The Buffalo Skyway proposal. Details here.

[above: This stream provides water to the Glen Wills Mountain Retreat. A logging coupe is planned on the ridge immediately above.]

Glen Wills logging
April 2010

Out beyond the Bogong High Plains, and about a 45 minute drive north of Omeo is the lovely valley of Glen Wills. This small community is increasingly gaining a reputation as a place where low impact eco tourism provides a reliable income for locals. From ski touring and walking on the High Plains to rafting on the Mitta Mitta and a range of other activities, Glen Valley is a real oasis.

We are currently working with some local land owners and tourism operators to get a number of logging coupes removed from the cutting schedule. This is partly because there will be considerable visual impacts along a section of the Alpine Walking Track (the major trail that goes from Walhalla to Canberra) and also because there are plans to harvest directly above the water supply of the Glen Wills Mountain Retreat.

There is an action alert here.

Kick Reflex out of our forests - Campaign launch

Saturday 27th February
12 noon

Maryvale Mill - La Trobe Valley, near Morwell, 160 km East of Melbourne

Bus departs Foe, 312 Smith Street, Collingwood at 9am. To book your seat please or call 03 9419 8700

80% of trees logged in Victoria's water catchments in the Central Highlands end up at the Maryvale Mill to be woodchipped for paper products. The new owners of the Maryvale Mill, the Nippon Paper Group also buy logs from around Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. It is time to tell the company that we won't buy forest destruction.

Bands, MC's, Speaker, BBQ and a look at the Mill.
Banners, props and constumes very welcome.

Fore more information, directions or to help out on the day, please

Victoria has some of the most magnificent and biodiverse forests in the world. These forests are also huge carbon banks, helping to reduce climate change, as well as maintaining water supplies and providing vital habitat for threatened and endangered species. Victoria is Australia’s most cleared state, and faces alarming extinction rates. Yet much of Victoria’s native forest estate is still being logged for woodchips.


Check here for details on specific forest regions in Victoria.

Check here for our guide to environmental copy paper.

Check here for our response to the bushfires of February 2009.

Strzelecki Koala Appeal. $20,000 Fundraising Appeal.

Friends of the Earth is asking for assistance in raising money to protect the Strzelecki Koala. The Strzelecki Koala is the only 'genetically diverse' koala population left in Victoria and South Australia. All other populations are a result of translocation programs and are suffering from inbreeding. The recent February 2009 bushfires wiped out key koala habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges, including known breeding populations.

Friends of the Earth in conjunction with Friends of Gippsland Bush are attempting to raise $20,000 in order to
1) map the remaining habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges,
2) Nominate the Strzelecki Koala for Legislative Protection, and
3) Conduct research into the genetic diversity of the Strzelecki Koala. 

All monies donated to Friends of the Earth are tax deductible.

To donate, please see here.

For further contact Anthony Amis (03) 9419 8700

For background information, see:

Old Growth, Australia's remaining ancient forests

In conjunction with FoE and People, Culture, Environment, photographer Peter McConchie launched his inspirational book 'Old Growth, Australia's remaining ancient forests'. It is equal parts celebration and a call to action.

The book highlights the fact that a staggering 92 per cent of Australia's old-growth forests have been cut down since colonisation and there is 4 per cent remaining in national parks and 4 per cent remaining outside reserves.

It is published by Hardie Grant Books and is available from the FoE bookshop.

Urgent action is needed to protect Victoria’s forests -


Old growth forests and threatened species habitat

Much of Victoria’s irreplaceable old growth forests and threatened species habitat, including vast tracts through East Gippsland, is open for logging and woodchipping.


One of the most serious effects of logging is the reduction in the number of trees containing hollows. About 98% of Victorian animal species require hollows for shelter and breeding, including Victoria’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeaters Possum. Normally, it takes around 100 years for hollows to begin to form in eucalypt species. Logging is systematically removing this age class from the public native forests, meaning that many species are moving closer to extinction.

A study in Victoria found that four common shrub and tree species never returned after logging. Also, tree ferns, which play a vital role in maintaining the moisture of the forest floor and providing protection for the growth of other forest plants, are mostly eliminated by logging. Thus, Victoria’s magnificent old growth forests, which pre-date the arrival of the first European ships, are unlikely to regenerate to their original state for between 1500 and 2500 years.

For more information on the campaign to protect Victoria’s forests please click here

[above: logging operations in the Stzelecki Ranges]

Water & Water Catchments

Victoria is in a water shortage crisis, our demand for water continues to increase and recent drought years have placed added pressure on available supply. Logging is extensive in the rain-soaked upper catchments of the rivers that supply water to Melbourne, to the irrigation districts of West Gippsland and to the stressed rivers of the upper Murray. Logging dramatically reduces water yield, as shown by a recent Strategic Water Review undertaken in Melbourne, which found that if catchments were logged, water yield would decrease.

The logging taking place in many of Victoria’s water catchments is leading to severe damage to catchments in Victoria and substantial reductions in water supply. For example, logging operations in the Thomson have already affected Melbourne’s water supply. If logging were phased out of the Thomson catchment by 2020, this would result in a saving of 20,000 ML per annum by the year 2050. Reductions in stream flow due to logging will compound other changes to the reliability of stream flow expected as a result of climate change.

For details on our research on Water catchment mapping and gold mining in the water supply catchments for Melbourne, please check here.

Forests and Climate Change

The increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the major factors causing climate change. Forests store carbon, and if they are destroyed, they release that stored carbon into the atmosphere, either rapidly (eg through fire) or slowly (eg through decay). The world’s old-growth forests, particularly the wetter types, are some of the most important carbon stores in nature, storing up to 1500 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Logging such forests releases large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, adding to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Conserving old-growth forests is vital addressing climate change.

A seminal study of the impacts of logging on old-growth forests showed that logging in the Styx Valley (an old-growth forest in Tasmania) would produce approximately 1000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per hectare. In real terms, clearing 1000 hectares of Styx old-growth forest equates to the production of greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to all the cars in Tasmania in a year. The current campaign activity relating to forests falls into a number of areas

[above: plantation forestry operation, Strzelecki Ranges]

Pesticides and plantations

Please see here for detail.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, membership based, non-profit organisation founded in 1993 by environmentalists, social interest groups, indigenous peoples’ organisations, responsible retailers and leading forest management companies to develop standards based on the
‘10 Principles for Forest Stewardship’ by which responsible forest practice can be measured.

FSC, as an international network to promote responsible management of the world’s forests, brings people together to find solutions to the problems created by bad forestry practices and to reward good forest management.

FoE is a member of the Environment chamber of FSC Australia. Jonathan La Nauze represents us on the FSC Board of Directors.

You can access the FSC website here.

You can read 'Forest Stewardship Council - a tool for change' written by Michael Spencer, the Chief Executive Officer of FSC Australia, here.

You can read 'Problems with the Forest Stewardship Council', written by Anthony Amis, here.

[Pomaderris leaf, image: Peter McConchie]