Central Highlands

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.

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".

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.

VicForests posts loss after 'challenging year'

13 September 2012

TAXPAYER-OWNED native forest logging company VicForests has recorded another financial loss.

Environment groups and Greens have said it is “staggering that VicForests gets free land and trees to cut down but still manages to make a loss” and it would be cheaper to send its employees “to Bali to retire” than to keep the entity alive.

But VicForests says it is looking to the “future after a challenging year” and blamed the high Aussie dollar, global economic conditions and legal expenses for the loss.

Logging sparks clash of timber and tourism

12 June 2012

THE fire-ravaged hills of Melbourne's nature tourism fringe are under renewed threat, with mass arrests and displaced wildlife adding fresh heat to long-simmering concerns about clear-fell logging.

Two thirds of the Toolangi State Forest was lost to the Black Saturday bushfires, leaving only 14,000ha of standing forest.

Industry, environment and tourism groups agree logging is being stepped up in what's left of Toolangi to meet timber quotas for logs and woodchips.

Loggers get free range of possums' habitats to harvest timber in Victoria's central highlands

28 May 2012

ENVIRONMENTALISTS have lost the battle to save the habitat of the endangered leadbeater's possum in the central highlands of Victoria.

In the Supreme Court this afternoon Justice Robert Osborn refused to grant permanent orders that would restrain loggers from harvesting timber in three coupes, Gun Barrel, Freddo and South Col, northeast of Toolangi.

But Justice Osborn also called for an urgent review of the reserve system that is supposed to protect the leadbeater’s possum habitat within the central highlands forest management area.

Court case fails to stop logging in Leadbeater's Possum habitat

24 March 2012
Originally published at : 

Healesville-based group, MyEnvironment, has lost a court case it mounted against government body VicForests over the logging of Victoria’s central highlands areas that include habitat for the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum.

Justice Robert Osborn handed down his decision in the Supreme Court on March 14. He refused to order a stop to logging in three forest coupes at Toolangi, including the Gun Barrel coupe that was the scene of blockades and protests in late 2011.

Industry pushes against the grain

4 February 2012

THE logs - thousands of them - are piled neatly in an old sawmill yard at Neerim South, Gippsland. To the casual observer they may look unexceptional. But the truck drivers, paid by the government to cart the felled trees from the state's forests, know better. This place is a dumping ground, albeit temporary. And the wood - representing about 100 hectares of trees - symbolises long-term problems with the management of Victoria's native forests.

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