Recent surveying in the Cottonwood range forests has revealed vast areas of failed regeneration after logging. VicForests recently added 9 new logging areas (coupes) to their plans in the Cottonwood range, more than 20 coupes are on the logging plans in the Cottonwood.
Logging operations in this high altitude environment are failing to regenerate, this coupe was logged in 2004. Once a tall wet forest with a diversity of plant and animal species, it's now a paddock of grasses and dead bracken.
This is land clearing, not "sustainable" logging. Logging operations are currently occurring within 700m of this area of failed regeneration. There are 20 planned coupes all with in a 2km radius of the area. Will the forests being logged now and in the future on the Cottonwood range also fail to regenerate? It's very likely.
High altitude areas often fail to regenerate due to colder temperatures and frosts. Our photo was posted by our friends Environment East Gippsland on their facebook page and the ABC ran a story about this environmental disaster. Click read more to see the story.
Originally published at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-10/logged-forest-near-bendoc-that-diddn't-regenerate-a-'disaster'/6926350
Logged forest near Bendoc that didn't regenerate a 'major disaster' says East Gippsland environmentalist
An East Gippsland environmentalist is calling for an investigation into areas of state forest that have failed to regenerate after being logged.
Jill Redwood said there was a parcel of land outside of Bendoc, near the New South Wales border, where there was nothing but dead bracken on land that was logged 11 years ago.
Ms Redwood said State Government data showed there was 10,000 hectares of land across Victoria where trees and plants had not regrown after clear-felling.
"It is going to cost the Government ... i.e. the taxpayer, millions, I think, to go back over these 10,000 hectares," she said.
"It's going to take a lot of money and time and possibly even hand planting.
"Failed regeneration is a pretty sorry state. It really just looks like a huge field of dead bracken and nothing else, not even wattle are coming up.
"Major, major disaster and this was once very rich, bio-diverse forest."
VicForests' general manager Nathan Trushell said his organisation rehabilitated 95 per cent of logged land successfully.
However, he said some areas, including at Bendoc, were not regenerated by the State Government before VicForests was created.
"VicForests started operation in 2004 and there was a backlog of areas that weren't successfully regenerated prior to us starting operations and from time to time the Victorian Government contracts us when there's funds to do that work," he said.
He said alpine regions could be harder to regrow plants in.
"The risks are greater generally speaking as you increase elevation," he said.
"That's not to say it can't be done successfully. What it means is we need to take additional measures, certainly we increase our seed application rate and we get our site preparation right."
See the slide show below of forests in the Cottonwood range that are scheduled for logging. We were surveying here during the September survey camp.
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