NEFA letter to NSW Environment Minister Griffin 10/1/22

Dear Minister,

As follow up to my letter to you of 3 January 2022, yesterday I undertook a brief 3 hour walk through the unburnt/lightly burnt area of Camira State Forest that the Forestry Corporation should have put aside as a Fire Offset if they were being ‘fair dinkum’ about implementing the NRC recommendations.
I identified 28 trees with distinctive Koala scratches, which displayed long term use both pre and post fire. Most Grey Gum and many Red Gum appeared to have been used, though scratches were not always distinctive as both new bark and Red Gums do not scratch as easily as old Grey Gum bark. Koala scats were located under 7 of these trees, with 18-27 scats found under 3 trees, though searching was time consuming and limited due the dense understorey, shed bark and rapid disintegration of scats in the wet conditions.

NEFA letter to new NSW Environment Minister Griffin 3/1/22

Dear Minister,

I write to express my disgust with the Forestry Corporation’s (FCNSW) application of the recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission’s (NRC) report ‘Final report Coastal IFOA operations post 2019/20 wildfires, June 2021’, and to ask you to please fulfil your responsibilities and take action to ensure its minimalist recommendations are immediately implemented. Better late than never.

Minister, we write to you and not the EPA because this is clearly your personal responsibility, and not the EPAs because there are as yet no legal obligations to be complied with and thus they will do nothing. It’s up to you. In summary (and you can read the whole letter here)

A chance for hollow-bearing trees!

Dailan Pugh, North East Forest Alliance, December 2021

The Natural Resources Commission report, analysed in the article below, made an important recommendation, and the NSW Government needs to take action immediately to implement it. The NRC acknowledged that the lack of hollow-bearing old trees is leading to a housing crisis for numerous forest fauna that need them to nest, den and breed.

It recommended that the logging rules be changed to:

  • retain a minimum of eight hollow-bearing trees per hectare where they exist (as per the

    requirement in the standard Coastal IFOA prescriptions)

  • if hollow-bearing trees are not available, then retain suitable substitutes, in priority order

    being, potential future hollow-bearing trees, the largest mature tree in the stand or a

    regrowth tree that is not suppressed

  • retain two recruitment trees per retained hollow-bearing tree

  • adopt the FCNSW guidance material for hollow-bearing trees with expanded content to

    cover recruitment and substitute hollow-bearing trees and other forest types if relevant or

    other suitable guidance developed in conjunction with FCNSW

  • recruitment trees can be retained in clumps

  • hollow recruitment trees should be recorded and retained if they are outside of clumps

  • at subsequent logging events these trees should be retained or replaced if they are no

    longer present.

Read the report about the importance of tree hollows and why it's absolutely vital that this recommendation gets implemented immediately. NEFA will be spear-heading a campaign to make this happen in 2022.

Baby kookaburras, just hatched. Kookaburras are among the 46 mammals, 81 birds, 31 reptiles and 16 frogs that are reliant on tree hollows for shelter and nests. 

Failure to deal with the impacts of the 2019/20 fires on State forests.

Dailan Pugh, North East Forest Alliance, November 2021.

Natural Resources Commission’s (NRC) report ‘Final report Coastal IFOA operations post 2019/20 wildfires, June 2021’ was recently leaked to the media. The NRC recommendations were prepared with the Forestry Corporation (FCNSW) to minimise impact on the industry, and are grossly inadequate to mitigate the cumulative impacts of logging and fire on forests, species and streams. The FCNSW are refusing to implement them, and the Government is refusing to make them.

Read the full analysis here.

Ellangowan State Forest, April 2020. Photo: Dailan Pugh

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