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BEAM Rejects Logging Plans for the Tallarook Forest

Updated: May 27, 2021

Press release 14th March 2021

Despite eventually having a video meeting, then a forest meeting with VicForests,

the meetings we have had have not mollified our concerns about their logging plans

for the Tallarook Forest.

VicForests have said that they will only cut fifty per cent of the trees in the logging

coupes. That is still fifty per cent too many. BEAM’s citizen science surveys have

discovered a very high number of massive ancient trees, hundreds of years old. The

coupes planned for logging are an old growth forest, and should not be logged at all.

That is Victorian government policy since 2019: No more logging in old growth forest.

VicForests has not bothered to do an old growth forest assessment, even though

most of the coupes to be logged have not been harvested for more than sixty years,

so far back there are no records of earlier logging.

As climate change advances, we need to do all we can to draw down carbon

from the atmosphere. Keeping old growth forest is an important way to do this.

Surveys conducted over the last 12 months have found more than one hundred

greater gliders, as well as powerful owls, sooty owls and koalas. All of these iconic

animals face increasing risk of extinction.

The forest in the Tallarook Ranges is an island refuge, a cool mountain plateau that provides a refuge for these species from the current march of global warming. DELWP released 400 koalas into the forest five years ago. It is crazy to then decimate their habitat through logging. The Tallarook Forest is also home to rare flora, but no flora survey has been

conducted by VicForests. The beautiful spotted hyacinth orchid, the large leaf

cinnamon wattle, the yarra gum, will all be damaged by logging.

If the logging plans go ahead, the new trees that grow in the gaps will create an

increased bushfire risk. Young trees also need a lot more water than mature trees,

so the water supply for the surrounding catchment will be decreased.

The logging vehicles, and the process of cutting down trees, will also severely

damage the ground cover and understory.

Tallarook Forest is an important site for the bee industry. Apiarists rely on the flowers of the forest, most of which grow in the understory. For the sake of a few cubic metres of timber and pulpwood, the highly valued bee industry, so critical for Victorian agriculture, will be compromised.

It is Victorian government policy to phase out all logging in native forests by 2030.

Despite this, VicForests admitted that their logging techniques are designed to allow

the trees left behind to grow to a size better for logging in another thirty years.

So VicForests, an agency owned by the Victorian government, is planning its current

logging operations with an eye to logging again after 2030. This is unacceptable.

BEAM remains committed to the public education and advocacy campaign for the

Tallarook Forest to progress to a State Park, a reserve beyond the threats from

logging and habitat destruction.

Peter Lockyer

BEAM President


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