The state-owned logging agency VicForests regularly breach environmental laws by logging threatened species habitat and protected forest types. We take action in the face of inadequate government regulation through our Citizen Science Program.
The program collects data on threatened species and ecological values that are protected by Victorian law but threatened by logging. We report our results to the Victorian government.
We conduct surveys for species such as the endangered Long-footed Potoroo, Greater Glider and large forest Owls in areas scheduled for logging. The program has protected habitat by creating reserves and stopped several unlawful logging operations. Our citizen science program was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 United Nations World Environment Day Awards.
We organise regular educational forest survey camps based in Goongerah, the camps are organised in collaboration with Goongerah Landcare. Participants learn about forest ecology, threats to the forest from logging and ecological survey skills. Camps are free and open to everyone, no prior knowledge or experience is required.
VicForests are supposed to adhere to the logging Code of Practices however their operations are regularly found to break the rules.
The Victorian Department of Environment are meant to regulate VicForests logging operations, however inadequate and irregular auditing of their operations means logging often occurs in breach of environmental laws.
We audit logging areas for compliance to the law and search for threatened species before logging occurs. Through our monitoring and reporting we act as an unofficial forestry regulator, doing the work the Victorian government should be doing, to hold VicForests accountable to environment laws.
Greater Glider and Sooty Owl in forest earmarked for logging photographed by GECO volunteers.