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 and forest monitoring program.
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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.
Every few months over long weekends we hold citizen science survey camps and skillshares in the forests of far East Gippsland. Camps are open to all members of the public, regardless of experience.
Survey camps focus on threatened species surveying and conservation in the forests of East Gippsland. Participants learn about threats to species, ecology, survey techniques, data collection and collation. The camps collect data on threatened species and ecological values. Data is collated into scientific reports. Reports are presented to the Department of Environment to ensure endangered species habitat is given the legal protections afforded to it.
The camps empower the community to act protect threatened species and ecological values in the face of inadequate regulation of the logging industry.
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.