The tall wet forests of the Otways are where the mountain ash, mountain
grey gum and tree ferns grow. A large proportion of wet forests that
are the most valuable source of timber resources in the Otways are not
protected and will never become old growth forest.
See West RFA protected
a small amount of wet mountain forest
All old growth is protected in
SPZ reserves and not logged.
A lot of old forest within state forest is located in Special Protection
Zones (SPZ). SPZ areas are not legislated reserves and can be changed
to allow logging. It is unlikely any forest in these areas will ever
be allowed to mature to old growth forest or remain as old growth forest
into the future.
See SPZ,s are
All the Otways was logged in the
past and there is now no old growth forests except for trees in the Big
Trees Reserve and Olangolah (Colac) water supply .
Many areas in the Otways contains high stand densities of veteran
trees. Veteran trees are pre-European in age and were left behind by
past selective logging operations and wild fires. These trees provide
old growth values despite past disturbance.
The definition of old growth forest adopted by Forestry Victoria and
the RFA process is contentious and has not been accepted by a large
proportion of the scientific community.
The old growth definitions adopted by Forestry Victoria require an
area must be untouched by Europeans and do not allow for forest with
a high stand density of veteran trees.
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