|Toolangi State Forest|
Toolangi State Forest, Yea Link Track
|Location||Central Highlands (Victoria), Australia|
|Elevation||700 to 100m|
|Governing body||Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Victoria)|
|Indicator plants||Eucalyptus regnans|
The Toolangi State Forest region in southern Australia extends from Mount Monda in the south up to Murrindindi in the north and includes the township of Toolangi. The forest is mainly Eucalypt forest that has regrown from the 1939 Victoria Bushfires.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Murrindindi is a locality along the valley of the Murrindindi River in Victoria, in eastern Australia in the Murrindindi local government area. The nearest town is Yea.
Toolangi is a rural township in Victoria, Australia. At the 2011 census, Toolangi and the surrounding area had a population of 289. It is situated on the edge of the Toolangi State Forest.
Large sections of the forest were also burnt in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, although there are some pockets of old-growth forest that have not been logged or seriously burnt.
The Black Saturday bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009 and were among Australia's all-time worst bushfire disasters. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions and resulted in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire; there were 173 direct identified fatalities, This figure was later increased to 180 fatalities after several people succumbed to their injuries. Many were left homeless as a result.
An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest or late seral forest — is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.
Notably, the forest provides habitat for the threatened Leadbeater's possum.
The Leadbeater's possum is a critically endangered possum largely restricted to small pockets of alpine ash, mountain ash, and snow gum forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, north-east of Melbourne. It is primitive, relict, and non-gliding, and, as the only species in the petaurid genus Gymnobelideus, represents an ancestral form. Formerly, Leadbeater's possums were moderately common within the very small areas they inhabited; their requirement for year-round food supplies and tree-holes to take refuge in during the day restricts them to mixed-age wet sclerophyll forest with a dense mid-story of Acacia. The species was named in 1867 after John Leadbeater, the then taxidermist at the Museum Victoria. They also go by the common name of fairy possum. On 2 March 1971, the State of Victoria made the Leadbeater's possum its faunal emblem.
After the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, the Toolangi and Castella community proposed to construct a walk to the Kalatha Giant tree located at Kalatha Creek in the Toolangi State Forest. The Kalatha Giant Tree Walk Forest project was funded by the Victorian Bushfires Appeal Fund and was declared open by the federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Mark Butler, on 28 July, National Tree Day.
Mark Christopher Butler is an Australian politician and a member of the Australian Labor Party, representing the electoral division of Port Adelaide in the Commonwealth Parliament since 2007.
The Kalatha Giant, a mountain ash ( Eucalyptus regnans ), has striking buttressing and is the seventh largest tree in Victoria with a volume of 200 cubic metres, a girth of 13.85 metres and is 65.5 metres tall.
Eucalyptus regnans, known variously as mountain ash, swamp gum, or stringy gum, is a species of Eucalyptus native to Tasmania and the state of Victoria in southeastern Australia. It is the tallest flowering plant and one of the tallest trees in the world, second only to the coast redwood of North America. A straight-trunked tree with smooth grey bark, but with a stocking of rough brown bark from 5 to 20 metres above the ground, it regularly grows to 85 metres (280 ft), with the tallest living specimen, the Centurion in Tasmania, standing 100.5 metres tall. White flowers appear in autumn. Victorian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller described the species in 1871.
The Toolangi State Forest is popular for a variety of recreation uses due to its close proximity to Melbourne and its natural attributes. Recreation activities include bushwalking, birdwatching, mountain biking, trail bike riding and four wheel driving.
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".
There are a number of walking tracks in the Toolangi State Forestincluding:
These are a 20 km loop walking route that may be undertaken as a single long walk, or as sections. Main access points with car parking are the Tanglefoot Car Park (Sylvia Creek Rd), the Wirrawilla Rainforest Reserve (Sylvia Creek Rd), and Mt St Leonard (Monda Rd). The route follows the Myrtle Gully Track, Quarry Rd, and the new Tanglefoot Track. The Mr Tanglefoot Boardwalk was opened in March 2008 and has a covered picnic area, seats and drinking water.
The following plant species found in Central Highlands Forests, including the Toolangi State Forest, are listed under either the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and/or the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999:
The following animal species found in Central Highlands Forests, including the Toolangi State Forest, are listed in the Central Highlands Forest Management Plan 1998:
Logging within the Toolangi State Forest is sanctioned by the Victorian government and is managed by the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Victoria) and VicForests. There is strong local opposition to this logging due to the destruction of small remaining areas of intact forests that provide habitat for the threatened Leadbeater's possum.
On 8 June 2011 Councillors of the Yarra Ranges Shire voted to write to politicians and call for an immediate halt to logging and future logging on the Bicentennial Trail and Mt St Leonard.
Following a community led blockade on Sylvia Creek Road, Toolangi State Forest in July to August 2011,MyEnvironment Inc, a local environment group, obtained an injunction in the Supreme Court, preventing logging in the subject coupes pending resolution of the allegation of unlawful logging. The legal case proceeded on the basis that the logging of the three coupes:
In late January 2012 MyEnvironment Inc. received an open offer to limit the area logged in the three subject coupes if the action was discontinued. The action proceeded.
Justice Osborn accepted VicForests interpretation that the primary instrument they are required to follow in logging is the Prescription in the Central Highlands Forest Management Plan that includes Leadbeater’s Possum Zone 1A Habitat (living mature and senescing trees) in the Special Protection Zone. He did not agree with VicForests that the trees must be both mature and senescing but preferred the interpretation that both living mature and living senescing trees would be counted. He defined mature as more than 120 years old.
He also found the Action Statement under the FFG Act does not independently impose obligations on VicForests.
On this basis, Justice Osborn found that:
Justice Osborne made some further comments in the judgment:
VicForests made a commitment to exclude all Zone 1A in the three coupes from logging, to log Gun Barrel by the VRH system and not to conduct a regeneration burn. These two concessions greatly reduced the environmental damage done by the logging.
Costs were awarded against My Environment, but not on the higher scale (indemnity).
In August 2013 Professor David Lindenmayer called for a new "Great Forest National Park" in the mountain forests east of Melbourne from Kinglake through to the Baw Baws, and north-east up to Eildon to protect them from logging.
A tree sit protest in The Little Red Toolangi Treehouse commenced in the Toolangi State Forest during November 2013. Hannah Patchett, moved into The Little Red Toolangi Treehouse of 20 November, motivated by the recommendation of Prof. David Lindenmayer, who called for an end to logging in the area by the end of December 2013 to provide Leadbeater's possum with a chance at avoiding extinction.Hannah pledged to remain in the 14-square-metre home until the Victorian state government announces plans for protecting the endangered possum. Hannah moved out for personal reasons and was replaced by Beee Mallia, another young conservationist.
Beee has endured all climatic variations since 1 December 2013 and is sacrificing creature comforts in an act of Non-Violent Direct Action to bring attention to the need to protect this unique and globally significant forest. The Toolangi treehouse is also currently functioning as a point of engagement for the broader public.
The Tarra-Bulga National Park is a national park located in the south Gippsland region of eastern Victoria, Australia. The park is located 33 kilometres (21 mi) south of Traralgon on the Traralgon-Balook Road.
Yarra Ranges National Park is located in the southeastern region of Australia, in the Victoria Central Highlands, 107 kilometres northeast of Melbourne. Established in 1995 and managed by the statutory authority Parks Victoria, the carbon-rich forest is home to the majestic Mountain Ash Tree, one of the tallest tree species in the world. A wide diversity of fauna make their home across the park's 76,003 hectares, including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, platypi and 120 species of native birds. The Yarra, O'Shaunessy and Taggerty Rivers flow through the Park, and with several reservoirs form an important source of drinking water for the City of Melbourne. Among the conservation challenges facing Yarra Ranges National Park are climate change and invasive species of weeds.
The Lamington National Park is a national park, lying on the Lamington Plateau of the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border in Australia. From Southport on the Gold Coast the park is 85 kilometres (53 mi) to the southwest and Brisbane is 110 kilometres (68 mi) north. The 20,600 hectares Lamington National Park is known for its natural environment, rainforests, birdlife, ancient trees, waterfalls, walking tracks and mountain views.
Tamborine is a national park in the Gold Coast hinterland and is a part of the Scenic Rim Regional Council of South East Queensland, Australia, 45 km (28 mi) south of Brisbane.
The Central Highlands is a region of Victoria. This term is mainly used in a geological context to describe the part of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria that is outside the Alpine areas. The area is situated east of Ballarat, south of Bendigo, north and east of Melbourne, west of the Alpine areas and includes the Great Dividing Range. Major towns of the highlands include Castlemaine, Creswick, Daylesford, Gisborne, Kyneton and Woodend. All these towns are located in the western part of the Central Highlands usually referred to as the West Central Highlands. The eastern part of the Central Highlands referred to as the East Central Highlands also contains areas of rainforest.
The Melba Highway connects the outer eastern suburb of Coldstream, near Lilydale, and the town of Yea, in Victoria's Central Highlands on the Goulburn Valley Highway.
Mount Donna Buang is a mountain in the southern reaches of the Victorian Alps of the Great Dividing Range, located in the Australian state of Victoria. Approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) from Melbourne with an elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft), Mount Donna Buang is the closest snowfield to Melbourne.
The Cathedral Range State Park is located in Victoria, Australia, approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) north-east from Melbourne. It is situated between the towns Buxton and Taggerty and runs parallel to Maroondah Highway. The Cathedral Range was declared a State Park on 26 April 1979. It consists of 3,577 hectares and contains the rugged Razorback and spectacular peaks of the Cathedral Range, Little River and forested hills of the Blue Range. Due to its close proximity to Melbourne the Cathedral Ranges are a popular destination for both day and weekend adventures. Bushwalking, camping, rock climbing and abseiling are some of the more popular activities available. Cathedral Range State Park is listed as Category II under the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and is an example of a park that can be used for recreation, education and conserving natural ecosystems.
The mountain brushtail possum, or southern bobuck, is a nocturnal, semi-arboreal marsupial of the family Phalangeridae native to southeastern Australia. It was not described as a separate species until 2002.
The Liffey Valley Reserve is a nature reserve comprising four separate parcels of land, with a combined area of 275 ha, in the Liffey Valley of northern Tasmania, Australia. It lies about 55 km (34 mi) south-west of Launceston and 25 km (16 mi) south-east of Deloraine. It is owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA).
Established in 1965, the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve is located 45 km east of Melbourne in the Upper Yarra Valley, near the towns of Yellingbo, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Hoddles Creek, Cockatoo, Emerald, Monbulk and Seville. Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve is a narrow riparian reserve with stream-frontage land along the Woori Yallock, Shepherd, Cockatoo, Macclesfield and Sheep Station Creeks.
The Yea River, an inland perennial river of the Goulburn Broken catchment, part of the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the lower South Eastern Highlands bioregion and Northern Country/North Central regions of the Australian state of Victoria.
VicForests is a Government Backed Enterprise (GBE) operating in the Australian state of Victoria. It was created - as a state body under Section 14 of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1992 - by the Victorian Government, being declared a state business corporation on 18 October 2003.
The Murrindindi River, an inland perennial river of the Goulburn Broken catchment, part of the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the lower South Eastern Highlands bioregion and Northern Country/North Central regions of the Australian state of Victoria. The headwaters of the Murrindindi River rise on the western slopes of the Victorian Alps and descend to flow into the Yea River.
The Great Forest National Park is a proposed national park in Victoria, Australia. The park would protect the forests of the Central Highlands and the endangered Leadbeater's possum. The park would protect the habitat of the locally threatened native Mountain Ash - the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and a large part of Melbourne's water catchment.
The Mount Cole State Forest is in western Victoria, Australia, near the town of Beaufort. The forest is around Mount Cole, which formed 390 million years ago. The Indigenous Australians, the Beeripmo balug people, called it Bereep-bereep, which means wild. The forest covers an area of 12,150 hectares, including the forest around Mount Lonarch.
The goblin flea is a critically endangered insect endemic to the Australian state of Victoria. It is host specific, and lives only with the co-endangered Leadbeater's possum. Although it has been suggested as a good candidate species for conservation, there is presently no work directed towards its conservation. The key threat factor driving the decline of the Leadbeater's possum, and by extension the co-endangered Goblin flea, is logging in the Mountain Ash forests of the Victorian central highlands. To avoid extinction, a number of conservation steps will need to be taken including amalgamating the Goblin flea into the captive breeding program for its host at Healesville Sanctuary