VEAC releases the ‘Conservation Values of State Forests Assessment Report’
On 7 March 2017, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) publicly released an assessment of the conservation values of state forests in the Central Highlands, North East, Gippsland and East Gippsland areas. The work was requested in September 2016 by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D'Ambrosio MP.
In consultation with the Forest Industry Taskforce, VEAC provides an assessment which:
- identifies the biodiversity and ecological values in the specified area,
- identifies the current and likely future threats to these values, and
- reports on public land use and management.
The assessment report produced some of the following key findings:
- State forests in the Central Highlands, South Gippsland and East Gippsland demonstrated the highest levels of biodiversity conservation based on one method- a broad forest-dependent species analysis,
- State forests in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland also demonstrated the highest levels of biodiversity conservation through a second method – a focused forest-dependent species analysis, and
- The most prevalent invasive species include foxes, weeds and deer.
The report also provides a comprehensive list of the legal, policy and environmental frameworks which are currently apply to Victoria’s public land.
The full report is available here.