GECO - Goongerah Environment Centre

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Illegal logging discovered by GECO volunteers at Hensleigh Creek

Machinery is still in old growth forest at Hensleigh Creek where unlawful rainforest logging occurred recently. Contact The Hon Lisa Neville MP 
Victorian Minister for the Environment - l[email protected]  ph: 03 9637 9654

Tell her you want this destruction to stop. Rainforest in the far corner of the operation is yet to be reached but the machines are making their way down there. VicForests can't be trusted to obey the law that protects rainforest from logging, they break it time and time again. Logging here must stop before more unlawful destruction of rainforest.

We put together this little video about how we found the unlawful rainforest logging operation and the campaign to stop logging in the area. Watch, share and email Environment Minister Lisa Neville MP asking her to stop logging at Hensleigh creek in the area where rainforest has been unlawfully logged.

Owl habitat of Kuark forest subject to Supreme court case - GECO surveys collect 

essential data

The Kuark forest is situated in far East Gippsland, north east of Orbost on the southern flanks of the Errinundra National park. It is one of the last places on earth where old growth “cross over” rainforest occurs. Warm and cool temperate rainforest species blend together beneath ancient towering Eucalyptus trees, creating a unique environment rich in biodiversity. All four Victorian species of Tree Fern are found in the wet gullies, including the rare slender and skirted tree ferns. The ancient forests of Kuark are crucial habitat for three threatened Owl species, the Sooty, Powerful and Masked owls.

 The forest survived the devastating 2014 fires, which burnt 170,000ha of forest including 46 protected zones set aside for threatened owls. Instead of rezoning the Owl habitat to replace what was lost in the fires, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Vic Forests continued to plan clear fell logging operations in critically important owl areas like the Kuark forest.

 The Kuark forest is currently subject to a Supreme court case in which Environment East Gippsland (EEG) are suing Vic Forests and the Victorian government for failing to re zone owl protection areas to replace what was lost in the 2014 fires. EEG are arguing that areas of habitat where owls have been detected should not be logged until rezoning of the owl protection areas. Currently there is 80 other stands of old growth forest with Owl detections that are subject to the court case that Vic Forests has agreed not to log until the end of February 2015. GECO volunteers, using sound recorders and call play back mega phones have recorded many of the owl detections in the coupes currently subject to the court case.

All three Owls have been recorded in the Kuark area, Sooty, Powerful and just recently a Masked owl was recorded. GECO volunteers are continually monitoring logging operations and surveying proposed coupes for threatened species. Help is needed to carry out more surveys and data collection in the lead up to the Supreme court case.

As the Victorian government fails to look after threatened species and places their future in the hands of the timber industry, our survey work becomes even more critical. GECOs engagement in citizen science through our ecological survey work has resulted in a number of significant conservation gains.  We continue to do the work the government wont and hold them accountable to their own laws that aim to provide protection for threatened species.

 If you would like to help with surveying efforts and join us in the forests of East Gippsland, regular survey weekends take place in Kuark and other forest areas leaving from Goongerah. Get in touch via the contact us link on the website.

 For more information about the Kuark forest click on the Forest Information link.

Also check out our friends Environment East Gippsland's website for more information on the Supreme court case 

Logging halted in East Gippsland

Forty people stopped logging in East Gippsland, with tripods and treesits.   Its happening on Yalmy Road, at Stony Creek near Bonang in East Gippsland.  High conservation value mixed old growth forest including stands of Mountain Ash (rarely seen in the far east).  Protest at Eden Chipmill

GECO on the radio!
Listen here on 3CR's earth matters as GECO spokesperson Dave and Tassie's Miranda talk about the fearless summer campaign


National Forest Skillshare

November 30, 2013 – December 5, 2013

East Gippsland In preparation for a summer of forest activism, this gathering will feature workshops, talks, practical skills, films and more.

And check out the NEW PROGRAM here

Mining in East Gippsland - new threats to the environment

As well as gold exploration, iron ore mining is also on the cards.  There are plans for a new open pit Iron Ore mine in Nowa Nowa, 7km north of the township in State Forest.  Eastern Iron are proposing a 25ha pit (needing 146 hectares to be cleared for infrastructure)with over 70 trucks every day taking the ore to the export facility at Eden (yep, thats right).  It seems that there could be links between this, the Eden export woodchip mill and the planned biomass electricity plant at Nowa Nowa (after all the mine will need power, right?).

"public consultation"  is being held - click here for info

and for FAQ on the mine click here

Concerns have been raised about the effect downstream, with the area at the headwaters of the Boggy Creek, one of the tributaries into the Lake system.  The area also potentially contains underground aquifers and mining may affect ground water in a number of surrounding areas connected underground.  Discussion about this is occuring on a facebook page called Friends of Boggy Creek

Rumours of Biomass plant in Nowa Nowa

Rumours persist about plans for a biomass plant in Nowa Nowa, potentially made more viable by the planned iron ore mine (see above).

A biomass plant in Nowa Nowa to burn wood for power would be disastrous for the forests.  Instead of being given reticulated gas to the home, from the gas pipeline that runs right past the door, this is the offer being made to the residents of Nowa Nowa.  And now, a great big mine will suddenly need alot of power too...