Forest frustration

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More than 40 state, national and international groups are calling on the state government to accept recommendations for new national parks in the state’s central west including Wombat State Forest.
Following the two-year expert investigation by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council, recommendations have been made for large areas of public forests of the Wombat, Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Ranges in Victoria’s central west to become national (almost 60,000 hectares) or regional parks (almost 20,000 hectares).
The collaboration of groups is coordinated by local community conservation group Wombat Forestcare, which says the state government’s decision is already more than 12 months overdue.
Wombat Forestcare’s Gayle Osborne said after years in the making, the lack of action had left conservation groups from around the state feeling deeply disappointed.
“The Wombat Forest has so many values that need protecting; the headwaters of six major rivers, many rare and threatened species and the storage of carbon,” she said.
“How long do we have to wait for the Victorian Government to take nature protection issues seriously?”
The purpose of the investigation was to identify the natural and cultural values and make balanced recommendations about how to best conserve them.
Wombat Forestcare encourages other groups and individuals to add their name to the open letter and join calls to the state government to create and implement new parks at
Signatory groups include leading national groups like WWF, Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Wilderness Society, Humane Society International Australia, Friends of the Earth, Bush Heritage, Birdlife Australia, key state groups including National Trust Victoria, Environment Victoria, and the Victorian National Parks Association, and regional groups such as Biolinks Alliance Inc, friends groups, field naturalist clubs and landcare networks.