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Byron Shire
July 5, 2022

Saving Old-growth Trees on NSW’s own good advice

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Dailan Pugh in the Braemar Forest. Photo David Lowe.

In the hope of making the New South Wales government take its own good advice, the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) is today launching its Save Old-growth Trees campaign.

NEFA wants to convince the NSW Government to implement its own scientific advice to protect and restore old-growth trees throughout State forests in response to the widespread losses of tree hollows in the 2019/20 wildfires that 174 of NSW’s animal species depend on for dens, nests and roosts.

Launch today

To launch the campaign NEFA are gathering outside the electoral offices of the local members for Tweed, Geoff Provest, and Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, at 10am today to press their request that they support the immediate implementation of the NRC recommendations.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that before the 2019/20 wildfires, land clearing and logging had already decimated old-growth trees, leaving large areas of forests without enough hollows to maintain populations of the most vulnerable hollow-dependent species. ‘The fires made this into a housing crisis.

‘Trees don’t develop hollows until they are very old, so it will take a long-time to restore the hollows lost in the fires, necessitating urgent action to retain the oldest trees left so they can develop replacement hollows relatively quickly.

Change the logging rules for State forests

Mr Pugh said hollows begin to form in trees when they are 120-180 years old, and it takes over 220 years before they develop the large hollows required by many animal species. ‘In response to the extensive loss of hollow-bearing trees in the 2019-20 wildfires, in June 2021 the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) recommended to the NSW Ministers for Environment and Forestry that they urgently change the logging rules for State forests to begin restoring hollow-bearing trees.

‘The NRC recommended that where there are not eight hollow-bearing trees per hectare, retaining the next largest trees to make up the balance of the eight trees, and for each of these trees retaining two ‘recruitment’ trees that have the potential to become the hollow-bearing trees of the future.

‘Almost a year later the NSW Government has done nothing to implement the NRC recommendations and address the urgent housing crisis for hollow-dependent animals.

‘With enough community support NEFA’s campaign to Save Old-growth Trees could convince the NSW Government to implement its own scientific advice.’

For more info, visit: www.nefa.org.au/hollow_housing_crisis

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  1. Forestry NSW are well aware of their criminal neglect and intentional desecration of wilderness areas.
    This destruction is all that they have to make them feel powerful, and like most ignorant yokels take great delight in ignoring regulations designed to protect the environment, and their future employment.
    There is no lack of evidence of the forestry’s incompetence and disregard for the law, and they are supremely confident that no repercussions will follow, none has in the past, and the ‘open slather’ policy will continue until nothing is left to preserve. No doubt when this occurs they have plans afoot to demand compensation for lack of more loot.
    Cheers, G”)

  2. It really depends on your opinion (partisan or realistic) over the hallowed and often misrepresented definition of “Old Growth Forests”.
    All State Forests forests (except some preserved rainforest area – EG Levers Plateau) have been harvested for well over 100yrs as a renewable timber resource. This was the prime reason they were wisely created after all !
    The increased use of bird/animal nesting/breeding-boxes could alleviate Mr Pugh’s concerns over decreasing “housing” habitat ?
    But I don’t hear much about NEFA members doing any of this practical on-site work – this is true Conservation work.
    Perhaps they are expecting the taxpayer to do it all ?
    But (as per usual) Dailan et al appear to be far happier constantly sniping from the sidelines at Forests NSW.
    Far easier – eh !


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