Kyogle: Gateway to the World Heritage Rainforest?

Recently the Kyogle environment Group bought it to my attention, that Private Native Forestry logging was taking place along the entrance to the World Heritage Listed Border Ranges National Park. Ironically enough, Kyogle LGA is know as the ‘Gateway to the Rainforest’. It’s our biggest tourist attraction.

How many visitors to our region drive past this logging, just metres from the National Park, to enjoy these iconic parks which form part of the Gondwana Rainforest?

A landscape that’s barely changed in 300 million years.

Surely there is a place for a thriving and healthy local timber production industry, regenerative plantation timber and even healthy thinning of existing natural forests with independent ecological assessment of conservation value and hollow formation potential.

The forest understory and soil structure needs to be protected and quotas need to allow for sufficient hollows AND future hollow succession to be retained so that our threatened and endangered wildlife has a hope of recovering from their current state of decline.

Thinning in an ecological context can be beneficial for the health of the forest.... But the Private Native Forestry logging that we see up at the entrance to the Border Ranges NP is NOT being done within an ecologically regenerative context.

It takes at least 60 years for trees to form hollows (100 plus years for most species)  and the recently released State of the Environment Report, conveniently not released by the Liberals Govt. before the federal election, has outlined a dire situation for many of our iconic wildlife, not just Koala but Greater Gliders, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Yellow Bellied Gliders, Powerful Owls...

The list goes on, they all need hollow bearing trees to survive and their habitat has been severely degraded in the past 150 years...

On Friday 29th July Friday4Forests made a trip with 20 Forest Protectors to bear witness to the damage on a property at the “Gateway to the Rainforest”. 

Outrage grew as we walked across this country that has been so devastated.

To give you an idea of the damage, one section had been logged to edge of the rainforest containing an active drainage line with no buffers. This section also contained evidence of trees that had been snapped off, soil that has been compacted and no erosion or sediment control has been put in place in an area of high rainfall.

We desperately need to protect and preserve the succession of hollow formation so that we can once again have swathes of old growth in the centuries to come where the soundscape isn't just an eerie silence. It’s on our watch if we let these majestic species slip into extinction and already 100 plus species have gone since 1788. Australia has the highest extinction rate of mammals on Earth...

That is tragic, they are gone forever. It's not too late to save what's left if we work together.

For more information check Friday4Forests or Kyogle Environment Group on Facebook to see updates on this stretch of logging that should never have been logged. It has been reported to EPA.

Paul Daley – KEG Member

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