National park plea
About 150 years ago, old growth trees accounted for over 60% of the central Victorian landscape. Due to fires and excessive logging, they only account for a measly 1.16% This is primarily due to heavy logging that is totally unnecessary in an area that is still trying to get back on it's feet. The only way for this delicate ecosystem to survive is for it to be recognized as a national park.
Making it possible
- Conservation of near extinct wildlife and plants after Black Saturday and in light of future fire events.
- Water catchments of Melbourne, LaTrobe and the Goulburn Murray systems. The largest area of clean water and catchment in Victoria. Food bowl and community security.
- Tourism. This is Victoria's richest ecological asset, but these magnificent forests have not yet been included in a state plan to encourage tourism. Our rural towns want and need this boost to tourism.
- Climate. These ash forests store more carbon per hectare than any other forest studied in the world. They sequester carbon, modulate the climate and can act as giant storage banks to absorb excess carbon if they are not logged. The financial opportunity in carbon credits is significant and can be paid directly to the state when a system is established federally.
- Places of spiritual nourishment. These magnificent forests have been described as a 'keeping place' by the traditional owners, a place to secure the story of the land and places of spiritual nourishment that we pass on to future generations. There should be no price tag on the value nature brings to mental health and spiritual well-being.