Bjarne Dahl (1898 – 1993)
Mike Leonard (bio)
As set out elsewhere on this website, the early 20th century was a challenging time for Victoria’s newly established, foundational Forest Service. Responsible for around a third of the State, an area in the main remote and poorly, at best, mapped, and one dominated by plants and animals that were only just beginning to be studied, relevant skills were often thin on the ground.
Trees on Private Land
Peter Langley (bio)
Peter was the Chief Forest Extension Officer in the period covered by this article.
In 1977 the Victorian Premier, Rupert Hamer, launched the Garden State Committee. The FCV had a seat around the table and John Jack, a forester and then Deputy Secretary of the Premiers Department, occupied the Chair. The Committee was charged with promoting trees and plants to enhance the environment, lifestyle and, over time, provide economic benefit to the State.
Logging the Errinundra Plateau
Peter Langley (bio)
Reflecting on my association with the Errinundra Plateau, the beginning was stimulating and challenging and the end understandable though deflating.
In the mid 1960's the wet sclerophyll forests of the Plateau were the focus of timber industry expansion into East Gippsland. Supplies of Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis) and other high elevation species in Central Victoria,and particularly those available to the sawmillers at Heyfield, were waning.The industry, with some urgency, had visions of an untapped resource of select quality timber available from the stands of Shining Gum (E nitens), cut-tail (E fastigata) and occasional ash species.
Flora and Fauna Survey and Research
Graeme Suckling (bio)
In the early 1970s the FCV initiated critically important flora and fauna survey work. This was a response to concerns about the potential for loss of biodiversity due to clearing native forests to establish pine plantations. This article describes a young forestry graduates' experiences in flora and fauna survey, and associated research work, for the FCV.
The Young Forester in 1964
Leon Bren (bio)
With contributions from Brian Fry and Peter Lawson
This originally hand-written letter from my brother-in-law, the late Roger Cowley (1940-76) to his “little sister” (aged 14 at the time) turned up in family archives. Matching the date with the days puts the year as 1964. The letter gives an account of fire-fighting half a century ago (and when people still wrote real letters). Roger went through the Creswick Forestry School in 1958-60 (dux of the school) and Melbourne University in 1962-63. He was counting Alpine Ash seedling regeneration (and fire-fighting as required) for the Forests Commission Victoria in the Connors Plain-Mt Skene area of Victoria’s alps, together with Peter Lawson (a fellow graduate). The “frog” was a bird-seed-filled cloth frog, not a real one (fashionable at the time). The construction of the “Tamboritha Road” a few years previously had been a major investment for the Forests Commission and opened up Alpine Ash forests for logging (shock/horror now) north of Heyfield (Victoria).