Rubicon State Forest logging history

//Rubicon State Forest logging history
Rubicon State Forest logging history2019-04-23T01:11:13+00:00

A  Century of logging history in the Rubicon State Forest

This powerful and brilliant new video, assembled by Nick Legge in October 2018, uses photographs old and new, landsat images and graphics based on VicForests harvesting data to show the intensification of logging in the Rubicon State Forest since the 2009 fires. This fine contribution in educating the public on the environmental vandalism that is occurring in our publicly owned forests, follows on from his impressive work  Unsustainable! Published in May 2016.

The following are direct captions by the author inserted throughout the video which we hope will be of interest to the user.

  • Forest Sawmilling in the Rubicon State Forest commenced in 1907, peaked in the mid 1930’s and ended in the early 1950’s.
  • Trees were felled with axes and cross cut saws and dragged out using winches and horse drawn timber tramways
  • The annual cut over this period was approximately 20,000 cubic metres per annum. Today it is over 200,000 cubic metres per annum.
  • The January 1939 fires that swept through Victoria was a cataclysm, resulting in approx. 2 million hectares of forest being burnt.
  • During the 1960’s logging of eastern Victoria’s native Forests escalated.
  • With the Rubicon State Forest throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s, clear-fell logging gradually increased in intensity reaching a peak of 150,000 hectares per annum in the mid 2000’s.
  • After the 2009 fires, clear fell logging climbed to over 200 hectares per annum despite the vast areas of forest killed as a direct result of these fires.
  • In the Black Saturday 2009 fires within the Murrindindi Shire, 13,500 hectares of ash forest was destroyed.
  • By comparison, in the 2006-2007 Great Divide Fires, 1.1 million hectares of forest was burnt in Victoria of which 100,000 hectares was ash forest.
  • In the 11 years between years 2003 and 2014, the same area of forest was burnt in the Victorian bushfires as in the previous 50 years – approx. 4 million hectares.
  • The 2003, 2006-07, 2009 fires killed or severely damaged 189,000 hectares of ash forest.
  • Over the previous 40 year period, 73,000 hectares of ash forest had been clear-felled.
  • half of Victoria’s mountain ash forests are less than 40 years old.

All historic have been sourced by the Australian On-line data base (Trove), except last picture by Rod Falconer