VicForests is commencing harvesting in a coupe called Zinger, in the Toolangi area.
Extensive and detailed work has already been undertaken to identify and protect forest values and the species’ habitats in the coupe.
The coupe is almost entirely regrowth after the 1939 fires but contains some legacy trees from 1926 and 1906 fires. The coupe does contain some individual older trees which do not constitute old growth stands but these trees will be preserved and protected from harvest activities for the long-term.
Support for local wildlife and recolonisation of harvested areas by plants will be assisted by leaving more than 60% of the total coupe area unharvested. Unharvested areas are selected based upon the location of high value habitat, such as large habitat trees and riparian areas.
One old tree of note, the Kalatha Giant, is 160m beyond coupe boundaries in Special Protection Zone that will not and cannot be harvested.
It is not visible from the coupe, and harvesting will not affect the tree.
Despite VicForest’s intentions to keep the Kalatha Road open, access via that road to the Kalatha Giant has been closed on DELWP’s authority.
The action maintains safety and security and was made necessary by protesters who entered the Timber Harvesting Safety Zone via the Kalatha Road.
VicForests has preserved tourist access to the Kalatha Giant via an alternative route using Granton Road.
Zinger is within the area already assessed by Government and allocated to VicForests for harvesting.
Only 6% of all Victorian public native forest is available at all for harvesting. Of that, VicForests have less than 3000 hectares per year, nominally equivalent to 4 trees in 10,000 across all native forest.
VicForests will support the return of a healthy forest in Zinger by regrowing Mountain Ash trees in harvested areas.
VicForests is also strategically choosing to retain trees in the harvest area to allow local Greater Gliders to move across the coupe, so that they can still use the unharvested areas and stay connected to the almost 39,000 ha of adjacent protected forest.
This design has been tested on other coupes where we have found Gliders using these trees within one month after harvest.