GECO volunteers have found a giant 14m circumference Errinundra Shining gum in forests slated for logging, only a few hundred metres from a main tourist road. The tree is around the same size and significance as the giant tree protected in the Old Growth forest walk in the Errinundra NP.
It's just one of many huge trees citizen scientists found in these forests. We're calling on the government to remove this area from the current logging schedule, read our report and recommendations here.
Giant 14.5 metre Errinundra Shining gum in forests slated for logging
The state government has a policy to protect trees over 2.5m diameter, but this doesn't prevent damage to its roots from logging machinery, post logging burns and wind-throw which often kills trees left isolated in a completely cleared landscapes. The forests threatened by logging are also in an important unburnt refuge for threatened species. Given the significance of the area, which is one of the few remaining places that survived the 2019/2020 bushfires, we're calling on the government to protect these forests.
During our citizen science camp volunteers also marked a walk to a giant Cut-tail Ash measuring 11 metres, in another area set to be logged in December on Sellars Road. Mature forests home to these giants are becoming rarer from years of intensive industrial logging and bushfires.
Giant Cut-tail Ash (E. Fastigata) measuring 11 metres in threatened forest walk marked out by GECO volunteers
Nature-based tourism is so important for local communities recovering from the bushfires and the economic impacts of COVID-19. The forests and wildlife in East Gippsland are like nothing else on the planet. The future of secure and sustainable employment in East Gippsland is intimately linked to forest protection. The government must take action to protect these and other areas set to be logged in the coming months.
Statement from Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Chris Schuringa
"You have to see this tree to believe it. We’re naming it the 'Cathedral tree'. More than 10 people can fit inside the tree's hollow trunk, it's just magnificent. These trees are part of our heritage and deserve to be honored as national treasures not left to die in another clearfell logging operation.”
“The Forest Giant has been found in an area scheduled for logging, despite a government policy not to log old-growth forest or giant trees.”
“These giants rely on the forests around them to survive. Even if the individual trees are not logged, if they are left isolated in an otherwise devastated logging operation. Our experience shows they often fall over, or end up being killed by exposure or the post-logging burns. This
whole area needs to be protected.”
“The Andrews state government is leaving a shocking environmental legacy. These giants have been here for hundreds of years.”
“This area could be a major tourist attraction to bring people to East Gippsland. The future of employment in the area is in sustainable jobs which promote the natural beauty of these forests, not destroying them to be turned into wood-chips. The government needs to start transitioning out of native forest logging now.”
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