After a 20 year campaign, Friends of the Earth and Friends of Gippsland Bush (FoGB) were informed on May 20th that College Creek, in Victoria's Strzelecki Ranges will soon be added to the State's Reserve system.
The College Creek handover will be the first package of land, comprising of 8,500ha, that will be gradually handed back over the next few years. The Strzelecki Ranges is one of the most depleted bioregions in Victoria, and the protection of core rainforest catchments of the region has been the major focus of FoE's plantation campaign since the mid 1990's. The pressure exerted on Hancock Victorian Plantations by FoE and FoGB since the mid 1990's has led to the protection of approximately 23,500ha of forest throughout South Gippsland.
The other major focus for the rest of 2016 is the time consuming work of conducting koala surveys in the South Gippsland region to determine feed preferences and population numbers. FoE is pushing hard to get this work completed by the end of 2016. This is very important work as it is required largely to limit the damage caused by firewood cutting and fuel reduction burns as well as determining approximate population numbers.
If anyone is inspired to donate to help this campaign reach more of its goals, please do. We have been running on the smell of an oily rag for some time.