East Gippsland Forests
This is a vast story and at this stage the best we can do is to provide you with some links to documents that will help with your understanding of these valuable forests.
Vincent (1887, pps 11-13) was probably one of the first to provide some comment about a small section of these forests:
"The Colquhoun and Manera Forest
This forest is situated between the Tambo and the Snowy River, abutting on Lake King, and running thence about 20 miles north. Its area is given at 85,000 acres. Along the lake shore and between it and Swan Reach, there are principally box, with some ironbark, stringybark, gum, and blackwood. The growth of the box is magnificent. The trees run up to a height of 60 or 80 feet without a branch, with stems 10 to 14 feet in girth, as clean and straight as gun barrels. Some of the logs brought into the mill have given 2,500 super feet and trees giving 3,000 to 4,000 feet are common. In the portion which I visited, the large box trees average two or three to the acre, but in places there are many more, and I was informed that far finer growth was to be seen some little distance further in. The forest is certainly one of the finest in the Colony, and it is all the more valuable from the ground being well stocked with very promising young trees of all ages, and from its being very easily worked. The ground undulates gently, and runs in long broad spurs down to the Lake; the timber can be slid down into the gullies, along which tramways can take it to the mill. Of undergrowth (scrub) there is comparatively little. It ought, therefore, to be easy to stop fires. There is very fair grass, and grazing suggests a source of considerable revenue. The box timber is considered one of the best in the Colony, and this forest is, I understand, the only one where long beams, 40 to 50 feet in length, can now be had. The trees, when cut up give beautiful, clean-grained wood, with very few faults."
Some relevant papers/articles:
A History of the Forests and Forestry in East Gippsland. Douglas MG (2007)
Forestry in East Gippsland. McKinty JA (1969)