A member of the public has taken the day off work to lock onto a NSW Forestry Corporation harvester in the Lower Bucca State Forest this morning to stop logging and desecration of sacred sites. He says this is to protect one of the few remaining unburnt areas in this region.
This follows on from the Forestry Corporation recently being issued with several ‘stop work’ orders following illegal logging. The EPA (environment protection agency) issued a 40 day stop work order on 18 July following investigations into operations at Wild Cattle Creek that exposed the illegal felling of two giant, old growth trees.
Five days after the Wild Cattle Creek suspension, the EPA issued Forestry Corporation another stop-work notice at South Brooman State Forest near Batemans Bay. EPA investigations exposed twenty-six hollow bearing trees that were either felled or severely damaged, and reported that many of these trees were not identified and mapped in Forestry Corporations’ planning phase.
The area where the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has locked on this morning in Lower Bucca State Forest is Gumbaynggirr Country. The local custodians had a recent victory in Nambucca State Forest when Forestry Corporation withdrew from logging there. The local custodians have stated that logging in the Lower Bucca State Forest must also be stopped.
‘We are the Gumbaynggirr people, sovereign custodians of Gumbaynggirr Country, land and waters and we demand an end to logging in these irreplaceable and incredibly ancient publicly-owned forests. Logging must be stopped immediately and they must be conserved for all beings to enjoy,’ said Gumbaynggirr custodian and spokesperson, Sandy Greenwood.
‘While we have had a victory in the Nambucca State Forest our fight continues as we remain vigilant in preventing Forestry Corporation from trespassing on our lands. Forestry Corporation continues to show a complete disregard for our cultural rights. Our powerful legal team will continue to litigate based on significant breaches of the Australia Law and in the meantime our community will attempt to stop the logging in its tracks.’
The group believes that Forestry Corporation will continue to breach its own weak environmental laws unless the community steps in to hold them to account.
Nambucca State Forest
The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group camp has been set up for over two months at the entrance of Nambucca State Forest and saw hundreds of visitors unite and call for the immediate protection and the end to logging after cultural sites were destroyed by Forestry Corporation.
After weeks of community pressure, Forestry Corp removed all logging equipment from the Nambucca State Forest, ceasing operation less than halfway through the planned intensive harvesting of 102 hectares.
The Group has now established a new camp at Gladstone State Forest to defend further sacred Gumbaynggirr country facing imminent logging.
According to Forestry Corporations’ publicly available harvesting plans, this forest is currently scheduled and the group is camped there in anticipation for activity to begin.
‘Because we cannot trust Forestry Corporation we need to get to scheduled forests first to conduct our own ecological surveys and keep watch,’ said Ms Greenwood.
‘The only true hope we have in nurturing these forests is by turning this chain of local State Forests into the Great Koala National Park. The park would be a welcomed announcement for the local economy, boosting jobs in land management with tourist walks, mountain bike trails and cultural heritage areas.
‘This is the beginning of the end for those that log our native forests. The Gumbaynggirr Conservation Group promises that this will continue if the ongoing desecration of sacred sites and ecocide of our native habitats continue.’