News

Flying Foxes – an economic ‘golden egg’ for Bairnsdale or a million dollar back-fire?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

There could be a win-win solution for the current controversy over the nationally significant colony of Flying Foxes along the Mitchell River, say local environment groups.

A failure if the council proceeds with habitat destruction could cost ratepayers over a million dollars going by other documented failures and the lessons learned. The second stage of habitat removal and dispersal is planned to begin in the next week or two.

Will forest shredders stop fires?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Putting VicForests as the overseer of these trials has discredited the trial’s integrity right from the start.

Trials are currently underway to assess ‘mechanical fuel reduction’ in our public forests. The details are sketchy but seem to be based on a US practice of using heavy machinery with mulching/shredding capacity to run through native forests turning everything in the lower and mid story into mulch or shredded material. Trees are taken out and sold to mills. In the US this method of ‘fuel reduction’ is driven by the commercial need for bio-char, but is dressed up as ‘fire-safety’. In Australia, burning forests as a method of ‘fuel reduction’ remains an unproven science as a method of keeping communities safe, despite its wide spread use. However there is much research that shows it can be useless to counterproductive and extremely damaging for the natural ecology and wildlife of areas.

Victoria's logging industry faces supply dilemma

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Originally published at: 

In 2009, 75,000 ha of Victoria’s forests were burnt in the Black Saturday bushfires. Over a 3rd of that was forests earmarked for the logging industry. The prospect of bushfires are never calculated into long term planning or log contracts with mills. Couple this situation with other bushfires and a history of overlogging and the result is unprecedented environmental destruction and habitat loss, but also a huge shortfall in the logs available to the logging industry.  

In 2013 the Heyfield mill knew their supply would be cut back in 2017.

Greater Glider – recently listed as threatened

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bad news: The Greater Glider, Australia’s largest (and fluffiest) gliding possum is under threat of extinction.

Good news: It has recently been added to the threatened list of Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (FFGA)

After decades of decline and zero government interest or surveys, the clear evidence is that local extinctions of the Greater Glider are happening. It’s still in decline due to ongoing threats like clearfelling its habitat, planned burns and destruction of hollow-bearing trees that are essential for its survival. Like the Koala, the Greater Glider eats gum leaves and has a small home range. It won’t leave after its home area is cut down. The glider has an affinity for its known trees and hollows. It starves or is killed by predators once its forest or trees are destroyed.

Letting Closed Coastal lakes and Estuaries Open to the Sea Naturally

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wayne Thorpe uses 'Indigenous storytelling' to tell a story of how Bung Yarnda (aka Lake Tyres) and other coastal tidal estuaries, work. It is a very important story because it applies to all estuaries and the Indigenous style of telling a story of Bung Yarnda brings the environment to life for adults and children.  Like all Indigenous stories it has layers, other stories within it reflecting the layers of history and the national history of Bung Yarnda.

VicForests finally admits – the logs aren’t there

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Forests are not a Magic Pudding and this fact finally caught up with the government and VicForests in January 2017.  Knocking down forests faster than they can regrow has been the management standard for decades by every logging agency and overseen and excused by every government (Liberal and Labor). After such cut-throat management, the industry and workers are now screaming that their throats have been cut because the limit has been reached; forests can no longer provide the sawlogs demanded.

Forests - Another Chance for Peace

Monday, January 23, 2017

In 2010, economist Judith Ajani wrote about the forest wars that have besieged us over the last 40 years or more, the bad decisions made and what needs to be done. This is still as relevant today – in fact even more so as the industry is set to collapse due to overcutting but with the bosses screaming for more logs. Sadly, much of the remaining forests’ ecological values that were so critical to save then, have been lost – making the urgency now extreme. It’s a war between possums and pulpwood basically, politics and ethics.

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