Forests

"A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people." Franklin D. Roosevelt 

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Forest Resources

$270 M Annual Victorian Native Forest Logging Subsidies

We request an IBAC review of Victorian Auditor Generals Office audit ‘Managing Victoria's Native Forest Timber Resources’  on the following grounds:

In 2013, the Victorian Auditor General’s Office made the following statement: VicForests does not receive any government subsidies yet this paper shows that VicForests receives annual subsidies of Approximately $270+ million dollars per annum.

VicForests Annual Report 2006

VicForests Annual Report 2006

Global Decline in Large Old Trees

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Large old trees are among the biggest organisms on Earth. They are keystone structures in forests, woodlands, savan- nas, agricultural landscapes, and urban areas, playing unique ecological roles not provided by younger, smaller trees. However, popula- tions of large old trees are rapidly declining in many parts of the world, with serious implications for ecosystem integrity and biodiversity. 

Effects of Logging on Fire Regimes in Wet Forests

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Introduction

Does logging reduce the fire proneness of forests? This question is often posed after major wildfires, especially those marked by substantial loss of human life or infras- tructure, such as occurred in February 2009 in south east- ern Australia, the worst fires in Australia’s history with the loss of 173 lives and more than 3000 homes. In the wake of fires such as these, calls for forests to be logged to prevent major wildfires have been made by senior public officials (Tuckey 2001) and by a key lobby group (Na- tional Association of Forest Industries 2009a,b,c). Similar arguments have also characterized fire and forest man- agement debates in western North America (DellaSala et al. 2004; Odion et al. 2004). For example, Aber et al. (2000, p. 12) noted that “conversion of old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest [of the USA] has sometimes been justified on grounds that it reduced the potential for catastrophic fire.” They further stated that perceptions that managed (logged) landscapes are less susceptible to wildfire than unmanaged ones are “an article of faith.” Indeed, the opposite may be the case in some forests as

One Stop Chop: RFA Review

On Stop Chop

“One Stop Chop”

Regional Forest Agreements’ failure has broad lessons

State Governments have failed to manage precious forests and wildlife to the standard that would have been required if they had remained under Commonwealth control; Regional Forest Agreements should be scrapped; and moves to hand Commonwealth environmental protection powers to States should be abandoned once and for all.

These are the lessons from “One Stop Chop: How Regional Forest Agreements Streamline Environmental Destruction” a detailed legal review of the 15 year history of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) conducted by Environmental Defenders Offices on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups and released today.

“We have today written to the Prime Minister and the Premiers of the RFA states informing them that we are looking into legal options if they fail to fulfil their international environmental obligations, abandon the RFAs now as legally void agreements and never allow this to happen with our other environmental treasures,” said Sarah Rees, Director of My Environment.

“RFAs were supposedly about protecting the environment while supporting forestry workers, but this review shows that they’ve been used to prop up unprofitable logging companies at the expense of our precious forests and the wildlife they nurture,” said Jess Beckerling, of WA Forest Alliance.

“The Regional Forest Agreements are a fifteen year failed experiment in putting state governments in charge of environmental management,” said Lauren Caulfield, of Lawyers for Forests. “This damning report shows how state governments have systematically and deliberately mismanaged native forests after being handed control.”

“We need stronger national environment laws and we need to fix the forest mess by scrapping the RFAs and creating a new model of protection and management,” said Pepe Clarke, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

The EDO review examines the legal management of forests under RFAs, including state frameworks and court battles since they were established 15 years ago. It concludes that, with few exceptions, the regulations, standards, monitoring and compliance, and enforcement by State governments have been weaker than they would have been if managed in accordance with Commonwealth environmental laws.

In particular:

  • State protections for threatened species are grossly inadequate;
  • The ability to change forest management to account for new information or new conditions (such as global warming) is almost impossible;Reviews of the operation of the RFAs have been inadequate;
  • Monitoring, compliance and enforcement by States are inadequate; and
  • Public (third party) participation, often vital in environmental protection, is severely restricted.

“Our forests nurture iconic wildlife, like koalas and wedge-tailed eagles, as well as cleaning our water and air – but only as long as we take care of them. Tragically, it’s often left up to individuals to try to stop the damage being done and, under RFAs, our right to do so is often stripped away,” said Harriet Swift, of the South East Region Conservation Alliance.

“The evidence clearly shows that the states can’t be trusted to look after our nationally important forests, wildlife and precious places like national parks and the Great Barrier Reef” said Rob Fowler, President of Conservation South Australia.

“Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott need to commit to dropping all plans to turn our environment protection laws into the kind of One Stop Chop we’re seeing in our precious forests thanks to the RFAs,” said Susie Russell, of North Coast Environment Council.

“The Commonwealth has the power and responsibility for preserving our environmental wealth. It should use it,” concluded Felicity Millner, Principal Solicitor with the Environment Defenders Office, Victoria.

Forest Prescriptions - David Lindenmayer

Researchers at The Australian National University have worked in the montane ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria for 30 years. The work has spanned studies of the habitat requirements and population viability of arboreal marsupials (including Leadbeater’s Possum), populations of large old trees, forest dynamics, fire dynamics, logging impacts and numerous other investigations documented in more than 165 peer-reviewed scientific articles and seven books (reviewed in Lindenmayer 2009). The prescriptions in this report are based on that body of research, together with new data from on-going research on the impacts of the 2009 fires on Leadbeater’s Possum and its habitat in montane ash forests. 

Action Statement - Recommendation Letter

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This is a letter from the Federal Leadbeater's Possum Recovery Team to the Victorian government on the amendments that needed to be made to the Leadbeater's Possum Action Statement to prevent the Leadbeater's Possum from going extinct. It was ignored by government.

VicForests’ Relies on Loans and Over-states Equity to Conceal Poor Performance

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VicForests’ Relies on Loans and Over-states Equity to Conceal Poor Performance

VicForests, the state government’s native-forest logging agency, has incurred cash losses of $22.2 million since it commenced operating in 2004, says a new report, commissioned by volunteer group Healesville Environment Watch Inc. (HEWI). This equates to $1.50 for each cubic metre of wood (pulp and saw logs) it has sold. The report was conducted by the New Economics Advisory Service of the Australian Conservation Foundation. It involved examination of the company’s cash flows and balance sheets published in its Annual Financial Reports.

HEWI’s own analysis of the figures had previously revealed a large number of apparent discrepancies so it submitted its findings to the NEAS for a second opinion. The New Economics Advisory Service work not only confirmed HEWI’s original concerns but also identified additional issues with VicForests’ financial performance.

The report questions VicForests’ favourable methods for assigning values to its assets, including eucalypt seed, stored and standing timber and regenerating coupes and says they may not hold up to commercial due diligence. The result is over-statement of the equity of the company, which has accumulated interest-bearing debt of $26.8 million and appears to rely on low-interest government loans to fund operations. The report concludes there are significant questions about the viability of VicForests and the commercial sustainability of native forestry.

“We were disturbed that VicForests was not properly and accurately reporting its financial and environmental performance and had publicly raised concerns at the company’s failure to return dividends to Victorians who own these forests,” said HEWI chairman, Steve Meacher. “Now this new report shows that we were right to raise these questions and points to the inappropriate accounting methods VicForests has been using in an apparent attempt to conceal its poor performance.”

The NEAS recommends a thorough financial audit be undertaken by an independent agency that should also consider the significant environmental degradation caused by native forest logging.

The Victorian Auditor General’s Office is currently conducting an audit of the state’s timber industry, due to be tabled in Parliament in November. Last month the Legislative Council passed the government’s Sustainable Forests (Timber) Amendment Bill 2013. Bruce Atkinson (Lib) crossed the floor in support of a motion from John Lenders (Labor) that the bill be referred to committee so that advice could be obtained from the Auditor General. Mr Atkinson noted, “concerns about the fact that the legislation precedes the Auditor-General’s examination of VicForests”. With the vote tied at 18/18 the motion failed. The Bill passed in Council and is expected to progress to the Assembly next week. Passage of the Bill is likely to further erode government and public scrutiny of VicForests operations.

HEWI’s analysis has already been provided to VAGO and the new NEAS report will also be submitted.

VicForests’ Relies on Loans and Over-states Equity to Conceal Poor Performance

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VicForests, the state government’s native-forest logging agency, has incurred cash losses of $22.2 million since it commenced operating in 2004, says a new report, commissioned by volunteer group Healesville Environment Watch Inc. (HEWI). This equates to $1.50 for each cubic metre of wood (pulp and saw logs) it has sold. The report was conducted by the New Economics Advisory Service of the Australian Conservation Foundation. It involved examination of the company’s cash flows and balance sheets published in its Annual Financial Reports

2009 TRP additions - no consultation

A letter confirming more green forest added to Timber Release Plans

Department of Primary Industry Job Report 2010

A summary of jobs in the logging industry in Victoria.

  1. In 2010 - 2640 people are employed across Victoria in native forestry growing and services to forestry and primary processing sector.

Certificate of Contribution to Case

Certificate

Please download this certificate if you have made a contribution, financial or otherwise, to the court case for Victoria's faunal emblem - the Leadbeater's (fairy) Possum.

Great Forest Tours

bigforesttours

Tours into tallest flowering forests in the world - home to the endangered Leadbeater’s possums and view the Three Stories/ Zoo's Vic Xtinction exhibition.

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Law institute review of MyEnvironment case to Walsh

Conclusion
23. The range of laws, plans and agreements that regulate logging in Victoria's Central Highlands
do not adequately protect the habitat of the Leadbeater's Possum. It is vital that the Victorian
government urgently review the relevant law and take action as soon as possible to save this
emblematic species.

24. As we have outlined, this action can be achieved by:
• reviewing the CAR Reserve system in light of the 2009 Victorian bushfires and
implementing a scheme to adapt to material changes in Victorian forests;
• conducting a zoning review of the Central Highlands to include any Leadbeater's Possum
habitat within the special protection zone;
• updating the Leadbeater's Possum Action Statement to include more appropriate
protections for the species;
• considering the use of critical habitat determinations and interim protection orders to
protect Leadbeater's Possum habitat; and
• amending the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 (Vic) to more appropriately reflect
conservation aims.

25. Please contact Rachele Troup and Leanne Olden, of the Young Lawyers Law Reform Committee
(younglaw@liv.asn.au) if you would like to discuss or require further information.

Illegal logging prohibition Act 2012

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012 promotes the purchase and sale of legally logged timber products in Australia and gives consumers and businesses greater certainty about the legality of the timber products they buy.

The Act restricts the importation and sale of illegally logged timber in Australia in the following ways:

  • Placing a prohibition on importing illegally logged timber and timber products.
  • Placing a prohibition on processing domestically grown raw logs that have been illegally logged.
  • Establishing offences and penalties, including up to five years imprisonment, for the importation or processing of prohibited products.
  • Establishing comprehensive monitoring and investigation powers to enforce the above requirements of the Act.

There is now a high-level prohibition in place on:

  • importing timber and timber products containing illegally logged timber
  • processing Australian raw logs that have been illegally logged.

In November 2014, regulations that outline the operational framework for importers and processors will come into effect, including due diligence processes and a detailed list of products that will be subject to the regulations. The government will table the regulations before the end of May 2013, 18 months before they come into effect, to allow industry sufficient time to establish due diligence systems and processes.

Penalties are at the discretion of a court; the maximum penalties that may be applied are:

  • five years imprisonment, and/or
  • $55 000 for an individual, and/or
  • $275 000 for a corporation or body corporate.

LBP Action statement vs CHFMP

According the to Leadbeaters Possum Action Statement the intended Management Actions contained within it provide the necessary directions and options for the conservation of Leadbeaters's Possum, and the management of the forest estate will be determined by relevant area management plans which take into account economic, social and other environmental considerations.  Intended actions in this Statement should be incorporated in forest mangement plans ...

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources interpreted the above statement to mean that they could not only choose which intended actions but could modify and edit the intended actions.

However the Code of forest practices states that there must be consistency between the Forest Management Plan and the Action Statement.

Furthermore the LBP Action statement is the more recently reviewed document and therefore takes precedence.

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Saving Mt St Leonard

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Saving Mt St Leonard - an account of the community battle by local forest ecologist Bernard Mace

RFA Media Release

The 1998 media release from the signing of the Regional Forest Agreements

RFA Media Release RFA Media.pdf 780.96 kB

DSE Investigation - Big Kahuna

An investigation by the DSE into logging of ecologically mature forests

Ethical Paper briefing Paper SoYR

A briefing paper for the Shire of Yarra Ranges Council to help inform on the motion, put by Cr Jim Child, to drop commitment to the ethical paper pledge.

McMahons

The logging of Melbourne's drinking water supply for Reflex paper

Forest Industry Snapshot

Shire of Yarra Ranges economic and industry snapshot of logging.

Minister Walsh Reflex Paper letter

A letter from Minister Walsh threatening the Council that the government would withdraw economic opportunity for the Yarra Ranges Region if the Council does not backdown on Reflex pledge. So they did. Today Reflex is back in the Council Chambers after 7 years of no usage.

MyEnvironment FSC Timber Excellence Award

2012-12-03 09.46.20 pm

MyEnvironment Inc.’s Director Sarah Rees accepted the timber industry award, along with Dr. Chris Taylor of Melbourne University, for constructive engagement in the development of the Forest and Stewardship Council of Australia’s wood Standard. Luke Chamberlain of the Wilderness Society and Adam Menary of MyEnvironment were also recipients of the award.

Across the evening other recipients of the FSC excellence awards included Kimberly Clark. Zoo’s Victoria were also nominees for best campaign award.

“The engagement award was for our commitment to strengthening the standard by way of gap analysis’ and driving a national risk assessment. To make a standard for wood really good, you need to make it robust.”

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DSE Goulburn Broken RFA survey

DSE Report - Persistance of owls & arboreal mammals after severe wildfire in the Goulburn Broken catchment 

An unpublished study revealing the demise of top order predators and hollow dependant mammals in the Goulburn Broken catchment.

Conversion of Central Highlands 2

A document recording the conversion of old growth in the Central Highlands to regrowth for pulp wood. This wood was given to Australian Paper.

Conversion of Central Highlands document 1

Record of successive governments conversion of old growth forests of the Central Highlands to regrowth. Wood primarily sent to Australian Paper.

Letter from Tony Burke

A letter to a constituent from Tony Burke to Tony Windsor on matters relating to Leadbeater's and Mt St Leonard.

Letter from Tony Burke Windsor.pdf 158.78 kB

POLICY PERSPECTIVES A major shift to the retention approach for forestry can help resolve some global forest sustainability issues

Approximately 85% of the global forest estate is neither formally protected nor in areas dedicated to intensive wood production (e.g., plantations). Given the spatial extent of unprotected forests, finding management approaches that will sustain their multiple environmental, economic, and cultural values and prevent their conversion to other uses is imperative. The major global challenge of native forest management is further demonstrated by ongoing steep declines in forest biodiversity and carbon stocks. Here, we suggest that an essential part of such management—supplementing the protection of large reserves and sensitive areas within forest landscapes (e.g., aquatic features)—is the adoption of the retention approach in forests where logging occurs. This ecological approach to harvesting provides for permanent retention of important selected structures (e.g., trees and decayed logs) to provide for continuity of ecosystem structure, function, and species composition in the post harvest forest. The retention approach supports the integration of environmental, economic, and cultural values and is broadly applicable to tropical, temperate, and boreal forests, adaptable to different management objectives, and appropriate in different societal settings. The widespread adoption of the retention approach would be one of the most significant changes in management practice since the onset of modern high-yield forestry.

A history of hubris – Cautionary lessons in ecologically sustainable forest management

Logging is one of the most important forms of native-forest exploitation and can have substantial impacts on biodiversity and key ecosystem services. Here we briefly contrast logging operations in temperate and tropical forests and then highlight several challenges for understanding the ecological impacts of logging. Here we briefly contrast logging operations in temperate and tropical forests and then highlight several challenges for understanding the ecological impacts of logging. We argue that many logging studies are conducted at small spatial scales or over inadequate time periods, and are biased against finding significant negative impacts. This is because of confounding environmental differences between logged and unlogged forests as well as the prolonged nature of forest stand development. Human perceptions of logging also can be biased by the ‘shifting baseline’ phenomenon, and by an incorrect perception that logging operations approximate natural disturbance regimes. We argue that the ecological impacts of logging can be more challenging to detect than is often appreciated, and that forest managers and decision-makers should be cautious when weighing the arguments of prolonging lobbies.

Logging Mt Saint Leonard

A summary of concerns against the logging of the Yarra Ranges icon Mount Saint Leonard.

Council Minutes

The Minutes from the Shire of Yarra Ranges objection to logging Mt St Leonard and sights of significance.

VicForests Corporate Intent

A summary paper from VicForests website on the company and its corporate intent.

Reflex Change

This is a short summary prepared to explain why current logging practices are unethical and why REFLEX copy paper wood sources need to change.

Thinning

A document containing fire risk from thinning and request to log wildlife corridor

DSE Old Growth Calculation

A summary from DSE calculating the last ash forest old growth in the Central Highlands

RFA Statement

This is the Commonwealth obligation on environment in the RFA for the Central Highlands.

Survey of Vegetation and Vertebrate Fauna in The Ada Forest Block

This document was was developed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 1995.

It was with drawn from public prior the the Regional Forest Agrements until it was released to MyEnvironment thorugh freedom of information.

As such the information that it contains was not considered during the Regional Forest Agreements and the calculation of sustainable yield

Despite the significant findings of rare, threatend and endanged species the sites have been heavily logged by VicForests and continue to be logged.

Why Use Ethical Paper

A short film showing photo's taken mainly over 2011 demonstrating the beauty of Melbourne's forests and devastation of pulp forestry and fires. Recently visiting forest ecologist Professor Jerry Franklin from the University of Washington, who has advised the White House on forest management, compared the condition of Victoria’s mountain ash forests to over-logged areas of south-east Asia and South America. Story here

 There really is no excuse not to pledge to use ethical copy paper.

Timber Industry Action Plan

2011-12-13 11.58.40 pm

The Timber Industry Action Plan recognises the significant role the Victorian native and plantation timber industry plays
 in our State’s economy.

A central theme of the Plan is that for this important industry to have a successful future, it requires greater policy certainty to deliver a secure investment environment. The Victorian Government is providing leadership in this area.

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Regional Forest Agreements

Details of the regional forest agreements

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On The Ground 2011 - The controversies of PEFC and SFI

International Report Reveals Global Failure of PEFC Forest Certification Standard 

Today, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, The Wilderness Society and My Environment have released an international report detailing repeated failures of the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) forest certification standard. The report is being released globally today. 
The report, On the Ground 2011, is a joint project between NGOs in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It uses case studies from the US, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Europe and Malaysia to show that PEFC certified products are being sourced from areas where high value forests are being destroyed and human and community rights are being abused. The PEFC stamp and its Australian affiliate AFS is displayed on a wide range of forest products sold in Australia from toilet paper to timber flooring. 

An Australian supplement to the report by Victorian conservation group My Environment also details problems with the ongoing certification of Australian Paper, maker of Reflex paper, under the local PEFC standard the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS). 

“Forest certification is supposed to provide assurance to consumers that the products they are buying are sourced from responsibly managed forests,” said Reece Turner, Forests Campaigner for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. 

“But as this report shows, behind the green-looking label, the PEFC in many cases signs-off on the destruction of tropical rainforests in places like Chile, Borneo and Indonesia and ignores the concerns and complaints of indigenous and environment organisations.” 

Certification standards rely on credibility in the market place. It is increasingly clear that the PEFC and AFS logos cannot be trusted by consumers to deliver high environmental and social standards for forest products,” said Warrick Jordan, National Forest Campaigner for The Wilderness Society. 

“PEFC and AFS must fundamentally change their approach if they are to become anything other than greenwash for bad forestry practices. If consumers are given the choice, they will choose highly credible certification standards such as the Forest Stewardship Council every time over untrustworthy schemes such as AFS.” 

“The PEFC standard is greenwashing bad forestry practices all over the globe, from the tropical forests of Indonesia to the majestic ash forests of Victoria’s Central Highlands,” said Sarah Rees, spokesperson for My Environment. 

“In Victoria Australian Paper continues to produce its Reflex paper brand from wood from core habitat of the endangered leadbeater’s possum, and AFS and PEFC have failed to address community complaints on logging and consultation (see attached supplementary report). Our experience is that these standards are not responding to legitimate community concern over destructive logging practices.” 

Newly discovered landscape traps produce regime shifts in wet forests

Cement Creek

David B. Lindenmayer,1, Richard J. Hobbsb, Gene E. Likensa,c,1, Charles J. Krebsd, and Samuel C. Banksa

aFenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia; bSchool of Plant Biology, University of Western

Australia, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia; cCary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY, 12545; and dDepartment of Zoology, University of

British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4

Contributed by Gene E. Likens, August 4, 2011 (sent for review May 28, 2011)

Australian Paper looses FSC certification for wood sourced from Victorias native forests

After five years of fighting Rain Forest alliance, Accreditation Services International and Australian paper, native forest logging in Victoria is no longer considered low risk

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No Harvey No Harvey No Harvey No

Harvey Norman is using exported logs from Australia's native forests contributing to extinction, water loss and climate change.  No Harvey No Harvey No!

Please let Mr Harvey know what you think about native forest logging

Management Procedures for timber harvesting, roading and regeneration in Victoria's Sate forests 2009

According to the following Management Procedures removal of forest produce from the State forest is not supposed to happen after sunset and before sunrise.

This does not include wood that has already been removed and stockpiled outside of the forests. 

carting out of hours

So if you see log trucks driving down the street at night you can record their details i.e.

  • Street and location
  • number plate
  • details off the side of the truck such as name (if possible)
  • time and date

Ask DSE where they were coming from because the truck drives logbooks should detail all of this.

Update and backgound on the Ethical Paper Campaign

Nippon Paper are owners of Australian Paper.  They source approximately 20% of their fiber from VicForests who obtain their raw materials from Victoria's native forests.  There is so much wrong with VicForests practices its difficult to know where to start but this two page summary at least gives a good back ground to the origins of the community concerns and the resulting ethical paper campaign.

Ethical Paper Background

Ethical Paper - A detailed white paper of the ethics surrounding VicForests

2010 TRP Submission - Time Out!

A summary of issues requesting a review into practices post Black Saturday.

VicForests 2011 TRP Submission

lbpinhand

The reasons why the 2011 TRP proposal is a breach of the law and no coupe should be approved across Victoria

1. Regional Forest Agreements. 1

2. Sustainable Yields. 2

3. LAW: 3

4. MAHP—monitoring of annual harvesting. 10

5. STATE FOREST PLANNING Forest Management Plans. 10

6. Comprehensive Adequate & Representative Reserve (CAR). 12

Read more

Monitoring of Annual Harvesting Performance

Monitoring Annual Harvesting Performance (MAHP) was a former government initiative to ensure that commercial timber harvesting operations are undertaken in Victoria’s State forests on a sustainable basis.

The recent MAHP outlined breaches by VicForests to the allocation areas. VicForests has over logged 305.4 hectares according to exceptions reports prepared by VicForests

DSE Mountain Ash File

A chart that shows how much original Mountain Ash forest remains unburnt and unlogged. A meagre 1.2%

RFA Review

A summary of the Final report on the RFA's in Victoria

FSC Article - Fifth Estate

A summary of the challenges facing third party wood certification in Australia.

FSC Woodmarks Ass. Findings

VicForests failure to attain FSC accreditation summary from Woodmark.

State of The Forest Report 2008 DSE

The Victorian Governments State of the Forests Report 2008

The VAGO audit of DSE and VicForests

The Victorian Auditor Generals Report on the Audit of DSE and VicForests. Despite being planned for 7 years, Treasurer John Lenders, wrangled it out of an election year and claimed the Timber Industry Strategy report was going to cover the same ground. It did not. VAGO's audit would have revealed that current forest operations are NOT sustainable. The TIS assesment gave the government an internal view of the problems facing the financial woes plaguing VicForests (not for public release), unlike the VAGO audit.

VAGO Audit decline letter

A letter received by invitees to the audit of VicForests and The DSE declining engagement.

VicForests Failed FSC application Assessment

This paper aims to provide preliminary public feedback following the evaluation of

VicForests against FSC Principles and Criteria by Woodmark Soil Association.

DPI - Criterion 7 - SOFR 2008

A summary of gaps in Victoria's ability to measure sustainability in forestry.

URS Treasury Report VicForests 2010

Timber Industry Strategy Review by the Department of Treasury and finance 2010 - for VicForests

Now searchable with the find feature of PDF

Submissions are due for the Federal Government Timber Industry Inquiry this Friday, 25th March, 2011!

Submission are due for the Federal Government Timber Industry Inquiry this Friday, 25th March, 2011.  Even a one line submission online if you can.  Other submissions can be read under "Submissions" page.

Here is MyEnvironments submission

http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/arff/forestry/subs/sub101.pdf

Inquiry into the Australian forestry industry

On 7 February 2011 the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry asked the Committee to undertake an inquiry into the Australian forestry industry.

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday 25 March 2011.

Terms of reference

Submissions

Public hearings

Media releases

Report

A tree hollow dynamics simulation model

A tree hollow dynamics simulation model
I.R. Balla,*, D.B. Lindenmayerb, H.P. Possinghamc
aDepartment of Applied Mathematics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
bCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
cDepartment of Environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia
Accepted 7 January 1999

A tree hollow dynamics simulation model sdarticle3.pdf 331.37 kB

BAER logging overlay

BAER LOGGING OVERLAY MAP - Logging of the habitat of the Barred Galaxias and the Leadbeaters Possum. This mapping was hidden from the public until 2010 when MyEnvironment Inc. was leaked a copy, the DSE will provide it to members of the public NOW if they ring up. We, however, believe everyone should have access to the data our taxes pay for.

Opinion Piece - The Central Highlands – Melbourne’s Mountain Forest Sanctuary

Healesville was once (1980’s) sign-posted on the road in from Yarra Glen…

‘HEALESVILLE - GATEWAY TO MELBOURNE’S MOUNTAIN FOREST SANCTUARY’

Road maps used to show (1970’s) the State Forest of the region as the ‘Central Highlands Sanctuary.’

We hope the past sentiments that evidently valued the beauty and natural history aspects of the area will be reaffirmed in the near future.

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Connectivity conservation and the Great Eastern Ranges corridor

The independent report by Prof Brendan Mackey, Dr James Watson and Dr Graeme Worboys presents the scientific basis for establishing a conservation corridor along the Great Eastern Ranges from the Australina Alps near Melbourne to the Atherton Tablelands and beyond in far north Queensland.
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/ger/science.htm

There has been increasing interest over recent years in the concept of connectivity at a continental scale, particularly as a response to improving the resilience of our biodiversity and ecosystems to the anticipated impacts of climate change. In 2006, the Environment Heritage and Protection Council (EPHC) considered the issue of a possible continental-scale corridor extending along Australia’s great eastern ranges from Victoria through NSW to Atherton in Queensland.

The EPHC established an Interstate Agency Working Group (Alps to Atherton Connectivity Conservation Working Group) comprising the following members:
? New South Wales – Ian Pulsford (Convenor), Department of Environment, Climate Change and
Water
? Commonwealth – Dr Charlie Zammitt, Department of Environment Water Heritage and the Arts
? Queensland – Anita Haenfler, Department of Environment and Resource Management
? Australian Capital Territory – Sharon Lane, Department of Municipal Services and Environment
? Victoria – Nina Cullen, Department of Sustainability and Environment, and Phil Peggler, Parks
Victoria.

The Interstate Agency Working Group agreed that there was a need for a ‘proof of concept’ report outlining the scientific principles that underpin the concept of a continental-scale connectivity conservation approach to Australia’s great eastern ranges. It was also agreed that the report should be undertaken by an independent internationally recognised Australian scientist.

Following a decision of the EPHC in April 2008, the Interstate Agency Working Group now reports to
the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC).

Fire regimes in mountain ash forest: evidence from forest age structure, extinction models and wildlife habitat

Michael A. McCarthya,b,*, A. Malcolm Gillc, David B. Lindenmayera,d
aCentre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
bDepartment of Applied and Molecular Ecology, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5064, Australia
cCentre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
dDepartment of Geography, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
Received 8 August 1998; accepted 25 January 1999

Fire regimes in mountain ash forest: evidence from forest age structure, extinction models and wildlife habitat sdarticle2.pdf 203.42 kB

Central Highlands Forest Management Plan CHFMP

The Central Highlands Central Forest Management Plan

Old Growth Forests In Australia - Conservation Status and Significance for Timber Production

Science for Decision Makers is a series published by the Bureau of Rural Sciences. It describes the latest developments in scientific advice,  assessments or tools relating to agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries, including their supporting communities.

Our Disappearing Forests Presentations Videos

If you missed the Our Disappearing Forests Meeting in Healesville in June you can now view the videos

    Read More

The National Reserve System

A protected area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed through legal or other effective means to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. Read More

Victorian Sustainable Timber Act 2004

SUSTAINABLE FORESTS (TIMBER) ACT 2004

No. 48 of 2004
Version incorporating amendments as at 1 January 2010

The main purposes of this Act are -

(a) to provide a framework for sustainable forest management and sustainable timber harvesting in State forests

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VicForests Review by the Department of Treasury and Finance 2010 instead of the Auditor-General

The Auditor-General was supposed to audit VicForests before the next state election, but just as it was about to announce the deadline for submissions, the state government swooped in and the Department of Treasury and Finance (i.e. VicForests' shareholder) decided they would do a review first.  The following are a number of submissions made from regional groups Read More

Massive Monarch at Risk

One of the state's, if not Australia's, oldest and largest tree has been discovered adjacent to several large logging coupes in Toolangi. Set amidst the western-most area of Gondwanic remnant rain forest, this tree's massive waistline could break national records. The tree is in a vulnerable part of state forest which is open to logging. Read more

The logging of Mt St Leonard

new toolangi coupes

 In 2008 VicForests started a coupe which has recently been completed and is now visible on the side of the mountain.  VicForests have now requested to log two more coupes that will be visible from Yarra Glen, School Lane, the Main Street of Healesville and the balcony of Innocent Bystander. 

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Indicators of Sustainability for Victoria's Native Forest

The major indicators of sustainability for Victoria's native forest logging are: VicForests' financial position, the rate of forest regeneration, the State of the Forests Report, the CAR Reserve System, legislation, alleged breaches Read More

Logging the National Trail

logging national trail

Created as a tourism and environmental icon as part of Australia's Bicentennial celebrations, the Australian Bicentennial National Trail (ABNT) is a 5,330 km multi-use trail. Most people are surprised by Environment Minister Gavin Jenning's decision to allow logging of the Australian Bicentential National Trail. Public safety zones around the logging areas make it illegal to use the Victorian end in Toolangi. Other logging in the area is going to impact the recently proposed CJ Dennis Memorial trail that will connect Kinglake and the Monda Track. Read More

Management procedures for timber harvesting, roading and regeneration in state forests 2009

Management prescriptions for the logging of Victoria's native forests

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Sicforests

SicForests is a new website reviewing the activities of the state government's logging company. The site provides some insights into VicForests - native forest logging company and their business practices.

www.sicforests.com.au

The Ethics of Timber Forests

Forest Certification is gaining currency around the world, and is now emerging in Australia. So how does the system work – and what does it mean in environmental and social terms?

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Logging History and Proposed Logging of the Victorian Central Highlands

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Logging history and proposed logging of the Victorian Central Highlands, including fire-severity mapping in PDF format. Use your mouse to zoom into the detail.

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CAR Reserve - Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Reserve System for Forests in Australia Requires Immediate Review

The CAR reserve system is an area of landscape representing no less than 15% of all the ecological vegetation classes in forested estates. Outside of the CAR Reserve, the landscape is open to logging. The Regional Forest Agreements are agreements across the forests that permit logging on the proviso that a CAR Reserve is in place, however, since successive Victorian bushfire's, the CAR Reserve is longer representative nor adequate and requires immediate review. At least 10% of the reserve system in the Central Highlands is damaged and/or transformed.

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Submissions on Logging in the Central Highlands

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Despite the review of the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) being three years overdue, the state government is committed to allocating extra native forest for wood chipping rather than protecting endangered species' habitat.

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Logging Impacts Lake Mountain's Tourism Value

Despite an Alpine 2020 strategy and a section of the code of forest practice that states that “Harvesting operations in native forests should take account of landscape values". A large coupe was proposed, objected to by Myenvironment Inc and then continued by Vicforests. Despite making a net loss of 5 million dollars in 2009,Vicforests is still prepared to sacrifice tourism potential for the area.

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Proposed Logging of Rainforest in the Royston Range

Environmentalists who were keeping a close eye on Vicforest operations in the Royston range found that the coupe boundary had been marked to include a rain forest. An independent assessment found that the rain forest was of significance and the coupe boundary was moved.

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State of the World's Forest Report 2009

 

state of worlds forests 2009

 

This eighth biennial issue of State of the World’s Forests considers the unfolding future of forests and forestry at the sub-regional, regional and global levels. Based on the most recent of FAO’s periodic forest sector outlook studies, it examines the impact that external factors such as demographic, economic, institutional and technological changes may have on forests. With globalisation and improved communications, the regional scenarios will be increasingly interlinked. However, some countries and regions are better prepared to face the upcoming challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities, while others still lack essential institutional, legal and economic conditions to manage their forest resources in a sustainable manner.

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Australia's State of the Forests Report 2008

australias state of the forest report 2008

In 1992, the Australian Government and state and territory governments issued a National Forest Policy Statement, which set out a vision and goals, objectives and policies for Australia's forests and committed governments to prepare a national State of the Forests Report (SOFR) every five years.

This is the third report on the state of Australia's forests. Its purpose is to keep the public informed about Australia's forests, to show how they might be changing, and to indicate positive and negative trends. It also helps Australia to report the state of its forests to the world.

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The Code of Practices for Timber Production

The Code of Practices for Timber Production

Government site click here

Rural law online

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Central Highlands Forest Management Plan

Central Highlands Forest Management Plan

 Government website click here  

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Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

Government website click here

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia read more

Regional Forest Agreement - Review 2010

The Review of the Regional Forest Agreement is 3 years overdue which has had a major impact on the sustainability of Victorias native forest.

Two submissions by Myenvironment Inc on the 2010 of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreement

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Forest Explorer

Forest Explorer Online is a internet-based mapping portal enabling access to Victorian forest information and allows users to become familiar with the data used in forest management decision-making. It provides an important basis for engagement between the Department of Sustainability and Environmant (DSE) and individuals/communities in relation to forest management issues.

Visit website

 

AMCOR donations

A comprehensive study revealing that AMCOR (owners of REFLEX Maryvale Mill) were the 7th largest ASX donor to political parties (primarily Liberal) during the development of the Kennett government Wood Pulp Agreement 1996 to The Regional Forest Agreement period 1998 that solidified a 34 year logging contract for AMCOR. A clear indicator of the influence the Maryvale Mill had over the development of the logging legislation that has sent the Ash forests into an ecosystem collapse.

Jeff Kennett APM promises

This letter between then Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett and the Australian Paper Mill reveals that his government resisted enforceable environmental conditions restricting the (AMCOR's) Maryvale Mill access to native forest. The consequences of Kennett governments support for large scale access to forests, without the imposition of strict RFA environmental conditions, has lead to the extinction trajectory of the Leadbeater's Possum and vast over-logging of the Ash forest.

RFA - Wood Pulp Agreement

Letters between Prime Minister Keating, Amcor Maryvale Mil, lawyers and the state government provide assurances to Australian Paper that the Wood Pulp Agreement Act would not be interfered with by developing the RFA's. Given the Wood Pulp Agreement Act (developed in 1996) was not based on conservation requirements of threatened species but rather resource needs of the Maryvale Pulp Mill, it can be assumed that the Central Highlands RFA's, and the subsequent State's Forest Management Plans, deliberately circumvented conservation restrictions (set out in such things as the Leadbeater's Possum Action statements written before the RFA's) as necessary to enable a minimum of 13.55 million cubic metres of pulpwood to Australian Paper from the Central Highlands from 1996 until 2030. This is not a 'compromise', as the courts assumed, as the balance of conservation needs was never there in the first place - rather the policy was always contingent of the Maryvale Mills needs not that of threatened species. The RFA's are therefore inconsistent with the requirements of threatened species and always have been.

A Review of VicForests Financial Performance

VicForests, the state government’s native-forest logging agency, has incurred cash losses of $22.2 million since it commenced operating in 2004, says a new report, commissioned by volunteer group Healesville Environment Watch Inc. (HEWI).

Victorian forestry unsustainble

By any scientific yardstick, forestry operations in Victoria cannot be regarded as ecologically sustainable. Read More

How to make a common species rare: A case against conservation complacency

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Picture: Steve Kuiter

A traditional focus in conservation biology has been on rare species as they are often those most at risk of decline or extinction. However, we argue in this paper that some kinds of currently common species also can be susceptible to decline. Those at particular risk are species that are specialized on widespread environmental conditions. Such specialization may make such species vulnerable to a range of drivers of envi- ronmental change, placing them at risk of significant decline or even local extinction. We illustrate this with a case study of the arboreal marsupial the Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) in south-eastern Australia.