Logging shock


Logging shock

THE Mirboo North community is rallying to fight a sudden proposal to log spectacular bushland north of the town they feel could affect the town’s water catchment, tourism and environment.

VicForests, a State Government-owned business, will today (Tuesday) reveal a proposal to log two coupes north of Mirboo North, but not before 2018.

One coupe will entail native forest around the popular Lyrebird Forest Walk and destroy the scenic drive along the Strzelecki Highway to Morwell.

The other coupe of native forest is south of Samson Road to Dougs Track and is within the town’s water supply, The Star has been told.

The community became aware of the proposal late last week.

Members of Friends of Lyrebird Walk, who built and then rebuilt the popular trail after a bushfire, are angered by the proposal.

The group’s Grant O’Neill said old growth forest would be felled, and all trees on the eastern side of the highway from Ricardo Road to the pumping station would be removed – and that is part of the Lyrebird Forest Walk, he said.

Of the Samson Road site, he said, “It is the only area in the entire state that has old growth Messmate that is not logged or even had a fire in it. It’s very unique.

“It is the only area known around here where the eastern barred bandicoot survives, let alone the sugar gliders and one of only two places that a particular rare orchid exists; the other being Lyrebird Forest Walk.”

Mr O’Neill said the logging would be a blow to the efforts of Lyrebird Forest Walk volunteers and the area’s tourism.

“What will we tell our visitors, bushwalkers, campers, motorbike riders, horse riders or the people who just want to drive around and smell our bush flora and fauna?” he said.

Lachlan Spencer, VicForests’ general manager stakeholders and planning, said VicForests had developed preliminary plans for two areas of state forest in the Mirboo North area, which have been zoned as suitable for timber harvesting.

“As harvesting has not occurred in this area for some time, VicForests began discussions with local community members last week about these plans,” he said.

“The areas discussed are under consideration for timber harvesting but the planning and community consultation is still underway. No harvesting could take place before 2018.”

Mr Spencer said the two areas planned to be harvested cover an area of approximately 50 hectares of state forest, which was native forest zoned as suitable for timber production.

“The timber harvested from these coupes would be supplied to local saw milling businesses. The harvested wood produces high-quality hardwood timber products used in construction and furniture. They also produce lower-quality timber that is used for paper and firewood,” he said.

The proposal will be in the VicForests Timber Release Plan available online today (Tuesday) at www.vicforests.com.au/planning-1/timber-release-plan-1/timber-release-plan

VicForests will be asking for public input on the plan during September.

Submissions can also be provided via email to [email protected] or mailed to VicForests, GPO Box 191, Melbourne, 3001.

A proportion of the money made from VicForests’ operations is returned to the government as a dividend.

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Posted by on Aug 29 2017. 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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