A move by Forestry NSW to log trees that may be over 1,000 years old in Koreelah State Forest has saddened Greens MLC Jan Barham and angered conservationists, who have described it as ‘wanton environmental vandalism’.
Ms Barham said she had an urgent meeting with ministerial staff, hoping to ‘secure protection for a significant stand of ancient trees and a comprehensive review by government’.
‘The Forestry Corporation’s own evidence from studies of Terania Creek in 1981 shows that trees this large could be as much as 1,500 years old,’ she said.
‘I understand Forestry Corporation’s regional manager advised [on Tuesday] of their intention to commence logging, and that the only protection would be for trees with a diameter of at least 1.8 metres,’ she added.
North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) spokesperson Dailan Pugh told Echonetdaily the stand is dominated by old-growth brushbox, tallowood and bluegum trees ‘many hundreds, and some thousands, of years old’.
‘Not much of this original forest with giant old trees over a maturing rainforest is left. It is a remnant of our original forest, prime habitat for a number of threatened animals, and is irreplaceable and thus priceless,’ he said.
‘We are extremely disappointed that the ministers for environment and forestry rejected our pleas to save this unique place. It is outrageous that they condone the continued destruction of trees pre-dating, by hundreds of years, Europeans’ arrival in this country.
‘It is only a few hectares and a marvel to behold. Its destruction is wanton environmental vandalism of the worst kind.’
Ms Barham said they, ‘are known to support many threatened species, including Albert’s Lyrebird, Sooty Owl, Marbled Frogmouth, Yellow-bellied Glider and Fleay’s Barred Frog, all of which will be adversely impacted on by logging’.
‘I also doubt that many people have seen trees this large and marvelled at their majestic size. It is an unnecessary loss.’
The logging decision has already resulted in a human casualty, with a forestry worker in his mid-40s injured on Monday.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter reported the man had received serious injuries after a tree he was felling stuck him.
‘Because of the very difficult access a helicopter medical team were winched down to access and stabilise the patient in conjunction with police and NSW Ambulance staff who accessed the area by 4WD,’ a spokesperson said.
After treatment and extrication the man was flown to the Lismore Base Hospital in a serious condition with multiple trauma injuries for further treatment.