Sending Leadbeater’s Possum down the road to extinction

14 December 2012

We have studied the effects of current widespread clear-felling in Victoria’s Mountain ash forests for almost three decades. Clear-felling now loses large amounts of money for the state of Victoria, degrades the forest, erodes water catchment yields, increases fire risks, and is driving Leadbeater’s Possum – the state’s faunal emblem – to extinction.

An alternative pathway is to reform (and significantly reduce) the loss-making pulpwood and timber industries, capitalise on the massive financial carbon values of these forests, maintain and then improve the water catchment values for Melbourne, and, in doing so, protect the globally endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.

It’s our choice.

VicForests bungle exposed

11 December 2012

This is a little complex but it basically shows that VicForests excel in stuffing up. Public forests are vested in VicForests for a number of years while it gets around to clearfelling them and then afterwards while it oversees the supposed regeneration of them. This can take years – and of course costs them many thousands to regenerate each area.

In late October the Victorian Government forced VicForests to take back responsibility for 1,500 hectares of logged forest that it had wrongly returned to the Government. VicForests has been told to properly regenerate the areas.

A state of extinction?

7 December 2012
Originally published at : 

Bushfires and logging have taken a terrible toll on the habitat of the rare Leadbeater's possum. How long can it survive? Bridie Smith and Tom Arup report

The ground squelches underfoot, the forest a mass of branches criss-crossing between the slender trunks of mountain swamp gum and the ferny undergrowth. This is Leadbeater's possum country. And one of the tiny critters is about to get a rude awakening.

Photos ups ante in fight to save endangered possum

4 December 2012

FEDERAL Environment Minister Tony Burke has been urged to stop logging in Victoria's state forests after the emergence of photographic proof that endangered Leadbeater's possums are living near the Gun Barrel Coupe in Toolangi.

More than 1000 photographs of two possums, the Victorian state emblem, were recovered from motion-sensor cameras last weekend. MyEnvironment director Sarah Rees said the pair were "literally hanging on for survival in 'emergency housing', a decrepit tree in an old logging coupe".

Government protected welfare cheats

1 December 2012

OK - it goes like this - VicForests haven’t made a cracker since they started operations in 2004. In 2008 they put $127 million through their books and the expenses were $132 million = $5M loss. But they were given a $5.7M handout to cut down ash forests in the fire areas (not all this ash was burnt from several accounts). So they claimed they made a half million profit.

VicForests avoids Supreme Court - agrees not to log rainforest sites.

21 November 2012

In an out of court settlement – VicForests has today avoided being taken to the Supreme Court a third time by environment groups. This follows the case against VicForests coming to an agreed end in the Supreme Court today.

VicForests agreed to protect 9 areas in nationally significant rainforest sites in East Gippsland.

“The out of court settlement means that VicForests agreed to no logging at three forest areas and to modify their logging boundaries in another six Rainforests Sites of National Significance”, said Jill Redwood.

Possum protection under investigation

2 November 2012

The federal government is reviewing whether Victoria breached a national forestry deal by not properly protecting Leadbeater’s possum, the state’s endangered faunal emblem, from logging.

In a letter to federal independent MP Tony Windsor, Environment Minister Tony Burke said his department was reviewing documents from a recent Supreme Court case over three proposed logging coupes near Toolangi from state-owned timber company VicForests.