13.8 C
Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

EPA asked to reinstate protection for fire and climate refuge in Doubleduke

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

We Like to Tiki: Caper festival closing party this Sunday

North Byron Hotel is the official watering hole of Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival 2024. To celebrate...

Causes of death

There’s been a lot of talk about an epidemic of violence against women lately, including Dr Ray Moynihan’s article...

He’s off, has been for years! And what’s a conspiracy amongst friends?

After ten years in Mullum I’ve relocated to the middle of an extinct volcano in Murwillumbah.

Posters gone

I am writing to bring attention to a growing issue in our community – the removal of community posters....

Northern Rivers will host the 2025 and 2027 NSW Bowls Championships

Ballina is set to host the 2025 and 2027 State Bowls Championships that will see over 900 competitors vying...

Homelessness service funded – but only for a year

With 2024 Street Count data indicating a 16 per-cent increase in rough sleepers in Byron Shire, the NSW government has responded to say that the previously-announced Assertive Outreach team will receive $1.3m in funding for a year.

The North East Forest Alliance have described the decision by the Environment Protection Authority to remove a logging exclusion over an oldgrowth forest identified as a fire refuge in Doubleduke State Forest, west of Evans Head, a dereliction of duty and are calling for it to be urgently reinstated.

NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said the region was extensively burnt in the 2019/20 wildfires with most individuals of vulnerable species such as Southern Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, and Koala killed in the intensively burnt forests, making protection of the refuges where they survived vital for repopulating the burnt forests.

Additional measures to reduce impacts

‘When the Forestry Corporation sought to log Doubleduke State Forest a few months after the fires the EPA issued site-specific conditions, that required various additional measures to reduce impacts, including protection of all hollow-bearing trees and all mapped unburned and partially burned areas

‘This effectively required logging to be excluded from a large area of mature and oldgrowth forest in the Lower Slopes Road valley in Doubleduke State Forest.

Mr Pugh said while this forest has not been surveyed, nearby records indicate this is a vital refuge for a comprehensive assemblage of hollow-dependent species, including the Endangered Southern Greater Glider, along with the Vulnerable Yellow-bellied Glider, Squirrel Glider, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Masked Owl, Barking OwI, Powerful Owl, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Little Lorikeet, Brown Treecreeper and Stephens Banded Snake.

‘It is also known to contain core Koala habitat.

EPA removed all the post-fire protections

‘While the EPA were advised by their own experts that logging prohibitions on the remaining unburnt and lightly burnt forests within the firegrounds needed to be maintained for at least 20 years, after a year the EPA removed all the post-fire protections, allowing the Forestry Corporation to revert to the pre-fire logging conditions as if nothing had happened.

‘This vital fire refuge in Doubleduke State Forest has now been roaded and is about to be logged.

‘The EPA have a legal obligation to “protect, restore and enhance the quality of the environment in New South Wales”, yet they decided to remove restrictions on logging in burnt forests, despite the massive impacts resulting in Koala and Southern Greater Glider being up-listed to Endangered

EPA have a duty to consider climate change

‘In Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Incorporated v Environment Protection Authority [2021] NSWLEC 92 it was clearly established that the EPA have a duty to consider climate change, yet they have made no attempt to change the logging rules to account for its growing impacts.

Mr Pugh said NEFA considers that the EPA’s removal of all additional restrictions on logging of burnt forests a dereliction of duty.

NEFA have provided the report Protecting Fire and Climate Refugia in Doubleduke to the EPA Chief Executive Officer Tony Chappel and asked him to immediately reinstate protection for this vital fire and climate refugia in the Lower Slopes Road valley in Doubleduke State Forest.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.