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.
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.
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.
Following the hottest ever February on record across the globe, and an extremely hot, dry March in north-east Victoria, Euroa Environment Group has called for an immediate halt to planned burning and logging this year of some of the last stands of mature native forest left in the Strathbogie Ranges.
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.
“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.
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.
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
“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
David Lindenmayer is the renowned specialist on the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and the Mountain Ash forests that are their home. He has collaborated with other researchers to produce a book which looks at the possums future in light of fires and logging.
While it is expensive (almost $60) it is an incredibly important contribution to our knowledge about these forests. It is available from the CSIRO.
The following review was written by Alex Mullarky, and originally published on the Wild Melbourne website.
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.
In a worrying development, decades worth of environmental campaigning could be lost under plans unveiled by the Tasmanian government to open up the world heritage area to logging and tourism.
Under the rhetoric of supporting Indigenous people, the government has released the draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan Project, while opening up the prospect of major new developments withing the region.
The National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 requires that the draft plan be made publically available to allow for representations to be made.
Your chance to have a say ends on Sunday 22 March 2015.
The forest protests were having limited effect and getting very little media. Late one night, around the campfire, a small group of greenies discussed their ’perfect’ action. It turned out that each of us dreamed the same dream; getting away from the mass arrest protests of the day where people simply presented themselves en-mass for arrest and moving up into the trees where the Police couldn’t reach us and staying there – that is how the first long-term tree action on mainland Australia was born.
This is a poetic memoir of the actions that followed by Ron Fletcher, who was a central figure in the campaign. As Ron notes “while much of those forests has since been sacrificed to the wood chippers greed, the spirit and skills developed through Nullica and subsequent SE forest protests continued and grew to be followed by many powerful platform protests and protestors”.
You can read a review and order the book here.