Otway Ranges Environment Network



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Otway Forest Management Plan
Landscape Studies

Impacts of Clearfell Logging on scenic quality
Past and planned destruction of Otway scenic quality

Deterioration of Otway Scenic Quality
Case study: Aire Crossing & the Wait-a While Road


In Section 6.6 of the Otway Forest Management Plan(OFMP) provides prescriptions to protect Scenic quality within the Otway State Forest. Landscapes have been assigned zones where Visual Quality Objectives (VQO) must be met. VQO's represent a range of recommendations on the extent to which alterations are allowed to dominate or be visually evident in the landscape.

Map 4 of the OFMP provides an overview of zone locations.

Zone A - Inevident Alteration VQO
Alterations should range from being visually inevident to temporarily (for a period no greater than 12 months) apparent.

Zone B - Apparent Alteration VQO
Alterations should range from being visually apparent to temporarily (for a period no greater than two years) dominant.

Zone C - Dominant Alteration VQO
Alterations should be visually dominant provided they conform with naturally established landscape characteristics of the surrounding area.

The OFMP acknowledges the combined views of the Great Ocean Road, Turtons Track , Wait a While Road, Sabine Falls and the Wild Dog Ridge constitute areas of high scenic quality. These areas were acknowledged after public submission into the OFMP before 1992.

Only areas with a high public profile were included in the process. The Wild Dog Valley has a high public profile with many people living in the areas. A Landscape Study by Steve Moss for the DNRE was done on Wild Dog Ridge in 1986 and incorporated into the OFMP. The study was the most comprehensive Landscape Study done for the Otways at the time. Other areas with high scenic values have had only superficial evaluation.

Over the past decade, with increased demand on tourism and more people moving to live in the Otways for its environment, it is likely many more areas scheduled to be logged are also now regraded by more people as having high scenic values.

Impacts of Clearfell Logging

Naturally clearfell logging can have a dramatic effect on scenic quality.

See Case study: Aire Crossing & the Wait-a While Road

The Section 6.6 of Otway Forest Management Plan acknowledges there must be a reduction in the levels of logging to protect Zone A VQO. It is not know if the State Government took this advice into account when it completed the West RFA or reviews of logging rates.

Past and planned destruction of Otway scenic quality

Visual Quality Objectives(VQO) in the Otways have been basically ignored by Forestry Victoria. In the case of Zone (A), clearfell logging has gone ahead without any regard for visual impact on the tourist industry.

Clearfell logging that has occured within Zone (A) VQO

  • Seaview Ridge - Skenes Creek Road, Wild Dog Road.
  • Aire River - Wait a While Road. See pictures and maps.

Community Opposition that has halted
clearfell logging in Zone (A) VQO

  • Wild Dog Ridge 1997. See Wild Dog campaign.
  • Sabine Falls Ridge/Smyth Valley - Sunnyside Road.

Planned Logging in Zone (A) VQO

Areas that are candidates for
Zone (A) VQO on reassessment

  • Riley's Ridge as seen from Killala and seen off the Great Ocean Road. Link.
  • Kinclad - Seen off Sunnyside Road.
  • Grey River - Grey River Road

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