Friends of the Earth received the good news that the first 1600ha of land, in the long running Strzelecki Ranges Rainforest Cores and Links saga, was Gazetted by the Victorian State Government on the 10th of May 2018.
This now means that the land in question is classed as a Forest Reserve by the Victorian State Government under section 50(1) of the Forests Act.
Or in layman's terms, no more logging forever!!
The Reservation of 1600ha is the first of a series of handbacks that will eventually total 8000ha. College Creek, a site of National Conservation Significance, was not included in the May 10 Gazettal, due to land tenure complications, but we expect this 800ha of land to be added to the Reserve System within the next couple of months.
Friends of the Earth, along with Friends of Gippsland Bush have been working in the Strzelecki Ranges since the mid 1990's. The Strzelecki Ranges are Victoria's most depleted bioregion and the new Reservation almost doubles the amount of Reserved land in the Strzeleckis.
The recently reserved land, contains some of the largest tracts of cool temperate rainforest in Victoria, including the Agnes and Franklin Rivers. It also contains some of the largest trees in Victoria and is an amazing place to visit. Friends of the Earth was blown away buy the quality of some of the land recently handed back.
Almost all of this work has been done in a voluntary capacity. We would greatly appreciate any donations to keep this work progressing, particularly as FoE needs to keep the pressure on the State Government to keep them progressing with the handback. FoE also intends to start Koala monitoring in the handback areas. All of this takes time and resources.