Otway Ranges Environment Network



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Otway Natural Landscapes

Natural Landscapes

Natural Landscapes are large, relatively undisturbed places where natural processes continue largely unmodified by human intervention. In the case of the Otways natural landscapes may include undisturbed catchments or sub-catchment areas.

Natural processes may include:

  • energy flows;
  • nutrient cycling;
  • hydrological processes;
  • ecological processes such as succession; and
  • evolutionary processes such as speciation and extinction.

Key government processes that have set out to identify natural landscapes in the Otways have included:

  1. Land Conservation Council Scenic Assessment of Streams.

  2. West RFA National Estate Identification and Assessment of Natural Landscapes

Remote Yanathin falls on Upper Cumberland River: Photo John Piesse

The Otways has never had a comprehensive assessment of natural landscapes values. Existing evaluations have been based on broader studies over very large areas. (ie all of Victoria or Western Victoria).

In the Otways, smaller catchments, streams, remote water falls and semi-isolated areas of forest have failed to be included in Government assessments. The acknowledgment that these values exists in these smaller catchments has largely relied on public submissions to make (or reminded) the government that the public are aware these values exist and need to be protected.

The lack of research allows the State Government to view clearfell logging as the best utilisation of State forest in the Otways to the detriment of areas extremely high natural value.


  See also Scenic and aesthetic qualities of the Otways.

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