An open letter on western forests

Over 70 Victorian conservation groups, including FOBIF, signed an open letter to Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allen, late last year, urging better management of Central West forests. The letter was initiated by the VNPA and Wombat Forestcare, and reads as follows:

Congratulations on your recent appointment to Premier.

We celebrated the Victorian Government’s 2021 public commitment to create new protected areas. We applauded the decision to end native forest logging in the east of Victoria by 1 January 2024. In doing so your government acknowledged the incredible natural diversity and cultural importance of these areas.

Yet VicForests has plans to log over 60,000 hectares in the fragmented and cleared landscape of the west. If your agencies continue to log this habitat, plants and animals like Powerful Owls, Brush-tailed Phascogales and Mt Cole Grevillea risk becoming locally extinct.

It’s now time to demonstrate leadership by permanently protecting the surviving wildlife, forests and woodlands of western Victoria. It’s time to look after the complex web of natural life in these forests and restore what we have left. We call on you to immediately:

  • Halt the taxpayer-funded destruction of our natural heritage and end native forest logging statewide.
  • Legislate the promised Wombat-Lerderderg, Mount Buangor and Pyrenees national parks.
  • Cease all firewood harvesting in Wellsford Forest and include it in the Greater Bendigo National Park.
  • Enact formal protections promised for the nature-rich Cobaw Conservation Park, and other regional parks and conservation reserves.

This is a rare opportunity to create a profound legacy for future generations and:

  • Provide vital habitat for over 370 rare and threatened animals and plants.
  • Support First Nations joint management of new parks.
  • Help reduce the impacts of climate disruption by trapping millions of tonnes of stored carbon.
  • Support rural and regional livelihoods through visitation and nature-based tourism.
  • Protect river headwaters that flow from these forests to create water security for farms and communities.
  • Help forestry workers to transfer their skills to nature-positive jobs.

Creating new national parks and phasing out destructive native forest logging isn’t only about protecting wildlife and beautiful places. It’s about clean air and water, a liveable climate and people’s livelihoods.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.