Donaldson State Forest Initial Assessment

The North East Forest Alliance undertook a brief inspection of compartments 36 and 42, and other forests in the vicinity of Border Road, in Donaldson State Forest on 11 May 2014.

The Report can be read here.

As a result of this inspection the following recommendations are made:

  1. Given the rampant Bell Miner Associated Dieback at lower elevations in compartments 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49, the abject failure of rehabilitation trials in compartments 44-49, the yet limited occurrences in compartments 36 and 42, and the high susceptibility of these forests to lantana invasion and BMAD that no logging should take place until:

    1. The extent and severity of BMAD in compartments 36 and 42 is fully and accurately mapped;

    2. The area of susceptible forest types is clearly delineated;

    3. An explicit management and rehabilitation strategy is identified for affected

      and susceptible areas; and

    4. Sufficient resources are available to immediately undertake and monitor

      required rehabilitation works.

  2. NEFA considers that the integrity of the rabbit fence is required to be immediately

    restored and that disciplinary action should be taken against those responsible for

    removing the fence and leaving it open.

  3. NEFA considers that a professional botanist should be employed to survey for and

    map any occurrences of the Endangered Ecological Communities White Gum Moist

    Forest and Grey Box-Grey Gum Wet Sclerophyll Forest.

  4. NEFA considers that compartment 42 qualifies as intermediate Koala habitat and,

    given the widespread occurrence of Tallowwood through the area, it is likely that Koala High Use Areas occur within compartments 36 and 42 and should be thoroughly searched for.

  5. NEFA considers that the Forestry Corporation should implement the default prescriptions for Giant Barred Frog, Albert’s Lyrebird, Marbled Frogmouth, and Golden-tipped Bat (ie expand filter strips along all streams by 10m throughout these compartments) or undertake adequate surveys for them.

  6. The Philoria sp likely to occur here is currently thought to be a new undescribed species and must be adequately surveyed for before logging along with the Rufous Scrub Bird.

  7. Given the large numbers of oldgrowth trees, NEFA considers that Greater Glider densities are likely to be found to be greater than 1 per ha in many parts of the area and that hollow-bearing tree retention should be increased to 8 per hectare.

  8. At crossing C the fill bulldozed into the stream, along with the gully stuffer, should be removed immediately. Disciplinary action should be taken against those responsible for this environmental vandalism.

  9. At crossing D the earthern causeway needs to be removed and the natural form of the creek-bed re-established.

  10. NEFA considers that a Pre-Logging And Pre-Roading Aquatic Habitat Assessment must be prepared in accordance with Condition 9 of the Fisheries Licence.

We look forward to the Forestry Corporation and EPAs responses to these recommendations.

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