Academics, conservationists and community groups will take a stand against Forest Fire Management Victoria facilitating rogue logging of precious national park habitat.
A community meeting on Saturday in the Dandenong Ranges National Park will take aim at Forest Fire Management Victoria which has enlisted VicForests to salvage log fallen trees from the major windstorm two years ago.
Victorian National Parks Association parks campaigner Jordan Crook said there had been poor ecological management of one of Victoria’s premier national parks.
“This is very much the tail wagging the dog, with the log extraction needed for VicForests to remain viable,” Mr Crook said.
“Ecological and even fire prevention outcomes are a long way behind in their planning and operations - that’s not good enough.”
“The community, academics and conservationists are united against this plan, which would set a dangerous precedent for our national parks.”
“Commercial logging operations have no business interfering in national parks under the guise of fire management.”
Local Landcare president Robert Pergl said there were serious concerns about the plan after a Superb Lyrebird nest and a large population of an endangered Correa were found in recent citizen scientist surveys.
“It is unfathomable locals need to survey and detect species not previously found before by VicForests and Forest Fire Management Victoria within the National Park.”
“We are requesting both sites be independently surveyed for threatened species before their habitat is unknowingly destroyed by heavy machinery and plans to remove logs from the national park,” Mr Pergl said.
“Using the same organisation to assess threatened species and to plan logging shows a distinct lack of transparency. Is the regulator marking its own homework?”
The initial plan to remove fallen trees from over 100 hectares was scaled back to 50 hectares after local conservation groups sounded the alarm about Gang Gang Cockatoos, Powelltown Correas and Greater Gliders.
Community groups, academics and conservationists will gather at Olinda Falls Picnic Area, Dandenong Ranges National Park, on Saturday September 2 from midday (12pm) to hear from experts and tour the areas earmarked for logging.
Jordan Crook, Parks and Nature Campaigner, Victorian National Parks Association - 0401635573 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Pergl, Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group – 0467 204 827 / email@example.com