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

Logging Strathbogie Forests

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

Hand-felling Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans); 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 many 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. 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!

For information on logging in the Strathbogie Forest, go to the website of the Save Our Strathbogie Forest group Inc.

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, Mountain 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) has numerous hollows and is home to Greater Gliders and other hollow-dependent fauna.

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 40-60 years ago. Some coupes contain healthy stands of tall, straight Messmate, but others contain few saw-logs. A feature of most coupes are the grand, old trees, many of which are centuries old, which are now critical, irreplaceable biodiversity assets.

For information on logging in the Strathbogie Forest, go to the website of the Save Our Strathbogie Forest group Inc.