PROTECT OUR FORESTS

Our Forests Are Worth More Than Paper

Victorians value our forests. We love to escape the demands of everyday life to explore this unique and diverse environment. Forests provide us with clean air and water and store enormous amounts of carbon. They underpin many local communities who rely on tourism to boost their economies. Many of Victoria’s native animals rely on our forests for habitat, but are being driven to the brink of extinction due to logging.

Our native forests are under attack.

Precious, decades old trees are being logged at an alarming rate. The majority of logged wood is pulped to become Reflex Paper. The Victorian Labor Government uses taxpayers dollars to prop up a destructive and economically unviable industry.

Victorians are getting a bad deal. But there’s a better way forward.

By transitioning to sustainable plantation logging, we can create a future-proof industry that creates more jobs while protecting the places we love. It’s the right decision to make for our native species, our air and water, our tourism and logging operators and the taxpayer’s wallet.

We need real action.

 

Species Under Threat

There are 79 threatened species dependent on the forests where VicForests logging operations occur. Many of the species at risk are found only in Victoria.

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On Our Homes

Powerful Owl
The Powerful Owl is the largest nocturnal bird in Australia. It has a relatively small head and a rounded tail. The eyes are yellow, set in a dark grey/brown facial mask. The legs are feathered and the yellow to orange feet are massive, with sharp talons for hunting small mammals. Like the Sooty Owl it is threatened by the loss of mature hollow-bearing trees.
Barred Galaxis
The endangered Barred Galaxias (Galaxias fuscus) is a small, scaleless, non-migratory freshwater fish endemic to a small upland area in central Victoria. It has suffered an extensive decline in range and abundance, and now occurs only in small, isolated, remnant populations in short sections of small headwater streams. All remaining populations are at high risk from a number of factors, including logging and bushfires which impacts their aquatic habitats through siltation.
Tiger Quoll
The Tiger Quoll, also known as the Spotted-Tail Quoll, is mainland Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial, and the world’s longest existing carnivorous marsupial. They are found in Eastern Australian as well as Tasmania. Logging has had a significant impact on their population in Victoria, with a decline of nearly 50%. They are listed as critically endangered in Victoria despite their populations remaining somewhat steady in other parts of Australian where their habitat has greater protection.
Baw Baw Frog
The Baw Baw Frog is Victoria’s only endemic frog and is found only on the plateau and surrounding escarpments of Mount Baw Baw. It is critically endangered, with only 2 percent of its 1983 population found in 2004. It is particularly sensitive to habitat disturbance due to logging. Its conservation priority is of the highest level. Its habitat is mostly centred on cool temperate mixed rainforest communities that provide a buffer to these impacts. Note: The majority of sightings generally for the Baw Baw Frog were between 1955 and 2004.
Greater Glider
This nocturnal, solitary creature is found throughout the eucalypt forests of eastern Australia, from up in Mossman, Queensland right down to the town of Daylesford in Victoria. Just like a koala, it has a highly specialised diet, and feeds exclusively on eucalypt leaves, buds, flowers and mistletoe. The Greater Glider is a nocturnal, solitary creature with a specialised diet of eucaplytus leaves, buds, flowers and mistletoe. It is the largest species in the ringtail possum family. It can glide for distances of up to 100 metres, which is handy in getting between its tree-trunk dens. The greater glider’s large, flappy gliding membranes are superb for flight, but a hindrance to manoeuvring on the ground, such that it is known as “the clumsy possum”.
Leadbeater's Possum
Less than a hand-span in length, Leadbeater’s Possums live in a limited range in the Central Highlands. They sleep with their families in hollow trees during the day and run through the understorey at night, hunting for insects and sweet nectar. They are the Faunal Emblem of the State of Victoria. There are only 680 known possum colonies remaining, which represents between 1500-2000 individuals.

Revive these regions

5 MCGs worth of native forests are logged every day in Victoria. Native forest logging destroys forests and hurts surrounding communities.

Protect these places

East Gippsland

East Gippsland’s ecological diversity, scenic beauty and wilderness values are one of Victoria’s greatest natural assets. It has a continuity of natural ecosystems from alpine to coastal landscapes. From snow-capped mountains to lush warm and cool temperate rainforests, all the way through to Victoria’s rugged coasts—these old growth forests are of unparalleled natural beauty and importance. East Gippsland occupies just 9% of Victoria, yet is home to approximately one third of the state’s threatened species. This makes the region extremely important as a sanctuary for their survival.

Strathbogie Ranges

The Strathbogie forest has been documented to contain Victoria’s highest population density of Greater Gliders, although no protections for them have been created in the area. The region boasts forest that has been left untouched since colonial settlement, with trees spanning hundreds of years old and 3.9 metres in diameter. Much of Australia’s agriculture relies on this forest, as bees are transported there from over the country so colonies can recover utilising the diverse range of pollens the area provides.

Central Highlands

The Central Highlands region of Australia is primarily forested land, home to species like the faunal emblem of the Victorian state – the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum – as well as the world’s tallest flowering plant, a gum tree called Mountain Ash. The area provides practically all the water for Melbourne – the capital of Victoria and, with 4.4 million people, the second biggest city in Australia. The Central highlands also provide water for irrigating crops, and supports tourism, as well as a small timber industry that uses both native forests and plantations. The region’s native forests are home to 38 threatened species, including Victoria’s animal emblem the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). These tree-dwelling marsupials rely on hollow-bearing trees in montane ash forests for den sites. Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans), begin forming cavities critical for these species after only 120 years, yet logging cycles are much shorter.

Mirboo North

Mirboo North’s forest comprises a precinct of a biodiverse eucalypt forest in a region totally devastated by farming and logging since 1880. It has a Some of the native animals to be seen are the Wombat, Koala, Black Wallaby, Short Nosed and Long Nosed Bandicoots, Swamp Rat, Greater Glider, Feathertail and Ringtail Possums, Echidna, Platypus and little Brown Rat. Most of these are nocturnal in habit. The community of Mirboo North has worked hard to establish the Lyrebird Forest Walk, which is bushwalk through native forests typical of the South Gippsland region. The Superb Lyrebird is often seen in patches of dense scrub along the track. Mirboo North’s forests will be devastated by planned logging that VicForests will commence later in 2018 or in 2019. There is widespread opposition to the plan from the entire community of Mirboo North.

Rubicon Valley

The Rubicon Valley, centred on the Royston Valley, is forested with antarctic beech, banks of tree ferns and understorey plants. Campsites, tourism operators and farming depend on the integrity of the forest for their operation. It has a small hydro power station, originally built in 1922, and still operating today. It was heavily logged in the early 20th Century, and would make a major recovery if it were not for decimation by logging.

Strzelecki Forests

The Strzelecki Forests of South Gippsland have been mismanaged for centuries. They were overlogged in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There was some restoration with native plantings in the 1950s-70s, but these were then privatised in the 1990s. The remnant forests are still beautiful. There are Mountain Ash, Mountain Grey Gum and Blackwood forests growing on the hills and slopes, and tree ferns flourish in sheltered gullies. The area is the prime habitat for the genetically unique Strzelecki Koala. It also offers a beautiful backdrop to outdoor activities, and the backbone of tourism in the region. The Greens will work with the local community and conservationists to develop a plan for protecting the remnant bushland across different tenures. We will work towards creating a National Park to permanently protect the remaining forests of the Strzeleckis.

Wellsford State Forest

Wellsford State Forest covers approximately 7,000 hectares and is bordered by Mount Sugarloaf Nature Conservation Reserve, Longlea Commonwealth Land and Bendigo Regional Park. Wellsford State Forest is one of the largest box and iron-bark forests in Victoria, providing habitat to numerous threatened fauna, including the Swift Parrot, Brush tailed Phascogal and Diamond Firetail. The forest is also home to many rare and threatened plant species, including Ausfelds Wattle, Dainty Phebalium and Small-lead Goodenia. Most of the forest remains subject to logging, mainly for firewood and other low-value uses. The Victorian Environment Assessment council has recommended adding of 3,950 hectares to the Bendigo Regional Parks, and creation of a 3,160-hectare Wellsford Nature Reserve. This would be a critical step for protecting threatened flora and fauna and the few remaining large trees.

Kinglake regions

The Kinglake region is a unique part of Victoria, having survived and rebuilt following the devastation of the 2009 bushfires. Kinglake National Park is currently making a remarkable recovery, with native animals and plants, including some previous unseen species re-appearing and thriving. The national park is currently home to approximately 600 native plants, over 40 native mammals, 90 native bird species, several fish and reptiles and 3 rare butterfly species. Additionally, it provides habitat to 31 rare of threatened fauna species and numerous plant species. The Kinglake forest region contains a diverse range of vegetation, from drier mixed species eucalypt forest to fern filled wet forest. Despite its ecological importance and need for recovery, the Kinglake region continues to be threatened by logging.

Mount Cole State Forest

Mount Cole is a small forest (~9,000 hectares), located 25 kilometres from the township of Beaufort and an hour west of Ballarat. It contains a range of plants and animals, including over 130 species of birdlife and nine threatened fauna species, including the endangered Regent Honey-eater, critically endangered Australian Bustard and the endangered Growling Grass Frog. It is also home to thirteen threatened flora species, such as the Wiry Bossiaea, Swamp Diuris and rare Yarra Gum. Mount Cole also contains the Beeripmo Walk, one of Victoria’s most popular walking tracks. Despite popular recreational use and ecological diversity, 40% of the area is zoned for logging, including clear-fell logging.

Mount Lonarch

Mount Lonarch forest covers 1,770 hectares and is located within the Central Victorian Uplands and Goldfields bioregions. The area is described as an extension of Mount Cole Range, with Mount Lonarch largely composed of depleted Herbrich Foothill Forest and Grassy Dry Forest. The area is home to species such as endangered Brown Toadlet, and vulnerable Speckled Warbler. Over 115 species of native plants have been identified in the Mount Lonarch area, including the rare Yarra Gum. Logging in Mount Lonarch remains an ongoing threat to local eco-systems. 435.7 hectare of forest was harvested from 2010 – 2013, primarily for firewood.

Stand with Samantha Dunn to Protect Our Forests

Samantha Dunn is a voice for the trees.

Samantha works tirelessly to protect Victoria’s wilderness and the unique creatures that call it home. Samantha continuously asks questions in Parliament, demanding accountability from a Government determined to preserve political and corporate profiteering. She fights for legislation to halt logging of critical forest eco-systems and raises awareness of the importance of forests to the physical, economic and emotional health of all Victorians.

Our forests need Samantha’s voice to fight for their protection and you can help. Sign up to make a difference and help preserve our precious wilderness.