"Today myself and a bunch of locals have come up to Mt Jersey to highlight something that the Victorian Government doesn't want you to see. And it is that old growth forests are still being logged and destroyed in Victoria."
Powerful words and footage from East Gippsland locals speaking out against logging in recovering forests on the doorstep of their township. After surviving the worst bushfires in living memory they're now watching the state government destroy these important areas which still provide critical habitat for wildlife.
You can take action and stand with the community by email decision makers here:
"In a place that only a few months was completely ravaged by bushfires, this forest was still alive and trying to come back but a publicly funded corporation like VicForests that you and I pay for, because its not profitable, is giving this forest no chance of recovering, coming with bulldozers and destroying everything that was here."
The area currently being logged on Mt Jersey was a hotspot for Greater Gliders and Yellow-bellied Gliders, it had never been logged and contained significant stands of old growth forest. While the area is fire-affected, some of the gliders managed to survive, and the giant hollow-bearing trees are still alive and recovering. Government owned logging agency VicForests have started knocking down some of the old, living trees, which still provide critical habitat for hollow-dependent species like the Greater Glider. Tree-ferns have also been found bulldozed throughout the area.
Just around the corner in another area recently logged the Environment Department failed to put in the proper protections for a Large Brown Tree Frog, an endangered frog species recently split into two species, halving its distribution and making it even more rare. The Department failed to put in place the minimum protection zone required by law and logging occurred just over 200m from the detection site.
GECO citizen scientists on Mt Jersey before the fires
Logging in fire affected areas has devastating consequences for the recovering forests. Salvage logging heavily impacts waterways increasing sedimentation, removes recovering ground-cover species which prevent soil erosion and provide a protective layer for the soil. Logging can halt the recovery of forests for up to 200 years. World renowned ecologist and expert on the impacts of salvage logging Professor David Lindenmeyer says research shows it is one of the most damaging types of logging and that there is no way to safely conduct salvage logging operations or mitigate the devastating impacts it has on recovering forests.
"Our catchment got logged, and our backyard got logged all the way up to the property line, that was in 2009 and 2010... it still looks like a bombshell."
"Large old tress and old growth forests are important for capturing and storing carbon. Logging forests is heavily subsidised by our tax payer dollars. Those dollars could be better spent mitigating bushfire. As we face this climate crisis our forests are worth far more standing than on the back of a truck. We've had enough. No more logging of native forests"