The fires of 2019/20 burnt huge areas of north eastern Victoria. The remaining unburnt forests are more important than ever. One of these areas lies in the headwaters of the Little Dargo River, just south of Mt Hotham. It is a pristine area, without roads, and containing mature forest, much of it dominated by Alpine Ash. It is an area of state forest that lies right next to the Alpine National Park.
The state government logging agency, VicForests, intends to log a total of 11 “coupes”, or sections, of mature forest in the upper Little Dargo River, probably this spring. These coupes are located in a series of clusters, where separate sections of bush will be harvested, creating a large zone of cleared land over time. Extensive roading networks will be needed to access the coupes.
One coupe has already been logged. The remaining coupes have not yet been scheduled for harvesting. There is still time to stop this ecological disaster – if we act now.
As we point out in this post, the Dargo is a pristine area that needs to be protected.
On April 24, Friends of the Earth organised a community walk to visit the upper Little Dargo so people could see for themselves how special this place is, and why it needs to be protected.
We were hosted by Christa Treasure and Ray Anderson, who explained the historical significance of the area. A small group made it all the way to Fred’s Flat, a gorgeous section of open plain by the Little Dargo River. This was the first group to walk into the upper catchment since the early 1900s and showed just how precious this place is: unroaded, intact and unburnt. Our aim is to keep it that way.
Above: the main group heads off.
There is a set of images from the day available here.
Speak up and help protect the Upper Little Dargo
This area will be devastated if VicForests is allowed to log the headwaters.
The area has been placed on the Timber Release Plan but not yet scheduled for logging. There is time to stop this from happening.
1/ Let your friends know
If you joined the walk, please share images with your friends, networks and family and send them this link. And encourage them to call the minister.
2/ Tell the minister to protect the Little Dargo
All 11 coupes in the Little Dargo catchment should be removed from the Timber Release Plan (TRP). This rare, mature forest, much of it dominated by Alpine Ash, in the headwaters of the Little Dargo River, must protected. Alpine Ash ecosystems have suffered greatly due to recurring fire in the high country. This is a particularly special, undisturbed bush – currently without any roading – that is greatly valued by local high country people.
These are the coupe numbers.
Please email the environment minister, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, and urge her to protect the Little Dargo River by cancelling all coupes.
Or call the Environment Minister’s office on 03 9637 9504 and leave a polite message about the need to protect the Little Dargo river from logging.
3/ tell your story on social media
Share your images from the area, or use some of ours, and post on any social media platform with a simple message, and tag in the following:
Please #SaveLittleDargoRiver – Too precious to log. An unburnt gem in the Victorian high country.
Thanks to everyone who attended the walk and Sasha King for many of these images.
Above: briefing session at the Treasure’s place
Above: there are 3 snow plains along the route of the re-opened Mailman’s Track on the approach to the logging coupes
Above: heading in to Fred’s Flat on the Little Dargo.
Fred’s Flat. Hardly anyone has been in here since the early 1900s.
Above: briefing at the start of the walk.
Above: Christa Treasure leading one of the walking groups.
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