Chapter 4


Introduction to Baw Baw’s forestry

Chapter 4.pdf- Download here

The lower and middle forested slopes of Mount Baw Baw have been subjected to extensive clearfell logging operations for over the past 20 years. Mount Baw Baw is located in close proximity to some the largest pulp and timber mill facilities operating in Victoria. These Include:

•Australian Paper (Maryvale Pulp Mill)

•Neville Smith Timber (Heyfield Timber Mill)

•Drouin West Sawmill (Drouin and Morwell Mills)

To supply these mills, the Victorian Government subjected the forests around Mount Baw Baw to an unsustainable management regime. In order to maintain existing license commitments administered under the Forests Act 1958, the region was ‘overlogged’ to where in 2002, it was recommended to the Victorian Government that the sawlog yield be reduced by 50 percent. This chapter explores these pressures and its resulting impact on forest biodiversity. This is detailed in a mapping analysis showing past and proposed logging coupes onto sites significance as detailed in Chapter 2. An overview on current and proposed logging operations as outlined by the DSE is then provided. All of this is further explored within the following sections:

•The Forest Industry and Mount Baw Baw (Section 4.2)

•The impact of logging on Mount Baw Baw and its escarpments (Section 4.3)

•Current forest management in Sites of Significance (Section 4.4)

•Proposed Logging within Sites of Significance (Section 4.5)

It is recommended that proposed logging not proceed in the sites of significance surrounding Mount Baw Baw. It is also recommended that the Australian Paper for the Maryvale Pulp Mill request for additional wood pulp supply not come from VicForests as the RFA, upon which the extensions refers to, falls short of ensuring adequate protection for significant ecological communities.