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Byron Shire
July 21, 2024

Bulga Forest action spreads to Lorne State Forest – is it time to stop the logging

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Lorne forest protectors. Photo supplied

NSW residents have had enough and are taking action to save their forests because both state and federal governments are failing them. 

Lorne State Forest tree occupation. Photo supplied

At 5am this morning access to the logging machines that have been actively munching their way through Lorne State Forest, on the mid-north coast, was blocked by a forest protector on a tree platform suspended over the road. 

The action has stopped work in an area of forest west of Bonny Hills, adjacent to the Bago Bluff National Park, on the corner of Cold Nob Road and Mackay’s Road. 

The area is home to 24 threatened species including the Koala, Greater Glider, Spotted-tail Quoll, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Giant Barred Frog, Yellow-bellied Glider and several endangered and critically endangered species of plants.

Barry, a Lorne local, who doesn’t want to give his surname, took on the role of a forest protector on a tree platform suspended over the road.

‘There are not many big trees left in Lorne State Forest,’ says Jane McIntyre. Photo supplied

Jane McIntyre, another local who is the spokesperson for the action, has lived in Lorne for 14 years and adjacent to state forests since 1980, and has witnessed the escalating industrialisation of the logging industry, and the simultaneous degradation of the forests to young regrowth without habitat trees to support wildlife.

Ms McIntyre said there was a growing concern among Lorne locals about the destruction happening in the forests. She said that she could no longer stand by and see their local forest and water catchment security, heading down the road on trucks.

Lorne State Forest tree platform occupation. Photo supplied

Marginalised farmland for sustainable plantations

Ms McIntyre has worked as a science educator and community development coordinator. As a grandmother of three small grandchildren, she fears that they will grow up in a world without healthy forests that shelter wildlife such as quolls, gliders, and koalas.

‘I am determined to do all she can to prevent that,’ she said. 

‘Yes, of course we need wood, but instead of clear-felling our remaining native forests, we should be leaving them alone and growing genuine plantations on marginal farmland. 

Lorne locals Tom and Jane. Photo supplied

Droughts and fires

‘These forests have been hit by unprecedented droughts, fires and floods – and now the survivors are being intensively logged. Trees are the best known way of drawing down carbon in our climate emergency. Even the NSW Government’s own Natural Resources Commission states that “native forest logging is uneconomical and unsustainable”. ‘It’s time to stop now before we lose more species.’

Action spreads from Bulga Forest

‘Inspired by the action of the Elands community standing up for the Bulga Forest, we reached out for some assistance to enable us to do the same. To make a public statement that we will no longer stand idly by and watch the daily destruction.

‘We know that a majority of people in NSW think that the ongoing logging of our publicly owned forests is sheer madness. The time is now. It has to stop.’

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