The Victorian Government and its logging business, VicForests, plan to log 450 ha of some of the highest quality and most beautiful forest left in the Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria. The community knows the value of this forest - for wildlife, local communities, catchment health and threatened species. This forest is home to the Powerful Owl, Greater Glider and Koala. But those animals have an uncertain future now that logging has started.
Timber from native forests can't compete with plantation timber in the market, which is why most of the timber from these forests will be chipped, used for firewood or other lower-grade product. The Strathbogie Ranges already support a viable plantation industry of 8,000+ ha (established by clearing native forest). Degrading the best parts of the remaining native forest is unjustified.
Simeon Ayres, a spokesperson for Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Group, says the proposed logging would put a number of animal species at risk: "It is probably the finest piece of forest up there. Once we lose it, that is it. And to now be told that it's an important source of firewood is totally outrageous!"
Neither VicForests nor the Victorian Government have assessed the values and services these forests provide, so they can't make informed decisions about where it's safe to log and where not. VicForests claims it can log the forest sustainably and responsibly, but their assessment is not independent and therefore not trustworthy. Can we trust corporations to monitor themselves?
The Government says it wants to listen to and work with local communities. Ministers d'Ambrosio and Pulford, are you listening? There needs to be a moratorium on logging in the Strathbogie Forest until a proper investigation of all forest values has been completed.
For Strathbogie Forest information: https://strathbogiesustainableforests.wordpress.com/
We, the undersigned:
• Are opposed to VicForests’ current plans to log 450 ha in the Strathbogie Forest.
• Do not give VicForests social license to undertake logging of native forest in the Strathbogie Ranges.
• Call on the Victorian Government to put a stop to the logging of this high conservation value forest and declare a moratorium on all VicForests logging in the Strathbogie Forest.