Clearfell Logging in the Otway Forested Catchments - Water Yield and Water Quality Issues Otway Ranges Environment Network
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Logging within 200 metres of West Barwon Dam

Clearfell logging has occurred within 200 metres of the West Barwon Dam high water mark

Section 6.5.2 of the Otway Forest Management Plan states:

" Apply 200m wide protective buffers around high water level of all storages in proclaimed water supply catchments". "High Priority"

In April 1997, conservationists discovered a partially completed clearfell logging coupe on the eastern side of the West Barwon Dam. An inspection of the coup revealed a stand of tall trees close to the eastern edge of the dam marked with paint. The paint marked by Department forestry officers indicated a logging boundary. All trees inside that boundary were to be cut down.

The distance between the high water level of the West Barwon Dam and the coupe boundary marked in paint was measured. It was found to be only 80 metres. This was a clear breach of directives outlined in the Otway Forest Management Plan to apply a 200 metre buffer around the reservoir.

Clearfell logging resumed in the coupe during October 1997. Conservationists and Geelong residents threatened to protest at the logging operations on 1st of December. Days before the protest, the coupe boundary was remarked with fresh paint approximately 130 metres from the dam high water level. When conservationists arrived on the 1st December, logging equipment had been removed and the coupe access road had been ripped up - indicating no further intention to log.

The forest within 130 metres of high water level had been spared, but logging had stilled occurred within 200 metres of the West Barwon Dam.

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