Rainforest logging report lands GECO campaigners in Court

It’s hard to believe the Victorian government would prosecute people for exposing rainforest logging, but that’s precisely what they’ve done.

GECO campaigners Ed Hill and Joe Henderson appeared in the Orbost Magistrates Court today. They’ve been charged with entering a logging area. It is alleged they did so to document and expose logging of protected rainforest.

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Winter citizen science camp collects data to save forests

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Forty people made the journey to Goongerah for the GECO winter citizen science camp over the long weekend. 

People from Melbourne, Canberra, East Gippsland and as far as the USA and Hong Kong joined us for old growth walks, forest carbon accounting practicals, remote fauna camera deployment, habitat mapping and nocturnal spotlighting surveys.

Lots of valuable data was collected to help protect East Gippsland's forests and threatened species from logging.

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Kuark Forest defenders face court

Three people who were arrested and charged for taking part in a direct action protest in the Kuark forest in January have appeared in the Melbourne magistrates court this morning. They were protesting at Pikes Hill in the Kuark forest, a critically important area of habitat for a number of threatened plants and animals.

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Image: The three activists with their legal support team.

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100 hectares of forest protected for Greater Gliders

Great news for greater gliders! Our recent survey that found 11 greater gliders has resulted in a 100 hectare protected area and stopped VicForests from destroying their habitat.

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning verified the survey last week and found the same number of gliders that we did, they are now in the process of creating a protection zone. Logging will no longer go ahead in the area and the gliders remain safe.

We're calling on Environment Minister Lisa Neville to make her department conduct their own surveys. It's not the job the community to look for and protect unique creatures like the greater glider before their homes are logged.

It's the government's job, but they're not doing it.

Take action email the Minister here!

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GECO signs onto joint statement on Regional Forest Agreements

Goongerah Environment Centre has joined with 31 other environment groups today, calling on the Federal government to abolish the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

The RFAs are agreements between state and federal governments that lock in access to public forests for logging and exempt the state based logging industries from federal environment laws.

The twenty year agreements are set to expire in the coming years, with the East Gippsland RFA being the first agreement to expire in February 2017. We've joined with a coalition of groups calling on the RFAs to be scrapped and not rolled over.

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VicForests cuts habitat trees after citizen survey records Greater Gliders in logging coupe

Media Release – May 2nd 2016

Logging of old growth forest in East Gippsland has been halted after citizen surveys documented a large population of Greater Gliders in a VicForests logging coupe near Bendoc on Wednesday night.

Greater Gliders are Australia’s largest gliding marsupial, capable of gliding up to 100 meters. They need large old trees with hollows to sleep in during the day.

The law requires Greater Glider habitat to be protected from logging when more than 10 individuals are recorded on a 1km survey. GECO’s citizen science survey recorded 11 Greater Gliders in 850m.

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) will conduct their own survey this week. Logging has been put on hold in the forest until the DELWP investigation concludes. 

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Citizen survey stops logging in Greater Glider forests again!

A citizen science survey has stopped logging on the Errinundra plateau again! Last night 11 Greater Gliders were found on a spotlighting survey in a forest being logged by VicForests. In East Gippsland Greater Gliders are protected by law when more than 10 individuals are found in a 1km long survey. GECO surveys identified 11 Greater Gliders in a 850m survey, triggering the legal requirement for the area to be placed into a Special Protection Zone (SPZ).

After burning the midnight oil with Australia's large gliding marsupials, we submitted our survey data first thing this morning, calling on the Department of Environment to stop the logging.

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Logging was occurring in protected species habitat, before the Department could investigate. This afternoon DELWP confirmed that VicForests has suspended operations! Another great result for protected species thanks to an epic survey effort. Citizen surveys keep finding protected species where VicForests refuse to look. 

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Minister stops burning of Kuark logging coupes in rainforest stronghold

Great news! Environment Minister Lisa Neville has cancelled the planned burn of logged areas in the iconic Larissa Lane in #‎KuarkForest!

Last week we raised concerns that the Department of Environment and VicForests' burns of a logged area at Larrissa Lane would endanger the rare rainforest and Slender-tree ferns in the gully directly adjacent to the planned burn.

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Action needed to halt burning of rainforest area in Kuark forest

Yesterday a crime against nature was committed at Hensleigh ck rd on the Errinundra Plateau. The Victorian government burnt an area of rainforest that was illegally logged last year.

One year ago VicForests bulldozed ancient rainforest trees like Sassafras and Black olive berry, likely to be 1000 years old. Despite several investigations, an independent review, condemnation from Minister Lisa Neville MP and a commitment to bolster the logging rules. Nothing changed! Yesterday the Vic government burnt the damaged rainforest, completing the destructive operation and finally killing the 1000 year old trees they illegally bulldozed last year. A crime against nature.

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It's the height of the logging burns season and VicForests and the Department of Environment are planning on burning the Larissa Lane rainforest area in the iconic Kuark forest.

We have to stop it!

Rainforest and rare and protected plants are at risk if the burn goes ahead.

You can take action by emailing Environment Minister Lisa Neville using the form below.

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New unlawful logging in Rainforest Site of Significance

GECO and Fauna and Flora Research Collective has exposed another two unlawful rainforest logging breaces this week. These breaches are the fourth and fifth cases of VicForests' unlawful logging in rainforest areas in just three months. The area is situated in the Serpentine Rainforest Site of Significance, a well known stronghold for warm temperate rainforest and rare species.

A report has been submitted to the state government concerning inadequate vegetative buffers on stands of rainforest coinciding with a linear reserve. The rainforest in this area requires a 100m buffer under the law. Logging here is active and needs to be stopped so the law can be followed.

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40 rare tree-ferns found as VicForests investigated for rainforest logging

A VicForests coupe is under investigation by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) for logging of protected rainforest in East Gippsland's Cabbage Tree Creek Area. GECO surveys identified logged rainforest buffers, 40 rare Slender and Skirted Tree-ferns and 75 rainforest associated species. DELWP are scheduled to visit the coupe this week.

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Rare Slender and Skirted Tree-ferns

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VicForests caught logging protected rainforest again

VicForests has been caught out logging protected rainforest again. Logging commenced last week in high conservation value wet forest on the border of the Kuark and Murrungower forest blocks. This area is a stronghold for warm temperate rainforest, which is protected by law. An inspection of this coupe has revealed unlawful logging of rainforest buffer zones. We've collected evidence of the rainforest logging breaches and reported it to the Department of Environment, who are supposed to make sure rainforest is protected from VicForests logging operations. Once again the Victorian government has failed to protect rainforest from VicForests and allowed unlawful logging to occur.

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Citizen scientists converge in Kuark forest

Sixty people converged in the Kuark Forest over the weekend to learn and practice survey techniques for protected forest species. GECO forest campaigners presented educational presentations and workshops on species ecology, the East Gippsland forest campaign, survey report writing and rainforest biogeography. Valuable data was collected on the presence of rare, threatened and protected species in VicForests logging coupes. We also completed two forest carbon accounting plots adding to our forest carbon assessment data.

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VicForests faces fresh court challenge over endangered species

 

Environment East Gippsland (EEG) is suing VicForests in the SupremeYBG_1_a_small.jpg Court again!

Central to the legal case are inadequate protections and pre logging surveys for protected species such as the critically endangered East Gippsland Galaxias fish, the endangered Long footed potoroo, Yellow bellied gliders and rare and protected plants in an area of the Kuark Forest. VicForests refused to stop logging in the area subject the the Court action, so EEG took

out an emergency injunction to halt logging of the protected species habitat. GECO has collected survey data on the protected species in this area that may be used as evidence in the case. The Age newspaper ran a story last week about the case. Click read more to view the story.

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100 hectares of forest saved for Greater Gliders

GG_2_CR_Press_copy_crop_smallest.jpg Great news! The greater glider survey we conducted recently has been verified by ecologists commissioned by the Department of Environment. 100 hectares will be protected from logging! The verification team found the same number of gliders as we did, 15 in total.

It's good to see the government respond and act in this case. But why was this logging area not surveyed to start with and why did it take a small group of volunteers to conduct an 11th hour survey to stop logging at the last minute? Hopefully this will encourage Lisa Neville MP's  Department to conduct independent pre-logging surveys to ensure protected species are identified prior to logging. There was some great coverage about this successful result on the ABC's AM program. A journalist from the program came out with us on a survey looking for the Greater Gliders smaller cousin, the Yellow Bellied Glider.

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