Strzelecki Rainforest Reserve Regeneration Being Destroyed.

October 3, 2013

Conservationists are alarmed that recent clearing in the Strzelecki Cores and Links Rainforest Reserve has destroyed approximately 10 hectares of regenerating reserve at several different locations inside the reserve. Conservationists are
 alarmed that hundreds of more hectares of land could suffer a similar fate.

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Anthony Amis said: “Not only has the community had to endure logging of hundreds of hectares inside the Reserve (with hundreds still yet to occur), despite a 2006 agreement ensuring that most of these areas would be protected, now Hancock is coming back into the logged areas and destroying what was naturally regenerating, as well as trees that had already been planted. This will set back regeneration in portions of the reserve for years, if not decades. Such work destroys recolonising communities which protect soil biota and emergent seedlings.”

“At a site we recently visited, regeneration had been re-establishing itself after the site was logged 51 months ago. Now that regeneration has been destroyed with areas being scalped clean. Apparently regeneration standards signed by Hancock and the Department of Sustainability and Environment in 2012, mean that if a certain number of eucalypts per hectare are not met, then those areas will not be signed off on and added to the Reserve system. Instead these areas are to be cleared, replanted and the regeneration process starts all over again” Susie Zent from Friends of Gippsland Bush  added.

Mr Amis said, “The number of eucalypts per hectare is set too high and was never supported by the community, who supported some eucalypt re-plantings - but not to the amount that was eventually signed off on by the company and the Victorian Government in 2012. The community also wanted the logged areas to regenerate naturally without further interference/interventions by the company. If the number of eucalypts stems per hectare was less than one hundred then the community would have been satisfied in the knowledge that if left alone, in time, the logged areas would again start to resemble natural forests. At this rate hundreds of hectares of the reserve may eventually be cleared again. This is a costly exercise and ultimately a waste of time and effort”.

“We believe that the reserve should be allowed to regenerate naturally without such hamfisted interventions. What we are witnessing is silviculture, not regeneration in a rainforest reserve. Is the real intention of the Government to log the reserve in the future claiming that it has been hand-planted? Where does the Forest Stewardship Council stand on this” Ms Zent concluded?

For further information contact

Anthony Amis 0425 841 564
Susie Zent 51 691 588