Rogue logging is destroying vulnerable areas of our protected parks and reserves. Under the guise of ‘storm clean up’ and ‘fire management’, invaluable forests are being trashed and sold for commercial gain.

Vital habitat for endangered animals like phascogales, Powerful Owls and Greater Gliders is being wiped out.

Cobaw Forest

In June 2021, the state government promised that Cobaw Forest (near Macedon) would become a Conservation Park. The Cobaw is a water catchment area and an island haven for biodiversity in a sea of cleared farmland.

This is what remains after ‘salvage’ logging and ‘fire management.’ Dandenong Ranges National Park, February 2023 (Jordan Crook).

Yet late last year local activists alerted us to heavy machinery around Reilly’s Track, deep in the forest.

We were appalled to find two large log piles, extensive damage to the forest floor, and crushed granite from the weight of the machines. The thick grasses and other groundcover that was once home to countless reptiles and insects was severely damaged. And what’s worse, we’ve found threatened Brush-tailed Phascogales in good numbers throughout the area.

Wombat Forest

Not far from Cobaw, VicForests is expanding logging in the promised Wombat-Lerderderg National Park, under the guise of ‘salvage logging’.

State-owned logging is cutting up the national park that Premier Andrews promised to create. And they have further plans to truck out hundreds of hectares of precious habitat for paper pulp, pallets and firewood.

Parts of Wombat Forest were devastated by storms, but these areas should be cleaned up with a careful, highly targeted operation. It’s vital a proper, detailed environmental assessment is carried out before any ‘clean up’ is done.

But this is not a clean-up operation – it’s a smash-up operation!

Log piles discovered in Cobaw Forest, supposedly cleared for fire breaks, February 2023 (Ben Gill).
Caption: Log piles discovered in Cobaw Forest, supposedly cleared for fire breaks, February 2023 (Ben Gill).

Wombat Forest is a hotspot for threatened wildlife like Greater Gliders and Powerful Owls. These threatened animals survived the destructive storms that hit the area and now they must survive the logging machinery that’s destroying their habitat.

Every day our state agencies log and clear more public land, plundering forest and wildlife habitat.

If the state government won’t act to curtail VicForests and their relentless logging, we must pressure the federal government to step in and stop them.

Even though this is the responsibility of the state government, there is no evidence they are fulfilling their duties in this area.

So-called ‘salvage logging’ is the worst kind of logging. It adds pressure to the recovering forest after the initial storm or fire, hitting the forest at its most vulnerable stage of recovery.

Just as new green shoots emerge, they are crushed by the heavy machinery brought in to clear the forest.

And we know from experience, ‘salvage’ logging becomes a license to extend the logging operations into other areas of the forest.

We’re working hard to stop this reckless destruction. But we need your support.

Make a donation

With your tax-deductible gift we’ll continue to:

  • Work with local groups to document the extent of destruction in protected areas.
  • Work with the media to make the findings public and draw attention to the issue.
  • Support citizen scientists to conduct population surveys of native plants and animals.
  • Pressure environment ministers to take action to stop rogue logging.

Your donation will help protect our beloved native wildlife and forests.

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