Welcome to the home of the Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network.

A man chopping down a tree with an axe, while attached to the tree by ropes. Source- The Argus newspaper c. 1946.

A man chopping down a tree with an axe, while attached to the tree by ropes; near Powelltown, Vic. Source- The Argus newspaper c. 1946.

The forests of the Strathbogie Ranges have a long history of timber harvesting. In the early years of the 20th C several mills were at work in the forest and supported small townships of forests workers and their families. However, that all changed with the advent of mechanised, industrial logging in the 1960's. Since then, logging has been the preserve of big machines and very few people. And once big machines were part of the logging business, wood-chipping was the next logical, industrial step. Starting in the 1980's and steadily gaining momentum, wood-chipping, not saw-logs, has been driving native forest logging in Victoria.

Just as we've seen the State Government (through VicForests) ramp-up pressure on forests in other parts of Victoria, it's starting to happen here too. So, what does VicForests have planned for the Strathbogie State Forest in the next few years?

VicForests plans to log about 500 ha of forest in the next few years. It's logging more forest in the next few years than it's logged in total for the last 10-15 years! So, what's the hurry? Could it be that there is strong local demand for this timber?

For up-to-date news about this campaign go to Our Strathbogie Forest

Where are the planned coupes?

Most (338 ha) are concentrated in a small, linear band and connect end-to-end. If these 12-or-so coupes are harvested in the next couple of years (as planned), there will be a 4.5 km long scar right through the heart of the forest.

Coupes scheduled for logging in 2014-16. “42/31 ha” means the total coupe size is 42 ha and the net estimated area to be logged is 31 ha. The ‘net area’ takes into account those parts of a coupe that aren’t suitable for logging or shouldn’t be logged for reasons of water quality, soil erosion, streamside habitat, tracks and other harvesting infrastructure.

Coupes scheduled for logging in 2014-16. “42/31 ha” means the total coupe size is 42 ha and the net estimated area to be logged is 31 ha. The ‘net area’ takes into account those parts of a coupe that aren’t suitable for logging or shouldn’t be logged for reasons of water quality, soil erosion, streamside habitat, tracks and other harvesting infrastructure.

What sort of forest is being logged?

This forest is known as ‘mixed species’ forest, because it contains a mixture of eucalypt species, not pure stands (as is often the case with Mountain Ash and Alpine Ash forests). In the Strathbogies, mixed species forest usually includes Blue Gum, Manna Gum, Messmate and Peppermint, as well as smatterings of other tree species.

Spot the saw log! Soon to be logged forest in coupe 411-501-0001.

Spot the saw log! Soon to be logged forest in coupe 411-501-0001.

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This grand, old habitat tree (DBH 1.5+ m) probably won't survive the planned logging.

This Messmate Stringybark (DBH ~ 60 cm) was cut about 20 years ago. It was perhaps 40-60 yo. In the 190's the machinery was smaller and soil and ground-layer disturbance likely much less than occurs today.

This Messmate Stringybark (DBH ~ 60 cm) was cut about 20 years ago for saw-log. In the 1990's the machinery was smaller and soil and ground-layer disturbance much less than occurs today. And there was little if any wood-chipping in these parts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the proposed coupes are in forest that was logged 30, 40, 50 years ago. These forests now contain a few saw-logs, along with some grand, old trees and often lots of younger trees - the regenerating forest. Those saw-logs that do occur are on the small side. So, just as this 40 yo forest is starting to ‘come good’, it’s on the chopping block again.

For up-to-date information on logging in the Strathbogie Forest, go to the Our Strathbogie Forest web site.