Clearfell Logging

Clearfelling entire hill sides back to bare dirt is VicForests’ favorite way of logging because it creates thousands of tonnes of ‘waste’ trees.

This so called waste is then sold very cheaply to local and Asian paper companies. It has to do with the economies of scale.

Before the late 60s, the best timber trees were felled singly for sawn timber (called selective logging). Now the entire landscape goes. Not only does clearfelling take out those offensive ancient forests and the animals that live there, it lets the logging companies burn any struggling plants that try to return and then plant one species of preferred tree as a woodchippers mono-crop over the top of once was diverse healthy forest. 

In effect, we pay them to cut down hundreds of year old trees, incinerate the site, and convert it all to miles and miles of woodchip tree farms. Even though conversion to plantations is illegal, they just give it another name – regeneration – oh – and usually with ‘sustainably managed’ in front of that.

It’s a bit like defining mass slaughter of civilians in a war ‘collateral damage’ (depending on who’s doing the killing).

DSE - prosecuting while being prosecuted

20 August 2012

View through the log grabberIt reads like a silly Monty Python sketch, but this absurdity is real.

On 6th August the Department of Sustainability and Environment was to be in court prosecuting VicForests for criminally logging rainforests at Murrungowar in East Gippsland.

In a curious paradox, EEG served papers on DSE for not adhering to rainforest protection laws just three days before. That is - DSE is being sued for not protecting rainforests while at the same time DSE was to prosecute VicForests for logging rainforests.

Why the Toolangi case was so important

15 May 2012

On 14 March 2012, environment group MyEnvironment lost their Supreme Court case against Vicforests.  The Court rejected their argument, made on their behalf by their lawyers Bleyer Lawyers and barristers Kristin Walker and Emrys Nekvapil, that Vicforests ought not be able to log forests at Toolangi that are habitat for the critically endangered Leadbeaters Possum.  The case’s many supporters will no doubt be disappointed with the final decision, however they can be reassured that the case was not in vain. 

Save Sylvia Supreme Court Case

6 February 2012
'MyEnvironment has demonstrated a strong case for the overall review of the adequacy of the reserve system intended to protect LBP habitat within the Central Highlands Forest Management Area. The [2009] bushfires have materially changed the circumstances in which the existing system was planned and implemented and there is, on the evidence, an urgent need to review it’  Justice Robert Osborn. 2012

Wide scale salvage logging linked to log dump destruction

18 January 2012

During the 2009 bushfires, a huge log dump near Marysville was destroyed by fire. Michael Ryan from VicForests stated that 50,000 tonnes of pulpwood had been destroyed – around 10% of the total annual production of pulp logs for this area. The log dump was located near Marysville surrounded by tinder dry forest. Photographs of the log dump taken before the fires by Peter Halasz show the enormous size of this stockpile.

Foresters still confused over a rainforest

18 January 2012

The fifth EPA audit of logging has been released recently and shows that DSE/VicForests is still incapable of ensuring full compliance with the Code of Practice.

The report checked logging done at 41 logging coupes during the 2006/7 financial year and its findings include:
More than 10% of coupes had fires that escaped outside the logging area.
One of the escaped fires burnt part of a Potoroo conservation reserve buffer.
Nearly half of the coupes (four out of nine) with areas of rainforest, did not have rainforest correctly identified (at two of these coupes, VicForests failed to find any rainforest).