Errinundra 18 - Brown Mountain
In Victoria, Australia
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As far as forest protests go, Brown Mountain is arguably the most contentious area in Australia.
Goolengook may have had the longest continuous blockade at 7 years and hundreds of arrests and attacks on forest protectors, including people disappearing that have never been seen again, but Brown Mountain has had forest protests, similar numbers of arrests over 3 decades and was ultimately settled in the courts.
It was the game of nibble nibble, where the loggers would turn up, log an area, like what is recovering in front of you, then mass protests would occur in the forest and in the cities and then the government would protect a small area. After a while, it would be forgotten and the loggers would come back and the process would be repeated.
It reached a peak in 2009, when the loggers came for the Brown Mountain Giants. Trees of similar size on the plateau had been carbon dated at 800+ years old.
From the cache, you should be able to see a narrow foot track marked with flouro tape. Follow this for a couple of hundred metres and you will see the giants. The trail is marked every easter, so the length of time since easter will determine how easy the track is to follow.
In 2009, a confirmation of a Long Footed Potaroo in the area, meant 500 hectares was reserved for its survival. (Sadly the the number of areas protected, can not exceed 500 and protected areas on the may can be manipulated on the map into already existing reserves). With the knowledge that the loggers where coming again, there was a massive effort by local conservationists through trapping and wildlife cameras to try and find a Potaroo. All hope was lost and the cameras where being collected for the last time, but the footage was to show us a Long Footed Potaroo called Justin (as in 'just in' time) was filmed complete with nesting materials and a tagged tree indicating a coupe boundary. Within 2 days a court injunction had been made. The final judgement was a large area was to be protected and now included in the National Park. Most of the remaining unlogged forest was protected around Brown Mountain due to other endangered species including Owls of the Sooty, Masked and Powerful kinds. Orbost Spiny Crayfish (the largest freshwater crayfish on the mainland), Spot-tailed Quoll. Extremely large numbers of arboreal mammals where also found.
The track up here while mud should be traffic able most of the time. Just be careful in the wet. Its only a short walk up from the main road. This will give you an idea on how the 2014 bushfire stopped when it hit the old wet forest.
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Last Updated: on 7/17/2017 1:53:22 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:53 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum