Rescue the Rubicon

The Rubicon State Forest and other state forests of the Central Highlands are being devastated by unsustainable, industrial-scale clear felling, despite huge forest losses in the Black Saturday bushfires.  Mountain landscapes have been scarred for years to come, with swathes of mountain ash forest reduced to quasi-plantations.

Other forest values such as wildlife conservation, biodiversity, bushfire mitigation and outdoor recreation and tourism are being seriously compromised.

Rubicon: beauty in Melbourne's backyard

On and on it flows: a barbed, bristling, triffid-like sea of blackberries. Blackberries blanket roadsides and logged hills and as far as the eye can see; bunch around tall tree trunks; drape across tree ferns; choke mountain streams, and hang through the mossy branches of mystic Antarctic Beech trees, the Gondwana icon that attracts official conservation status.

The Rubicon Forest Protection Group takes a trip through the historic Rubicon forest to bear witness to its beauty, biodiversity, and its destruction as a result of logging. By Jill Sanguinetti

Time to step in Minister D'Ambrosio

The Greater Gliders, officially classified as ‘vulnerable’ has suffered an 80% drop in population and will probably disappear altogether from the Rubicon if logging of post 39 ash forests continues at anything like its present rate. An unknown number died in the 2009 fires, including the family of gliders that lived for years in an old tree about 20 metres from our home, and who used to come crash-landing on our roof almost every night. See the story article about Greater Gliders in Friday’s Age.

Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings - VNPA, March 2017

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and executive director of the Victorian National Parks Association, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

Heyfield timber mill: Time to face forest facts

THE people of the Latrobe Valley are right to be dismayed by the looming fate of the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods mill at Heyfield.

Gippsland has long been the centre of the hardwood timber industry in Victoria, and the hardwood timber industry has long played a major part in Gippsland’s development and in its prosperity.

The jobs that the ASH mill and the value-added downstream industries provide are a huge asset in farming communities subject to the vagaries of world markets and of the weather.

The closure of Hazelwood makes such jobs even more valuable.