Victoria's Great Forest Experience - Melbourne's New Playground
The Great Forests National Park proposal is a vision for a multi-tiered parks system for bush users and bush lovers alike. It is a Parks system that protects and maintains important ecosystem functions critical for our way of life. See the Park Plan.
The tallest flowering trees on Earth grow north-east of Melbourne. In their high canopies dwell owls, gliders and the tiny Leadbeater's (or Fairy) Possum. Victoria's precious and endangered faunal emblem lives only in these ash forests of the Central Highlands.
Montane ash forests flourish along the Great Divide receiving high rainfall. They harvest water from the air and provide most of Melbourne's drinking water. Research has shown these forests to be among the most carbon-dense forests on Earth due to their rapid growth and relatively slow rates of decay in the cool, wet climate.
The Park, stretching from Kinglake through to the Baw Baws and north-east up to Eildon, will host a range of activities such as bike riding, bushwalking, fishing, bird watching, four-wheel driving, motor biking, camping, zipline tours and much more.
The Great Forests National Park is an investment for the long-term because it will secure Melbourne's domestic water supply catchments, a suite of new economic opportunities for the region will roll-out, and the state's faunal emblem, the Leadbeater's Possum, among others, will be brought back from the brink of extinction.
Sounds of a wild night in the forest
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The sun is setting, slowly dipping the forest into darkness. Its weakening grasp on the day releases the cold air from its grip on the ground. Around you, the forest is singing a song about the passage of time, if only you know how to listen.
David Lindenmayer, from the Australian National University, is an ecologist and conservation biologist who has spent over 30 years studying the Mountain Ash Forest of Victoria.
‘There’s a little mixture of things that always want to have the last word. The Lyrebird is one and the Kookaburra is another and the Eastern Yellow Robin and the Pilot Bird are two others,’ he says.
‘The birds are calling less than in the morning, but still nevertheless calling, and they’re just confirming their territories before there's an extraordinary change in the light in this long dusk period,’ says Lindenmayer.
Then the possums and gliders come out. Then the nocturnal birds start their calls. Listen closely to hear the sounds of the evening shift change in the Mountain Ash Forests of Victoria in this episode of Off Track.
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Having extensively photographed the Victoria Forests and loving them deeply for their unique habitats, inhabitants and scenes. I wish for Australians to connect and cherish their wild places for the future of all.
From snow gum mountain tops to rich rainforest gullies and tall mountain ash forests, the Central Highlands is one of Australia's most diverse regions and a premier tourism destination.
The traditional owners of this country are the Wurundjeri and The Taungurung (Daung warring).
Sunday Age : Royal Champions Back Park
by Tom Arup
The state's pre-eminent scientific organisation, the Royal Society of Victoria, has thrown its support behind the push for a new national park on Melbourne's doorstep to protect Leadbeater's possums and other threatened mountain ash forest species.
Scientific concern for the possums' survival has soared since the 2009 Black Saturday fires destroyed 45 per cent of their best habitat. Conservationists also blame logging in the possums' central highlands forest home for driving them further towards extinction, which the industry disputes. Read more: Link to story
David Lindenmayer Ash Forests & Leadbeater's Possum
the sounds of a tall forest
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