The state government logging agency, VicForests, intends to log a total of 11 “coupes”, or sections, of mature forest, much of it dominated by Alpine Ash, in the headwaters of the Little Dargo River. This area of state forest in north east Victoria lies right next to the Alpine National Park. These coupes are located in a series of clusters, where separate sections of bush will be harvested, creating a large zone of cleared land over time.
This area is especially important because the upper catchment of the Little Dargo is in a pristine condition, without roads. It has not been burnt in recent decades, whereas much of the surrounding area has been devastated by repeat fires.
Victoria’s mountain forests have been terribly impacted by fires in recent years. There is no doubt that our fire seasons are getting longer and more intense as a result of climate change, and this is starting to have potentially landscape changing impacts.
Two areas have now been logged. This is in the Jones Creek catchment (including the Royal mine site cluster of coupes) – which is a lower tributary of the little Dargo.
One of the ‘Little Dargo cluster’ of 11 coupes, called Jones Ck 535-503-0008 has been logged as well.
The remaining coupes in the Little Dargo cluster are now available for harvesting. They will require a significant amount of roading work to allow access (VicForests originally proposed cutting a logging road through a section of the Alpine national park, but after a public outcry have announced they will access the coupes from the south through state forest – check here for details).
ABOVE: the Royal mine site cluster of coupes.
ABOVE: this is the first of the arras cut within the Little Dargo cluster.
ABOVE: these forests are within one of the coupes marked as on the map below.
ABOVE: the Little Dargo cluster.
There is still time to stop this ecological disaster – if we act now.
We believe that the area should be protected, which means that the remaining coupes should be removed from the logging schedule.
Please take action
Please send a short polite email to the state Minister for Resources, Jaala Pulford, and the Minister for the Environment, Lily D'Ambrosio, and urge them to immediately rule out any further logging in the Little Dargo River catchment. Stress that this is one of the last areas of high elevation forest that hasn’t suffered from fire, and needs to be protected. The upper catchment is in pristine condition and will be devastated by logging operations.
All contact details for the resources minister can be found here.
Please check here for background information on this issue.