Giving VicForests the chop

THE lack of interest by VicForests as seen by the Mirboo North community group Preserve our Forests has frustrated members who have voted to conclude discussions with the VicForests..
A motion brought forth by Preserve our Forests to conclude discussions with VicForests regarding the logging of three coups in the area passed unanimously at a town meeting last week.
The Preserve our Forests group believes its attention is better focused lobbying relevant state ministers, in particular the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford and Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.
Chair of the Preserve our Forests group Marg Thomas said while they were open to reigniting a dialogue with VicForests in the future, for now they are forgoing that option.
“For the present time we are concluding our talks with them but that doesn’t mean if something comes up in the future that we wouldn’t engage with them again,” Ms Thomas said.
‘We feel they are ignoring our no logging stance so we think our energy is better spent talking to ministers and state departments.”
VicForests Corporate Affairs general manager, Alex Messina said it was disappointing Preserve our Forests elected to conclude discussions with the state owned business.
Mr Messina urged Preserve our Forests to continue a dialogue with VicForests, saying the biggest losers out of the cease in talks will be the Mirboo North community.
“It’s disappointing for the Mirboo North community but we will still find ways to talk to locals and continue to have input from them.”
It’s been just over 12 months since VicForests announced plans to log three coups around Mirboo North with multiple scenarios having been talked about during that time.
An initial plan to log 80 hectares (197 acres) has been reduced to potentially a 23 hectare (56 acre) log in one of the coups with selective logging occurring in the other two and a buffer zone being set up around Lyrebird Walk.
The Preserve our Forests group remains firm in their stance that zero logging should occur.
Also unveiled at the community meeting last week were the results of a nine month socio economic survey conducted by Preserve our Forests.
Of the 393 Mirboo North residents surveyed 69% said the logging of the three coups would have a severe impact on them with residents saying they use the area for passive and active recreation in addition to a visual amenity.
Viki Sinclair of Preserve our Forests said the loss of surrounding forests would have a big impact on the town.
“There really is a sense of grief and loss,” Ms Sinclair said.
“You don’t damage or remove the biggest asset a small town has.”
Many also voiced their worries about loss of habitat for a selection of endangered species of animals.
Mr Messina said he understands the concerns of the local community and reiterated that the townships concerns were the concerns of VicForests as well.
“We know of concerns from locals about wanting to maintain habitats for threatened species in particular Greater Gliders,” Mr Messina said.
“We’ve had biodiversity experts and ecologists accessed the coups and draw up a biodiversity plan to best maximize the protection of their habitats.”
Mr Messina said logging won’t begin before autumn next year as VicForests intends to prioritize working with the community further.

Banding together: Members of Preserve our Forests came together last Wednesday night to inform the Mirboo North Community on the latest happenings in the proposed logging in the area.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25850

Posted by on Sep 25 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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