ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
VicForests is defending the clear-fell logging of old-growth forest near Brown Mountain in East Gippsland.
The logging area has been the subject of protests in the forests and on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne.
The East Gippsland manager of VicForests, Barry Vaughan, says the area was not part of the State Government's election promise to protect more forests.
He says the area is outside the established reserves and is producing high quality timber.
"It's very much a reflection of the site quality that's there," he said.
"It is very similar to the forest that's across the road in the national park and that's part of the reserve system which was established in East Gippsland which was a large percentage of this tall, wet forest reserved in national parks."
The environment movement says the logging coup near Brown Mountain has more value as a standing forest than as cut timber.
Amelia Young from the Wilderness Society says the large 400-year-old trees are a precious carbon bank.
She says they are also valuable for their biodiversity and as a tourism resource.
She says the Government will find it difficult to meet its promise to protect more old-growth forest in East Gippsland.
"We need young regrowing trees to continue to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere, we also need our older ecologically mature forests like those on Brown Mountain to remain intact so they can be important carbon banks," she said.
"These forests live continuously, they're self perpetuating and they don't require human intervention for their evolution."
See also: Brown Mountain old growth forest