest is formally incorporated into the Errinundra National Park along with other forest areas of high environmental value, within this term of government.

“Today’s announcement does not provide full protection for the iconic Kuark forest, some areas have not been included, we will continue to advocate and campaign for their protection.”

The full reaction from GECO can be found here and Friends of the Earth here. The minister’s announcement is here.

Community members from the Strathbogie region act to protect forests

Community members from the Strathbogie region have again taken direct action today – the International Day of Forests– to prevent the ongoing, needless destruction of Strathbogie’s forests.

Local group Our Strathbogie Forest reports:

Continue reading “Community members from the Strathbogie region act to protect forests”

Residents call for halt on logging at Noojee

Local residents have launched a petition calling on VicForests to stop logging a coupe next to the township of Noojee, to the east of Melbourne.

They claim that a population of the threatened greater glider will be impacted by the logging.

Continue reading “Residents call for halt on logging at Noojee”

East Gippsland old growth forest blockade continues for second week

The following update comes from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

Conservationists are continuing to blockade an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in remote East Gippsland today. The blockade was established on Monday January 22nd, and has halted logging in the contentious area for seven consecutive days. Fifteen people are maintaining a presence on the site today, one person is positioned in a hammock suspended from a tripod structure that is blocking the access road to logging operation.
Continue reading “East Gippsland old growth forest blockade continues for second week”

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.

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