Members of the Strathbogie Sustainable Forests group have been in discussions with Victorian State government departments and politicians on numerous occasions, firstly successfully lobbying to have the planned burning regime altered to a “need to protect built asset” basis, rather than a blanket 5% per year burn-off, and more recently, had commenced discussions about selective logging, as opposed to clear-fell logging.
The Strathbogie Forest in this area is a mixed species forest of high value for both flora and fauna. There are many large old trees with hollows that support Powerful Owls and Sugar Gliders, and the forest is also home to a good population of Koalas.
VicForests is a commercial enterprise of the Victorian government, but it is very heavily subsidised by taxpayer funds. Returns from clear-felling are estimated to be no more than around $40 per hectare in this forest – a disgraceful return given the environmental destruction that is caused by this method of logging. A previous coupe in a nearby location has not recovered in 10 years, despite 3 attempts by VicForests to re-habilitate the coupe. The coupe is generally left as a single species (eucalypt) area, and earmarked for logging again many years later, usually for wood chips. All of this could be much better achieved through growing timber plantations in appropriate locations.
If you are interested in learning more about this situation, or wish to become involved in trying to stop the destruction of the Strathbogie Forest, you can follow the progress by Googling the website – “ Our Strathbogie Forest” (www.strathbogiesustainableforests.wordpress.com)
By coincidence there was an opinion article in The Age on Wednesday 5th Oct., titled “Logging makes no sense” which really backs up the point made by Peter about the very poor economic return from logging. The article emphasises that unlogged native forest are worth more than logged ones.