Logging started this week in a patch of untouched forests in Swifts Creek on Gunnai Kurnai Country, despite the Andrews government promising to protect all old growth forests in November 2019. Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders have also been found in the area, the forests are an island in a sea of fire-impacted forests, and a critical refuge for threatened species.
A number of old growth forest areas have been logged since the government's supposed old growth logging ban.
Take action and call the Environment Minister's office now on 03 9637 9504 and tell her to stop the logging in 'No Rush' coupe in Mt Delusion
Logging in old growth forests on Gunnai Kurnai Country - photos by Friends of Bats and Habitat GippslandRead more
The Andrews government wants to make dangerous changes to logging laws; not to strengthen forest protections, but to provide legal protection for more destructive logging and increase fire threats to communities.
Take action and call on the Andrews government to ditch the dodgy changes and end logging for good!
Less than 6 months since the last changes to logging laws, the Andrews government is planning to axe additional rules designed to keep communities safe from bushfire risk. They are also proposing to weaken protections to threatened species, like the Tree Geebung, an endemic species from the Central Highlands.
The changes mean more areas of forests close to towns with bushfire risk will be up for logging, despite the known links between logging and the increased severity of bushfires.
These rushed changes have the only goal of derailing current community-run court cases so logging can continue unabated. They are a stark contrast to the lack of progress on, for instance, the Major Event Review of the 2019-20 Summer Bushfires, which is yet to finalise its assessment of the impact of the bushfires on our forests and wildlife more than two years later.
The state Labor government are also set to introduce new legislation in early March, that will take away the rights of community groups to take VicForests to court, and leave it up to the Environment Department to decide whether or not VicForests have complied with the law.
The Environment Department has a shocking record when it comes to regulating logging. Despite multiple breaches, from widespread illegal logging on steep slopes, to failing to regenerate forests after logging, the Department’s Conservation Regulator has never taken legal action to reign in VicForests. It'll be leaving the fox in charge of the hen house. Take action to call on the government to ditch the dodgy changes here.
Forests logged in Swifts Creek, Gunnai Kurnai Country, failing to regenerateRead more
We are excited to announce the new date for our exclusive film screening fundraiser of 'The Message of the Lyrebird'. The film is an award-winning feature length documentary filmed in Victoria about people and their relationship with this iconic forest mimic, that has been performing song and dance routines for millions of years.
All ticket sales raise money for our ongoing campaign to protect East Gippsland's precious forests. The screening will be held on Gunnai Kurnai Country at Lakes Entrance Sammy's Squash + Cinema, March 20 from 12:30pm-4. Grab your tickets here.
We had an awesome time at our citizen science camp over the weekend on unceded Bidewell and Monero Country. Was great to get out to the Errinundra Plateau and do some Greater Glider and Yellow-bellied Glider surveys. There were plenty of walks to do during the day, through ancient rainforest to a giant cut-tail Ash on Sellar's Road, and to the Cathedral Tree, a giant 14-meter circumference Manna Gum.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out and got involved! We regularly hold citizen science events, sign up to our email list to get updates and come experience East Gippsland's incredible forests and wildlife, still threatened by logging.
Giant 14m circumference Manna gum in forests scheduled for loggingRead more
After another wonderful, epic, very challenging, roller-coaster year, we are wrapping up our work for 2021 with a look back at what we’ve been up to.
We want to say a massive thank you to every person who donated, shared a post or signed a petition, came out to the forest, especially to support Camp Errinundra earlier this year. We couldn't do what we do without your support.
Keen to kick-start 2022 with a trip to the forests? RSVP to our Defend Errinundra Forest skillshare event on Jan 21-24
The Andrews government has imminent plans to log forests which were supposed to be protected for the threatened Greater Glider. Back in 2018 we found a significant number of gliders in the Cottonwood area - we were told by the Environment Department that they were putting a protection area to save the gliders.
But we were alarmed when we saw the area was scheduled for logging in December, and was even resurveyed by the Environment Department earlier this year, even after they said they would protecting the forests!
Greater Glider found in Steps Track by GECO citizen scientistsRead more
A shocking new report has exposed 1 in 3 areas logged fail to regenerate after logging - for Ash type forests half fail to regenerate after 3 years. The report, After the Logging, Failing to regrow Victoria's forests was co-published by 19 environment groups from across Victoria, including GECO, and shows the catastrophic impact logging is having on forests across the state.
Last week the Victorian Government quietly sneaked through changes to the law which governs logging, gutting environment protections which were already poorly enforced. The changes weaken already outdated East Gippsland protections for the threatened Greater Glider - set to be listed as endangered after the devastating fires.
This could result in areas that would've been protected for the Glider being logged. At a time when stronger laws are desperately needed to curb the extinction crisis faced by so many animals threatened by logging - the Andrews government is making widespread, systemic illegal logging legal. Read the ABC coverage here.
Credit: Justin Cally - Southern Greater GliderRead more
Today is International Day of Action against #BigBadBioMass, and we're busting some of the myths and cutting through the greenwash.
Biomass is plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity or heat. In Australia, forests are being touted as the primary source for biomass plants in recent proposals, including a Victorian project in South Eastern Victoria by Port Anthony Renewables. But as we will see in this article, these projects increase carbon emissions and exacerbate deforestation and soil erosion.
Join us in calling for an end to burning trees for energy - we need to take real and immediate action on climate by protecting forests now >>> CLICK TO SIGN THE PETITION
A scathing report from the Auditor General has been handed down in Parliament today showing a catastrophic failure of Victoria's Environment Department to halt the decline of threatened species. It echoes similar findings handed down two years ago after Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio commissioned an independent review. The report released today states the Department; "...cannot demonstrate if, or how well, it is halting further decline in Victoria's threatened species populations" and "continues to make limited use of available legislative tools to protect threatened species".
There are almost 2,000 species at risk of extinction in Victoria, and the report says "Australia’s native plants and animals have the highest rate of species extinction of any developed nation..."
Yellow-bellied Glider set to be listed under the FFG Act after the bushfires
Credit: Fauna and Flora Research CollectiveRead more
Defend Errinundra is a film that gives voice to bushfire survivors who thought they had lost everything in the summer of 2019/20, but then realised there are still many precious forests worth protecting.Read more
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 loggingRead more
Thanks so much to the regional Victorians who came out to our citizen science camp over the long weekend! We went surveying for Greater Gliders, and walked through forests that were recently added to the logging schedule near Errinundra on Bidewell and Monero Country. In one area our volunteers found a 14m circumference tree! This giant is just one of many huge trees which were found in areas scheduled for logging.
We'll be submitting a report to the government to try and get this area protected. We are so grateful to everyone who was able to come out. We'll be hosting more citizen science camps later in the year, hopefully restrictions will ease and we can host folks from Naarm/Melbourne.