Old Growth Forests


Globally, it's very rare and endangered. Victoria doesn’t have much either, but East Gippsland is the stronghold of old growth forests with about maybe 15% remaining.

VicForests tells us it only destroys 300 hectares of these forests every year.  This means the now rare wildlife that evolved to live in these multi aged hollow-rich forests are being killed daily and species are in deep doo-doo. Trees can be 600+ years old, still solid and healthy, but are cut down to make way for a stream-lined woodchip industry.

VicForests and the Victorian government also have their own definition of old growth that allows them to claim they don’t log it. They also claim they protect most of it and have a giant tree protection policy. The size a tree has to be is extremely large – about 9m around and 600 years old. But we still find fresh stumps of that size and greater. Another lie of protecting giant trees.

Also - you can hardly fit VicForests favourite word “sustainable” onto their logging when they obliterate these gems off the planet, grow back a spindly crop of woodchip trees and then log it again in 30-50 years.

KUARK – protecting a forest ark

22 September 2016

Supreme Court Case

EEG’s history of taking legal action has become legendary. We are now progressing another legal case to protect some of East Gippsland’s most beautiful stands of forest in an area known as the Kuark (koo-ark). This began in January 2016, with a successful injunction to stop logging granted in February 2016 (until the case is finalised). We argue that VicForests failed to properly look for and protect threatened wildlife, native plants and rainforest.

How it began

There had been a number of other areas in East Gippsland where the citizen science work of GECO and FFRC had identified wildlife such as Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders in areas planned for logging. With the evidence of these species and the help of EEG’s lawyers at EJA writing to VicForests, several forest stands were protected or partly protected. The combination of volunteer survey findings and legal assistance were very effective. 

However, after the survey crews and our lawyers had informed VicForests of findings in three particular coupes in the Kuark forests, it refused to do what we believed they were obliged to, as they had in the other areas.  Despite relevant legislation, the EG Forest Management Plan, Management Procedures, Planning Standards and the Code of Practice for Timber Production, logging continued.

EEG applied for and was granted an urgent interlocutory injunction on 13th February 2016.    We are now seeking orders declaring that the logging in these coupes is unlawful and to continue this injunction until VicForests comply with their legal obligations.

 

The three forest stands in dispute

There are three logging coupes in dispute. VicForests named one ‘Tin shed’, coupe number 830-507-0023, which was half logged (early January) but had not been surveyed despite the likely presence of rare species.

One to its south is called ‘Webbed feet’ coupe no 507-0020 (late Jan/Feb), and has a substantial area of rainforest within it. This coupe has had major disturbance from snig tracks across half the area but with only a relatively small part of it logged. The injunction prevented further damage.

The third coupe is called ‘Drop Bear’, numbered 507-0021 and was marked as ‘in progress’. It is an untouched stand of rich forest to the north west adjoining Webbed Feet that VicForests now claim it has no intention to log this year.

Summer legal actions stop VicForests in its (bulldozer) tracks

9 February 2016

On three occasions between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016, EEG has been forced to engage lawyers from Environment Justice Australia . We believe VicForests is consistently not taking its legal obligations regarding environmental protection seriously and Minister Neville’s Environment Department is yet to to take action. Keep reading for more details of our most recent legal adventures ...

Legal action forces VicForests to survey

4 February 2016

Action taken by Environment East Gippsland and their lawyers, Environmental Justice Australia, has resulted in VicForests today agreeing to halt logging and survey for rare wildlife and plants in a stand of East Gippsland’s forests rich in threatened species.

“Sadly, since mid-January and while negotiations have been going on, VicForests continued to clearfell this amazingly valuable forest where four rare and threatened wildlife and two plant species were discovered by volunteer surveyors” said Jill Redwood from EEG. “It’s a shame that so much has been destroyed in this time, in an area that clearly should have been surveyed by trained biologists before the chainsaws moved in”.

VicForests facing legal action again

15 December 2015

The state government owned logging company VicForests, is in the legal crosshairs of environmentalists yet again.  Lawyers acting on behalf of Environment East Gippsland have this week formally requested an explanation as to why a rich habitat site suited for rare forest-dependant wildlife was not surveyed before logging commenced last week.

“We believe this is a strong case of non-compliance with the law”, said EEG’s Jill Redwood. “This beautiful stand of wet forest contains old growth trees, rainforest and many habitat traits essential for rare and threatened wildlife. It should have been surveyed.”

“We won our Brown Mountain case in 2010 when VicForests logged without checking for the presence of rare native animals.  It seems they haven’t learnt.”

Showing us their true character

22 October 2015

In true style, the logging industry has again given the finger to the public. The very same day as DELWP and three environment groups were meeting to discuss giant tree protection (21/10/15) this image was posted to an environment group’s’ Facebook page to aggravate them. It backfired in a big way.  Thanks fellas.

What underlies the Minister’s lies?

3 September 2015

Minister Jaala Pulford is responsible for VicForests. She’s been caught with her pants on fire again trying to cover for it in reply to a question from Greens MP Sam Dunn in early September.

She asked about ‎VicForests’ self-allocation of an additional 316 new stands of forest in Victoria to be clearfelled. The Minister said it was OK because the same number of hectares was also removed off logging maps. What she didn't say was that most of those coupes VicForests had already clearfelled and were now handing back to DELWP to manage!

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