25 March, 2009

Logging stopped in rich mammal site

Media Release, Wednesday 25th March 2009

This morning a group of 20 forest conservationists are preventing the clearfelling of one of the last stands of old growth forest in the upper Delegate River catchment in East Gippsland.

Members of the group have prevented six logging machines from working using a complicated series of tripod structures, cables and a tree platform.

“This particular old growth forest was recently surveyed by trained biologists and the result showed very high density of tree dwelling mammals”, said spokesperson for the group Carmel Roberts. “The DSE’s own policy states that areas containing high densities of tree dwelling mammals, must be protected. The DSE are saying they are unable to protect these species' habitat despite this prescription.”

“In 2006, Premier Brumby made an election promise to protect the “last significant stands of old growth”. These forests are the very the last refuges for our endangered wildlife.”

“Since the devastation caused by the bushfires, East Gippsland’s forests are now even more critical to the survival of Victoria’s native species than before. Rare native wildlife could have been made locally extinct in other areas due to the fire damage.”

“Old growth forest is critically important for the survival of these threatened species in Victoria. The logging industry can survive in plantations and regrowth, endangered species can’t.”

For comment:

  • Carmel Roberts - on site with trunk phone 03 9416 2129 - (dial tone) - 8384620 - on the hour.
  • Jill Redwood - 5154 0145

(The decision of DSE/VicForests to prioritise the placement of staff at protests is their decision. However we would hope they’d give precedence to keeping communities safe from fire if needed rather than to convenience a small number of logging operators. There are normally no more than three or four DSE/VicForests personnel allocated to protesters - police don’t fight fires).

No comments: