The answer to this question might seem obvious—they’re a resource for timber, right?
But for many years forestry officials have also claimed that these forests are valuable, and greatly valued, for their biodiversity and their recreational uses.
The idea has charm, but it’s fair to say that in much of our forest estate both biodiversity and recreation have consistently suffered in the pursuit of the resource. And there’s even a bit of confusion in the community as to what terms like ‘state forest’, ‘state park’ and so on actually mean.
Now the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council is going to conduct two reviews into State Forests outside our immediate region, but of great interest for the relevance they might have for our own state forests.
The first is focused on conservation values in the forest estate east of the Hume Highway, and the second concentrates on three forest areas in the Central West: Wellsford SF [north of Bendigo], Wombat SF to the south, and Mount Cole and the Pyrenees to the west of us.
The aim of the first review is to
(a) identify the biodiversity and ecological values in the specified area
(b) identify the current and likely future threats to these values
(c) report on public land use and management.
For more details, click here
The purpose of the Central West Forests Investigation is to:
(a) identify and evaluate the condition, natural and cultural values and the current uses of public land in the specified area; and
(b) make recommendations for the balanced use and appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural values.
For more details click here.
We’ll report on the findings of these investigations when they become available, in the new year.