Greater Glider – recently listed as threatened

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 ...

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Forest conservation might be an even more important climate solution than we realize: Study

According to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change late last month, sequestering carbon dioxide is only one of the crucial climate-regulating attributes inherent to the world’s forests.

Trees are a crucial regulating factor in the cycle of water and heat exchange between Earth’s surface and atmosphere – and thus forests play a key role in regulating local climates and surface temperatures, according to the authors ...

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Heyfield timber mill: Time to face forest facts

THE people of the Latrobe Valley are right to be dismayed by the looming fate of the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods mill at Heyfield.

Gippsland has long been the centre of the hardwood timber industry in Victoria, and the hardwood timber industry has long played a major part in Gippsland’s development and in its prosperity.

The jobs that the ASH mill and the value-added downstream industries provide are a huge asset in farming communities subject to the vagaries of world markets and ...

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Dispute over Heyfield logging deal pulls in senior cabinet

The impending closure of Heyfield sawmill has pitted senior federal ministers against each other, a premier, farmers and conservationists. By Karen Middleton.

In the federal government, Josh Frydenberg is, among other things, the minister for protecting wildlife and saving trees. In the agriculture portfolio, his Nationals colleague Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is effectively the minister for cutting them down.

When Joyce launched his defence of Victoria’s Gippsland timber industry last week, he portrayed it as the state government “putting possums before ...

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Panicking over timber jobs is not a sustainable strategy

How ironic that the timber industry chose March 21st, International Forest Day, to barricade Parliament with logging trucks and demand accelerated logging of the dwindling mature forests of the Central Highlands! When the rest of the world was reflecting on the benefits of forest wilderness for people, for economies and for the planet itself, we were confronted with a macho display calling for conservation regulations to be weakened. Both industry and union are pushing for increased clearfelling of alpine and ...

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Frydenberg’s policies show he can’t see the trees for the wood

Josh Frydenberg’s actions belie his words and show a disregard for the significance of forests to our survival, writes Dr Oisin Sweeney.

ON THE MORNING of 21 March, I got a call from a journalist in response to a media release our organisation, the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA), had put out for International Day of Forests. She wanted me to come on her show to discuss forests — after she spoke to Planet Ark, who were celebrating World Wood ...

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Report reveals true value of Victoria’s unprotected forests

An independent scientific assessment into the conservation value of Victoria’s most-loved tall forests reveals almost half are unprotected and open to logging.

The report debunks industry myths that more than 90% of these forests are somehow protected, they are not. The report reveals that, based on tenure alone, the forest industry has access to at least 42% of ...

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Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and our executive director, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

The blame for ...

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Heyfield timber mill plea misleading

LIKE politician Danny O’Brien, I’m angry about the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods sawmill debacle.

Very angry. This disaster should have been avoided. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have badly mismanaged timber resources.

A sawmill company is now gaming the system, demanding access to timber it knows is not there. Sawmill workers will be losers.

But so will Victorian taxpayers, who are being asked for a $40 million handout to prop up an industry that will never repay its debts.

It is a rescue package ...

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Native forests absorbing more carbon dioxide

New Zealand’s forests and other land areas may be absorbing up to 60% more carbon dioxide than has been calculated, with much of this uptake likely occurring in native forests, NIWA scientists have discovered.

New research led by NIWA atmospheric scientists Drs Kay Steinkamp and Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, indicates that New Zealand’s forests absorb much more than previously thought, with much of the uptake occurring in the southwest of the South Island.   

Carbon dioxide is a primary greenhouse gas and responsible ...

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