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Our Vision for Victoria's Forests

Victoria ended native forest logging on Jan 1st 2024. The next 12 months will be critical for forested landscapes as First Nations custodians, regional communities, forest campaigners, and scientists all contribute to a vision for how to interact with our forest landscapes beyond industrial logging. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Victorian community to re-imagine our relationship to forested landscapes. 

We must insist on a relationship of care with these incredibly diverse landscapes, not one of exploitation or neglect. This transition away from logging should also be a decolonising process that asserts the Sovereignty First Nations. 

1. These forests exist within the Cultural Landscapes of the unceded sovereign lands of Traditional Custodians. Government should fully and securely resource First Nations groups to build Nation-based capacity to care for Country on a boundary level, through a Cultural Landscapes lens. First Nations are decision makers, not stakeholders. Government must meaningfully empower First Nations groups by implementing direct management arrangements & equitable decision making frameworks, like collaborative management. Each First Nation must be fully resourced & supported to conduct their own bio-cultural assessments and self-determine the transition process for their own Country.

2. All 'state forests' must be re-categorised into reserves that permanently prohibit future colonial resource extraction & industrial exploitation across all forested landscapes. We support First Nations groups to self-determine specific arrangements for management, planning and governance for new reserves (e.g. existing reserves or newly created Cultural Reserves). We ask the government to respect and facilitate First Nations access to decision making power, the restoration of bio-cultural relationships across Country, the application of Cultural practice, and access to bio-cultural resources. We must make it clear to government that we will not accept the resumption of logging (including industrial 'salvage logging' or industrial logging by another name) or mineral extraction at any time in the future. We ask that future land managers allow these over-exploited forested landscapes to recover and mature by prohibiting all inappropriate industrial activity into the future. We ask for greater accountability for Forest Fire Management activity, especially broad acre burning & strategic fuel break operations that sacrifice critical hollowed habitat trees and stags. 

3. We call on the government to significantly & securely fund the active restoration and long-term care-taking of forested Cultural Landscapes. These forests and the diversity of species that call them home have been severely exploited by logging and impacted by bushfire. Forested landscapes ravaged by logging have failed to regenerate and will need long-term intervention and monitoring to ensure their survival, recovery & resilience to climate impacts.

4. Now is a sensitive time for transitioning communities. We must ensure this transition empowers regional communities to transform their economies & build regional resilience in this time of climate crisis. Collaborative partnerships that enable Healthy Country and regenerative livelihoods for regional people should be funded by the state government and anchored to local institutions.

Our vision is a future beyond logging that fosters the collective wellbeing of all. 



Amplify the voices of First Nations calling for self-determination and equitable decision making power on a Country-centred & boundary level. Echo calls for a holistic approach to managing forested landscapes, braiding together First Nations Cultural Knowledge and western science through a cultural landscapes lens.

All 'state forest' must be re-categorised into reserves that permanently prohibit all future colonial resource extraction & inappropriate industrial activity into the future. Forested Cultural Landscapes must be managed on a 'whole of landscape scale' & empower First Nations to re-establish bio-cultural relationships across Country.

Support regional communities to create regenerative, care-based local economies & build climate resilience.

Protect Alpine environments from ongoing threats and build their resilience to climate impacts like more frequent bushfires. Lobby the government to fund the the active restoration & resilience of forested landscapes.