People see the forest in different ways, and this influences how they interact with it. The forests have been seen as a sanctuary for biological diversity, a resource for economic benefit, a frightening, alien environment, a place of rest, recreation and renewal and as home.
The forests east of Melbourne have been seen as a resource for timber, minerals and gems. Aboriginal people have long connection to the area and a recent history of dispossession, displacement and repossession of land. The forests have drawn people as explorers and settlers and more recently as tourists but some have had the misfortune to be lost in the bush or killed by bushfires.
Different perceptions have always existed, although certain ones may have enjoyed more widespread influence at different times.
Material in these pages is largely drawn from the book by Tom Griffiths and Museum Victoria: Forests of Ash: An environmental history. Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 2001
This publication is for sale from Museum Victoria.