forests and our precious water

vrn_overlay1I was delighted to read on the Google Earth blog about a fantastic initiative of the Victorian Rainforest Network to create accurate and educational overlays for Google Earth that clearly illustrate a range of threats to our precious forest environments.

Of particular interest is the maps of logging in catchment areas. Organisations like the VRN get a bit of a reputation in the ‘mainstream media’ as a rag tag bunch of dreadlocked hippies… associated with great TV news footage of chains, bulldozers etc. So, sadly, to a lot of ‘middle Melbourne’, they are not relevant or even visible.

Now that we’re facing increasing water restrictions, however, the forest message is getting stronger. These overlays highlight the issue graphically with Google Earth. You might think as you drive through some of the roads in these areas, that the forest looks great – thick and unspoiled, but just a little way off the road it’s a very different matter. It’s one of those ‘Awful Truth‘ moments, one that is starting to get relevance in the gardens of suburbia.

Download them, check them out, be appalled… then vote accordingly next saturday!