A win for conservation – National Park recommended for the Wombat Forest

A Wombat-Lerderderg National Park and Cobaw Conservation Park will be created if the state government accepts recommendations released by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council on Friday.
Tasked by the state government to conduct a two-year investigation into the forests of central west Victoria, VEAC’s final recommendations aim to restore the health of the forests so they are more resilient to the impacts of climate change, increasing population pressures and habitat deterioration.
Gayle Osborne, convenor of local lobby group Wombat Forestcare, said the group had been campaigning for greater protection of the Wombat State Forest for more than 10 years, and VEAC’s recommendations were due recognition of the very high conservation and catchment values of the forest.
“A United Nations’ recent report warned that an astounding million species are threatened with extinction,” Ms Osborne said.
“This highlights the importance of the creation of these parks, which will provide protected habitat for many species, and in particular greater gliders.”
VEAC has proposed four new or expanded national parks and two new conservation parks to be managed primarily for conservation, although most recreational activities will continue to be allowed.
Six new or expanded regional parks will allow a wider range of recreational activity, and some will also provide for domestic firewood collection for 10 years.
VEAC changed its recommendations as a result of community feedback and some of the area previously recommended as a national park is now recommended as regional park where additional recreational activities including dog walking, prospecting and camping with horses would be allowed.
The VEAC investigation found the Wombat Forest was a ‘stronghold’ for protection of many threatened native species including the greater glider, brush-tailed phascogale and the endemic wombat leafless bossiaea.
VEAC also highlighted the importance of the forest as a water catchment with the headwaters of seven major river systems contained within it, and the value the forest provides in terms of ecosystem services and carbon sequestration.
“The recommended boundaries for the national, conservation and regional parks achieve a balance between protecting conservation yet still permitting recreational opportunities closer to townships such as Trentham and Daylesford,” Ms Osborne said.
“If the recommendations are adopted, sawlog harvesting in the forest will finally cease, and we will see an end to the successive periods of over logging of the forest that have occurred over the last 150 years.”

4 thoughts on “A win for conservation – National Park recommended for the Wombat Forest

  • June 26, 2019 at 9:46 am
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    Not very many there. You don’t have the numbers.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 11:14 am
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    Funny Veac seems to have taken no notice of the overwhelming majority of petitions for leaving the area alone, looks like the greens win again. A bit of fairness should be shown by your newspaper should be addressed remember the silent majority please.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    I refer to your article – “A win for conservation – National Park recommended for Wombat Forest”. The VEAC Final Report on Central West Investigation HAS NOT listened to the over whelming rejection of creating more National Parks in this region. Nearly 65% of submissions received in the second submission phase of the draft rejected the recommendations, only 32% were for. The suggestion that the tiny regional parks proposed will appease those against is utter hogwash. These are small areas that surround established communities and will basically have the same regulations as National Parks and unlikely to allow dispersed camping. State Forest status allows for dispersed camping and the majority of current users of the open bush have great respect for the local flora and fauna. The Wombat State Forest has provided for many decades a retreat for Family Groups and groups of Mates to enjoy peace and solitude, away from the stresses of suburban living and they do not want to be corralled into designated camping grounds with crowds and probably a required fee to enjoy. They might as well go to an established Caravan and camping ground. I and Family and Mates have camped in the Wombat State Forest for nearly 50 years in the same clearing. Over the years we have left this clearing as we found it, sometimes clearing rubbish that a few less caring people has left. We have helped keep established tracks clear of fallen trees and limbs that is a great help for the ready access of emergency vehicles during fire or other situations. This forest has not been used for commercial harvesting of timber for over twenty years, it has recovered in that time but There are other recreational activities that will be banned or heavily restricted if this large National Park readily accessible to the west of Melbourne is approved. Over the years these bush lovers have assisted in reducing ground level fuel for use at camp sites or in part for domestic heating use. They are not felling trees and the limited amount taken is NOT destroying the habitat of native fauna. There is too much scare mongering from green organisations that thousands, even a million species face extinction due to human activities, in the case of Victoria’s threatened species there are many publications saying the opposite. This additional land grab, if it occurs, shows a Labor State Government is not in touch with what has been an Australian right of access and to enjoy recreational enjoyment in camping, amateur prospecting, riding a horse, dog walking to name but a few. There is also evidence that due to lack of budget current existing National Parks are under managed, left to overgrow with feral weed and are inundated with introduced fauna. There are suggestions that the creation of National Parks will create greater tourism. Balderdash. Local business’s will suffer, plenty of evidence of that in regional centres in Victoria adjacent to National Parks. The VEAC primary members are educated environmentalists that have probably never or rarely experienced “Roughing It” in the bush and have a distinctive Green tinge. There is no representation at this level of actual bush users. I do not have my own interests at heart, I’m over 65 years, I am thinking of my children and grand children and future generations that will soon not be able to enjoy the freedom I have enjoyed. There is so much distractions available today for our younger generation that we are trying as a society to reduce, solitude in the bush gives them an education and experience second to none. I am not sure about the picture shown in your article, it looks like a quickly organised “Rent a Crowd”, maybe I am wrong, but do they really know what is at stake. I suggest people read the submissions at the VEAC website and make their own opinions. Also have a look at the Facebook page of Bush Users Groups United, (BUGU). I will close with……….. There are two sides to a story. Thank you

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  • July 1, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    at this rate there will be no more places for people to ride there bikes or horses. if all our forrests are taken away we will head to the street and hoons wont be your worry anymore

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