Proposed changes to the NSW logging rules will remove protections for most threatened species, open up protected old-growth forest for logging, allow intensified logging, establish a clear-felling zone, and reduce buffers on headwater streams.
‘Tens of thousands of hectares of our precious public forests are already suffering from ecosystem collapse, being converted into seas of lantana overtopped by dead and dying trees. Their biodiversity and timber values are being destroyed,’ NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
‘The dieback is so severe that five State Forests* around Woodenbong are “considered impractical to manage for commercial purposes”. There are many others similarly degraded.
‘We need to stop the Forestry Corporation from perpetuating their degradation and begin rehabilitating these valuable public assets before it is too late.’
The North East Forest Alliance, North Coast Environment Council and local groups have been hosting a series of public meetings to inform the community about the NSW and Commonwealth government’s proposals to change the rules governing logging of public lands to remove protections.
‘With a new Regional Forest Agreement and Wood Supply Agreements the governments are intending to lock up our public forests for loggers for another 20 years, and they are proposing to slash environmental protections to increase logging volumes,’ Mr Pugh said.
‘This is the last chance that the community has to have a say in the management of our public forests for the next 20 years.
‘We have so far hosted successful public meetings at Port Macquarie, Bellingen, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Nimbin and Coffs Harbour. On Thursday night in Coffs Harbour 100 people were shocked to hear what the NSW and Commonwealth governments have in store for our public forests.
‘It will be Lismores turn on Tuesday night at 5:30 pm at the Workers Club to find out more about what the governments are intending.
‘We urge people to come along on Tuesday night to find out more about the government’s dire proposals for our public native forests,’ Mr. Pugh said
Further public meetings are being planned for Grafton, Nambucca Heads and Newcastle.
* Donaldson, Mount Lindsay, Unumgar, Bald Knob and Woodenbong State Forests. Natural Resources Commission (2016 p54)