Cold weather and the official start of winter didn't deter fifty enthusiastic citizen scientists from attending GECO's winter forest survey camp in Goongerah over the long weekend.
GECO's 12th citizen science camp attracted a diverse crowd of people from Melbourne, Gippsland and Sydney who took part in old growth forest walks, remote fauna camera surveys, rainforest identification and mammal spotlighting surveys.
Government scientists have advised Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio to issue a conservation order to protect the Greater Glider from logging.
The Minister's department has urged her not to follow this advice.
Instead the department recommended discussions with the state logging agency for ‘voluntary action’.
Scientific advice and departmental documents were released to GECO under Freedom of Information.
The Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) has made a final recommendation to list the greater glider as a protected species on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act.
The greater glider was nominated for listing last year, the SAC final recommendation has now been forwarded to Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio who has 30 days to decide whether the species will be listed.
Listing the greater glider on the FFG Act must be swiftly followed by measures to strengthen protections for the species in state forests subject to logging.
Originally published on the The Age website
Two environmentalists who entered an East Gippsland logging coupe to document the destruction of rainforest have had charges against them dismissed.
The court decision is the final chapter on what has been a two-year saga for Ed Hill and Joe Henderson, whose actions led to the state government conceding it needed to bolster timber harvesting rules – but who were then charged on summons with illegally entering the logging zone.
A giant cut-tail ash tree logged and left behind on the edge of rainforest gully. Photo: Goongerah Environment Centre
Two conservationists from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) had charges dismissed in the Orbost Magistrates Court today. Ed Hill and Joe Henderson were prosecuted for entering a logging area where they documented and reported logging of protected rainforest in East Gippsland in April 2015.
Hill and Henderson submitted a report documenting the logging breach to the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). The DELWP investigation found a rainforest area that was consistent with the minimum requirements to trigger legal protection, had been subject to ‘unwarranted destruction’ by loggers under the control of VicForests. Despite this conclusion the Department decided not to take any regulatory action.
The W-Tree community near the Snowy river in East Gippsland, need your help to stop logging of the Basin Creek rainforest complex. This spectacular rainforest area is under threat from VicForests logging operations.
Click here to sign the petition to Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews calling on them to protect this stunning place from destructive clear fell logging.Read more
Over 100 people attended a snap vigil for Victoria's forest dependent threatened species on the steps of Victorian parliament house yesterday.
The vigil was called just four days ago in response the the Victorian and Federal government's decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).
The RFA exempts logging from complying with federal environment laws that protect threatened species. It has been a disaster for forest wildlife and it's extension is set to lock on more legally exempt destruction of critically important habitat.
Environment groups are raising concerns about the Victorian and federal governments decision to extend the East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA).
The RFA is a 20 year agreement between state and federal governments that exempts logging from complying with Federal environment law. It was first signed in 1997 and expires today.
Logging is exempt from assessments under Federal law on the basis of state based logging regimes implementing measures to protect federally listed threatened species.
This week a coalition of 25 environment groups is urging Premier Daniel Andrews to abandon his plans to extend the legal exemption given to the native forest logging industry in East Gippsland.
The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year arrangement between state and federal governments that gives special immunity to the logging industry from Federal environment laws - laws that should protect nationally listed threatened species.
Since the late 1990s the logging industry in Victoria has been exempt from adhering to federal environment laws that protect our nationally threatened wildlife.
Only native forest logging gets this special exemption known as a 'regional forest agreement' (RFA)
In February 2017 the East Gippsland RFA will expire.
It should not be extended.
Logging has been stopped for the second time in one week in the Goongerah forest block.
Last week VicForests were forced to stop logging at Mt. Jersey after GECO raised concerns with the state government about the threat logging posed to the endangered large brown tree frog and the unlawful nature of the operation that had commneced without a survey for protected species.
After exiting Mt. Jersey, VicForests moved into old growth forest on Yalmy rd in the Goongerah water catchment. This coupe is just 1.5kms from a recent detection of the endangered large brown tree frog and forms important habitat for a number of rare and threatened species. GECO conducted a survey of the creek lines and found several Endangered Orbost Spiny crayfish.
Logging has been stopped by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) in forest near Goongerah.
The forest is habitat for the endangered large brown tree frog (Litoria littlejohni), a species thought to be extinct from Victoria until rediscovered by GECO volunteers last year. The frog is only know in Victoria from six recently recorded sites.
Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) has sent a report to the state government detailing illegal logging at Mt. Jersey in East Gippsland. GECO are concerned that logging is impacting on habitat for the Endangered large brown tree frog and protected rainforest.
The large brown tree frog (Litoria littlejohni) was thought to be extinct from Victoria until ecologist and GECO volunteer Rena Gaborov heard it calling in two locations last year. It was the first time the frog had been heard or seen in over 15 years.
VicForests has placed boundary tapes marking out an area of endangered species habitat on Mt. Jersey, near Goongerah.
This area is a stronghold for the endangered Large Brown Tree-frog (Litoria littlejohni). The frog was thought to be possibly extinct from Victoria until last year GECO volunteer Rena Gaborov heard it calling in forest near Goongerah. It had not been seen or heard in Victoria for over 15 years.
The frog has only been recorded in six locations since its rediscovery last year. All of these new locations have been found, documented and reported by GECO volunteers. The state government have not conducted enough surveys to properly asses the very rare and cryptic frogs status.
The forest that VicForests plan to commence logging this week is just 550m from the site where GECO volunteers recorded the frog just two months ago.
Over fifty people converged in Goongerah this weekend for the ninth GECO citizen science survey camp. People from across Gippsland, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra took part in old growth forest walks, forest carbon accounting surveys, remote fauna camera deployment and data collection, spotlighting surveys for greater gliders and rainforest mapping.