Virtual reality rainforest buffer audit

There are some areas of East Gippsland and the Central Highlands which have higher resolution within Google Earth, where individual trees can be seen. Clearfell logging and rainforest stands can be made out in these areas.

By using the ruler/measure function (Tools->Ruler) in Google Earth, and setting it to metres, you can measure the rainforest buffer width (the amount of forest between the edge of logging and the rainforest).

Example of using the ruler function in Google Earth to see if rainforest buffers comply to the Code of Forest Practices. VRN has added a green line to mark the warm temperate rainforest and a yellow line to mark where clearfell logging has occurred.

As at October 2006, only a limited amount of East Victorian forest has higher resolution images in Google Earth.

!!! VRN found five instances where logging appears to be too close to rainforest stands, in breach of the 1996 Code of Forest Practices for Timber Production. Four alleged breaches are in East Gippsland and the fifth is in the Central Highlands.

All rainforest stands should get a minimum 40 metre buffer according to section 2.3.7(i) of the Code of Forest Practices for Timber Production. See more about the politics of rainforest buffers.

Breach No.5 in the Central Highlands should have a 60 metre buffer due to the fact the rainforest is Myrtle beech (Nothofagus) dominated. See section 2.3.7(ii) of the Code of Forest Practices for Timber Production.

Download alleged buffer breaches . (VRN has marked these up with green lines for rainforest and yellow lines for clearfell logging to aid in measurement).





Also see for rainforest buffers:

What are rainforest buffers?

Politics of rainforest buffers. The rules are bent to maximise the amount of forest that gets logged.