April 2007: Parish of Briagolong East Gippsland, ex APM plantations purchased by Hancock in 2001. Deep ripping of soil for establishment of pine plantations on failed bluegum plantation site. Most carbon is stored in soil, making this a carbon unfriendly crop of trees. See here for more information.
Google Earth image taken some time in 2005?. Marathon Road plantations that Hancock bulldozed in 2007. Note poor growth.
April 2007 : Macks Creek Plantation, Strzelecki Ranges. Highly erodable logging track cut into Cretaceous Sediments. This tracks is already showing signs of erosion. Imagine what will happen when the rains come.
April 2007 : Macks Creek Plantation, Strzelecki Ranges. Spraying of riparian zone and very poor creek crossing across Macks Creek.
April 2007 : Macks Creek Plantation, Strzelecki Ranges. Recently laid rock dumped into Macks Creek at this extremely dubious creek crossing. Who dunped the rock?
April 2007 : Macks Creek Plantation, Strzelecki Ranges. Macks Creek showing riparian spraying by Hancock and the West Gippsland CMA. Bulldozers were also used in close proximity to the creek at this location. This site is probably full of breaches to the Code of Forest Practices.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges - Morwell River Catchment - Cores and Links Reserve (For Background on the Cores and Links Reserve See Here). If Hancock is so desperate for timber why was this tree cut down and left on the forest floor.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges - Morwell River Catchment - Cores and Links Reserve. This area was logged 4 months ago. Hancock were requested to remove logging refuse from site or spread it thinly over the site, so that native generation could occur. Seeing that this site is to be a future reserve it is an imperative that good regeneration occur. However, how can anything grow through this 3 metre high pile of logging refuse? Fires are inappropriate for the site due to its close location to rainforest.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges - Morwell River Catchment - Cores and Links Reserve. Hancock have been requested to control weeds post logging in the new reserve. It is vitally important that weeds do not proliferate in the new reserve by becoming 'uncontrollable'. Blackberries have started to appear in numerous locations near the corner of Snakesback Track and Grey Gum Track. They may have been brought in on logging machinery or may have 'escaped' via old logging coupes in close proximity. Whatever the reason it is a damning inditement of Hancock's faith in maintaining to the Cores and Links agreement.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges. Grand Ridge Road south of Livingstone Road. At this site about 100 metres of crown owned roadside reserve has recently been sprayed to kill regenerating wattle, most likely by Hancock. This could be illegal.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges - Smiths Creek Catchment. Hancock has continued logging this catchment leaving only 20 metre 'buffers' on cool temperate rainforest. The new coupes in this photo appear to be located in very close proximity to gullies, which have been assessed as containing cool temperate rainforest. For more information on Smiths Creek Rainforest see here.
March 2007: Strzelecki Ranges - Smiths Creek Catchment.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Water supply for Meeniyan. Recent clearfelling of native forest has occurred at this site off Loop Road. According to maps supplied in the VPC Act this site contained regrowth from 1946, meaning that some of the trees at this location would have been 61 years old. Definately not plantation trees. Under FSC regulations you cannot be certified if you have converted native forest to plantation after 1994. Why is Hancock allowed to get away with it? For more information on this plantation and forest see here.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment - Loop Road. More photos showing the logging of non-plantation native forest .
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment - Loop Road. This photo reveals that older trees, possibly 60 years plus+ have been logged at this site.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment - Loop Road. Non-plantation tree, most likely native forest regrowth.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. The type of forest that Hancock is logging near Loop Road.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Franklin River catchment. Native forest in the foreground, with hardwood established in 1977 in the background. Hancock are currently working in this catchment, with large scale logging to occur over the next 2 years.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Franklin River catchment showing recent logging in close proximity to remnant vegetation.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Woomera Creek catchment. An image showing the type of forest that won't be logged due to the Cores and Links decision.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Little Albert River catchment. Large scale cable logging of radiata pine which was established in 1975. Little Albert River flows into the Albert River about 2km south of Hiawatha. The Albert River then flows into Nooramunga Marine Reserve. High rates of pesticides are likely to be used on this plantation. In the event of substantial rain large amounts of sediment and herbicides will be washed into local waterways, possibly eventually washing into the Marine Reserve. Traces of the herbicide Hexazinone have been detected 50km downstream of plantations in the Geelong region.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Little Albert River catchment. For more information about this plantation please see here.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Little Albert River catchment.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. More logging of eucalypts near the headwaters of this creek system.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Logging of plantations in very close proximity to Elizabeth Creek offering little protection from the impacts of sediment and pesticides. Water supply for Meeniyan.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Elizabeth Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Log landing located in very close proximity to Elizabeth Creek. For more information please see here.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo East Plantations - Deadlock Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Another waterway heavily impacted by plantations. Water supply for Meeniyan.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Watkins Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Recent logging of pine has occurred in this catchment. Spraying will also occur soon. Water supply for Meeniyan.
March 2007 - Strzelecki Ranges - Mirboo Plantations - Watkins Creek Catchment/Tarwin River catchment. Lack of buffers on drainage lines inside this recently logged pine plantation.
Gippsland Times 24/5/07 Bluegums bulldozed at Briag
BRIAGOLONG: A land use researcher has warned investors considering managed investment schemes involving bluegum plantations to be cautious following the bulldozing of 250 hectares of failed plantation near Briagolong.
The Macquarie Bank has sown huge areas in bluegums elsewhere in the Perry River catchment through its plantation arm, Midway Plantations.
Friends of the Earth land researcher Anthony Amis questioned the logic behind planting in an area where crops 12 years old had failed. "With all these managed investment schemes, the investors could be burnt," Mr Amis said.
"Looking at the massive failure of bluegum ... when the Maquarie plantations are due they could fail as well. "Landholders are worried about managed investment schemes buying farmland - if the plantations fail we've had a loss (for the region) all round."
Grand Ridge general manager Owen Trumper confirmed the company had bulldozed bluegums because of poor growth. However he claimed factors other than low rainfall may have contributed to the crop failure. "There's no doubt the drought may have had an influence, but it's not 100 per cent of the reason," Mr Trumper said.
"We have (bulldozed plantation near Briagolong) but (Midway) have a different planting strategy, slightly different sites with slightly different soils."
Collective Water Utilisation Group Gippsland chair Rob Grant warned plantations around Briagolong, Munro and Stockdale were using water which flowed underground and therefore wasn't seen.
Prior to white settlement many areas which are now planted out had been open woodland with far less trees using far less water, he said. Such plantations therefore had a "huge impact" on stream flow, Mr Grant added.
The Maquarie Bank did not return calls from the Gippsland Times regarding Midway Plantations and its activity in the local area.
The Weekly Times June 13, 2007 p26 Failed gums torn out by Fiona Allen
Hundreds of hectares of blue gums planted in Gippsland are being bulldozed because they have stopped growing.
It is unsure why the older plantation crops have failed but a number of factors could be to blame, including the drought or unsuitable soil types.
The result has raised questions about the viability and future of blue gums in the region where plantation companies are rapidly buying land.
Melbourne-based landuse researcher Anthony Amis, of Friends of the Earth, said so far 250ha of failed blue gums, planted in the past 17 years, had been bulldozed at Briagolong but he predicted thousands more hectares would also go.
“The trees grew really well for five years and then nothing,” he said. “They have been a massive failure.
“It is a warning for other areas. If these ones planted in the 1990s failed, will the same happen again?”
Hancock Victorian Plantations spokesman Owen Trumper confirmed several hundred hectares of blue gums in the company’s Gippsland plantations had failed and were bulldozed.
Mr Trumper said the land would go to pine. “Do we know exactly why they stopped growing? No. All we know is a result,” he said. “Our assessment is that the last seven or eight years of drought combined with soil type and the establishment techniques used for blue gums haven’t been successful. “We had to make a decision to convert it into a site that would generate fibre for future customers.”
Mr Trumper said pine represented 75 per cent of the company’s business and hardwood 25 per cent, including 10,000 ha of blue gums spread from Trafalgar to Stockdale.
The soil type at Briagolong is the same as in the Perry River catchment, where Macquarie Bank’s plantation arm, Midway, has sown large amounts of blue gums.
Mr Amis, who maps and monitors plantations across the state, estimated 50 to 70 per cent of blue gum plantations were not growing as well as expected.
He said it was believed growth rates in the Perry River catchment had already been disappointing. “Investors in these managed investment schemes aren’t being told they are investing in a risky development,” he said.
“The plantation companies should be writing growth rates down in annual reports.”
Macquarie Bank was unavailable to comment on the issue when contacted by The Weekly Times.