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.
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.
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.