‘Next fight is court’

November 29, 2016

A growing number of residents in the Euroa area want logging in the Strathbogie Forest to end.

Protesters are gearing up in their fight to stop logging in Strathbogie State Forest, and the next fight could be in the courtroom.

Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Group spokesman Simeon Ayres said the group was considering legal options to halt the logging.

‘‘We have been told we have good grounds to start legal action,’’ Mr Ayres said.

‘‘It would cost the group a lot of money, but where there is a will there is a way.’’

The group, which is made up of a mix of landowners, farmers, nature lovers and concerned residents, has been in an extended battle with state-owned corporation VicForests over logging in the Strathbogie Forest.

The group believes the logging, which started this month, could endanger wildlife within the forest, such as the greater glider and powerful owl.

‘‘There is a whole world out there in the forest, and you won’t see it as they only come out at night,’’ Mr Ayres said.

VicForests argues that the wildlife in the forest will not be in danger as only 0.1 per cent of it is going to be logged.

Rob Kirley, who has been contracted by VicForests in the logging operation, said it was sustainable.

‘‘We’re leaving behind more trees than we take,’’ Mr Kirley said.

‘‘So in another 25 to 40 years you’ll be able to come back and do the same.

‘‘It’s a renewable resource that keeps on growing.’’

‘‘The trees we choose to leave behind are the best available habitat trees for now and in the future.’’

Mr Ayres said that despite the small number of trees VicForests would log, it could still harm the wildlife.

‘‘A greater glider doesn’t live in just one hollow, they live in about 20 at a time,’’ he said.

‘‘If you take trees away they can’t move around.’’

Trees harvested in the operation can go into furniture, flooring, construction supplies as well as paper, firewood and woodchips.

The entire area scheduled to be harvested in the Strathbogie State Forest is about 27ha.

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