Conservationists protect ‘valley of the giants’

\conservationistsConservationists have this morning again set up blockades in the controversial Brown Mountain logging coupe in East Gippsland, calling on the Brumby government to immediately protect the area.

MEDIA RELEASE
1ST DECEMBER 2008

CONSERVATIONISTS PROTECT ‘VALLEY OF THE GIANTS’

Conservationists have this morning again set up blockades in the controversial Brown Mountain logging coupe in East Gippsland, calling on the Brumby government to immediately protect the area.

Coupe 840-502-0020 has been subject to clearfell logging for over a month now, decimating old-growth forests and obliterating half of the ‘Valley of the Giants’ old-growth forest walk.

“Brown Mountain is a valuable asset to all Victorians – but only if it’s standing intact” said spokesperson for the group, Lauren Caulfield.

“These publicly-owned forests provide the best returns as carbon sinks, water filters and biospheres, not as fodder to be exported overseas to pulp mills” she continued.

There are another two areas scheduled for logging on Brown Mountain this summer.

 “If Premier Brumby allows logging to continue on Brown Mountain he will decimate forever the ‘Valley of the Giants’ old growth forest walk, promised at the 2006 State election,” said Ms Caulfield.

The ‘Valley of the Giants’ old-growth forest walk represents real and lasting economic opportunity for the local community. Some locals have spent over seven years marking out the walking track, only to find their efforts severely undermined by current logging.

“Continued logging at Brown Mountain, in the face of broad public opposition, shows the Brumby Government is badly out of step with public opinion” continued Ms Caulfield. “Old-growth forest walks and the associated tourism and economic opportunities are by far the preferred industry for these forests.”

At the 2006 State election the ALP promised to protect 41,000 of old-growth and iconic forest available to the logging industry.

“Logging at Brown Mountain is destroying some of the last magnificent stands of old-growth forest in East Gippsland and is a tragedy. Two years to fulfill the old-growth election commitment is long enough.”

“Protecting Brown Mountain is a golden opportunity for Premier Brumby to both fulfill the 2006 election promise and to show responsible environmental leadership for all Victorians” concluded Ms Caulfield.

For further comment: Lauren Caulfield 0433 927 066.