Here’s your forest news updates – in shorts – like our little mascot above
Interested in what all this government sanctioned bushfire is really doing or not doing for fire safety?
This weekend’s 'Pause and Review of All Prescribed Burning' conference will present some extremely revealing facts based on science and historical evidence.
10 - 4 pm, Sunday 9th November,
KINDNESS HOUSE, Level 2, 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 3065.
Gold coin donation.
Science rather than ideology, reality not fear campaigns.
A fascinating story can also be found here (ABC) which explains how deliberate burning of Kakadu has caused serious species and ecosystem decline.
What are the consequences for biodiversity of setting large burn targets in Australia’s ecosystems? In recent research conducted in south-eastern Australia’s Murray Mallee region, the Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Team found that it can damage the ecosystem for over 100 years.
Read more here
East Gippy owls in the international spotlight
Click here for those who missed EEG’s fourth legal case that was covered in The Guardian this week (Thursday). It was a good write up on our case for the threatened East Gippsland owls.
There’s also a Care2 petition that asks DEPI to protect East Gippsland’s owls. We don’t know who started it but it’s been out there for a week or so and has gathered 40,000 signatures as of 6th Nov! Most of these are from other countries other than Australia. Please sign and share.
Will the price of gas kill off the Maryvale pulp mill?
Natural gas prices are set to possibly treble within a couple of years. The good news part of this rise is that many dirty industries that rely on gas as a cheap fuel source could become unviable.
Maryvale pulp and paper mill (that devours Leadbeaters Possum habitat) is the biggest gas user in the state. They are in a cold sweat over the huge hike in power prices in the near future which could see their power bill rise by up to $40 million a year. Read more here
Stockman Mine – pollie blunders
The planning Minister Matthew Guy missed one important detail when he publicly gave the thumbs up to the copper and zinc mine planned to be reopened and enlarged near Benambra. When ABC presenter Jonathan Kendall asked what would be mined, Guy stated with full authority that it was an iron ore mine. The same day Peter Ryan – deputy leader of the state government made the very same blunder with the very same air of certainty. What a frightening reality check for us on how little they know of what they make decisions about.
The mine is a major toxic threat to the headwaters of the Tambo River (and also the Gippsland Lakes). More info here
For those who find the preferential voting system hard to grasp this below illustration explains it well.
Burning forests in furnaces - the picture emerges
1. A 20 year licence in East Gippsland – for biomass burning?
The government has recently awarded sawmill company Auswest, a 20 year licence to log East Gippsland’s forests. They are owned by Brickworks, the company caught up in the NSW Liberal ICAC scandal. They have announced they will be using ‘waste’ wood from their two East Gippsland mills to power their brickworks in Melbourne. This would gain them an ‘emissions reduction’ grant from the Abbott government under their Direct Action plan. Read the original article from the Financial Review (PDF)
2. Montana Mill – FSC
This Nowa Nowa mill recently applied for a permit to build a biomass burner to generate electricity. It’s only a few kms from the proposed iron ore mine (now don’t get your lowland iron ore mines mixed up with your alpine copper and zinc mines) which might or might not go ahead.
It’s decided to apply for a green certification tick for its operations in order to sell wood for burning to to a likely overseas customer that wants non-controversial fuel wood. Unless it exerts industry type influences on a supposedly independent checker, it should have a snowball’s hope in hell. But hey – WA logging was recently awarded an FSC tick with an extremely dodgy auditing system (that is being formally challenged).
Read more here
By the way – here’s a cicada emerging from its chrysalis after years of underground slumber. Just to break up the string of logging industry awfulness.
3. WA logging gains shonky eco-label
The WA version of VicForests, the FPC gave false and misleading information about their logging methods and mis-mapped areas. This was rewarded by the Forest Stewardship Councils (FSC) with an eco-certification tick.
Enviro groups across Australia have slammed the underhanded tactics.
Combined with the WA government defining the remaining old growth out of existence, the clearfelling of 600 year old karri trees and habitat of at least 15 endangered species have now been given the green tick of approval under this global labelling system. IF WA can get a green FSC tick, Amazon rainforest destruction can. So much for FSC eco-labels. Read more here and here
4. Abbott’s Climate Plan encourages forest furnaces
The new Direct Action plan has been termed a slush fund for polluters. Tony Abbott’s plan to deal with climate change is very worrying. It gives incentives to burn native forests and will term this as ‘renewable energy’! It plans to help forest furnace electricity along by encouraging investment to build the plants by offering carbon Credits ($$$) and Renewable Energy Certificates ($$$). This could make an otherwise unviable operation profitable. Read more here.
Redgum Parks now WON’T be logged
The logging industry has been calling for full-scale commercial logging in the Barmah-Millewa National Park, since being paid $90 million to exit the forests in 2010. In response a so-called ecological trial was planned to take trees from hundreds of hectares of protected River Red Gum forest, ‘thinned’ with bulldozers and chainsaws. It’s thankfully just been pulled (an election liability?) It could have established a dangerous precedent for logging in national parks across Australia.
After all that – here’s a beautiful waratah flowering at Result Creek on the Plateau
Leaf litter – it’s not scary
This is the best kids (and adults) book around to learn about ecology through 'Leaf Litter'. This ground layer supports a complex and fascinating world of animals, plants and fungi; a busy, secret world we hardly ever see or appreciate. Rachel Tonkin's book is interactive, with flaps to lift and discover surprises hidden beneath the soil. There is also a list of "Things to Find" for each page.
Not just for kids and parents but an absolute MUST for your govt fire managers, volunteer fire brigade or anyone believing we need to torch the undergrowth to be safe!
It's a wonderful resource to explore the fragility of our ecosystem and why a healthy ground layer is so damned essential to help digest and compost down what is shed by trees.
Just $20.00 plus p&p at our online shop.
Or pick up from the EEG HQ in Goongerah - ph 5154 0145.
New East Gippsland Orchid book
The East Gippsland Field Nats have produced a comprehensive field guide to East Gippsland’s orchids.
$35 or $40 with CD (plus p&p)
More information on the Bairnsdale and District Field Naturalist's Club website www.bairnsdalefieldnaturalists.com.au
Pocket guide to foothill plants in East Gippsland
Indigenous Plants of East Gippsland's foothills. Just $5 for a full colour 56 page pocket guide (plus p&p).
Order one for yourself and a couple for friends - from our online shop
Or post a cheque (plus p&p) to: EEG Locked Bag 3 ORBOST 3888,
Or pick up a copy from the Lakes Entrance or Bairnsdale Tourist Info Centres or the Orbost Landcare office or newsagents.
To keep up with forest and wildlife news in general ‘like’ us on Facebook, and ‘get notifications’ (under the ‘like’ button). www.facebook.com/EnvironmentEastGippsland
If you missed any of our past forest news updates you can always catch up and read them on the EEG website online here.
If you like what we do, or if you feel outraged and want to help somehow you can donate here EEG provides the most enviro-bang for your buck – and we work 7 days a week – no holiday pay, no office rent, power bills, wages or overheads.
Jill and the team.
Environment East Gippsland Inc.
FORESTS - our breathing space!