After finding further logging breaches in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, NEFA is calling on Environment Minister Matt Kean to stump up by protecting important Koala habitat from further logging and ensuring that the EPA prosecute the Forestry Corporation for flagrantly breaking the new logging rules by cutting down giant trees and recklessly endangering the survival of other giant hollow-bearing trees and Koala feed trees.
Belated Stop Work Welcomed.
MEDIA RELEASE - 19 July 2020
NEFA welcome the EPA's belated imposition of a 40 day Stop Work Order on Forestry Corporation logging in Compartments 32, 33 and 34 of Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, inland from Coffs Harbour, after their finding of 2 giant trees >140 cm cut down.
Despite NEFA making numerous requests in the past for the EPA to issue Stop Work Orders they have refused to do so, instead taking years to investigate while allowing the Forestry Corporation to go on offending and cover up evidence, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"It is great that the EPA have issued their first Stop Work Order on the Forestry Corporation, though reprehensible that the EPA waited 9 days after finding the breaches on 9 July until logging was virtually complete before stopping work.
"NEFA have been waiting over a year and a half for the EPA to take action in relation to other serious breaches in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, yet they still won't tell us what breaches they found or what action they are taking.
"While the EPA dither the Forestry Corporation continue their illegal logging in the expectation that they will get away with it, as they usually do.
"NEFA have reported thousands of illegally logged hollow-bearing trees in the past and at best the EPA only issue warning letters, and often not even that. It is not surprising that the Forestry Corporation regularly flout the rules.
"The situation is dire for the plethora of native animals dependent upon the hollows provided by large old trees, and the few left in our forests were further depleted by the recent fires.
"All trees >80 cm diameter need to be protected to maintain the hollows vital to the survival of so many of our unique animals. Even the EPA recommended in 2016 that trees >120 cm diameter should be protected, though were overridden by the Forestry Corporation.
"The Forestry Corporation's claims that measurements of tree bases are unreliable beggars belief as the rules are so explicit that anybody with a tape can do it, said Mr. Pugh.
FOR COMMENT: Dailan Pugh 66 807063, 0400711054
To mark World Environment Day the North East Forest Alliance is calling upon people to raise their voices to demand that State and Federal Governments take urgent action to avoid climate chaos by hastening the transition to genuine renewable energy, while at the same time increasing the removal of atmospheric carbon by protecting existing forests and increasing regeneration.
Knitting Nannas Join NEFA on World Environment to Stand Up For Forests. Photo: Jimmy Malecki
This year World Environment Day 2020 is focused on biodiversity with the theme "Time for Nature", stating:
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message:
To care for ourselves we must care for nature.
It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.Read more
North East Forest Alliance
May 29, 2020
MEDIA RELEASE: for immediate release
ROADING HALTED AT MYRTLE STATE FOREST
Today ten members of the Northern Rivers Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement and the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) paid a visit to Myrtle State Forest just south of Casino where logging operations have commenced in the past couple of weeks.
In early March 2020 the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) approved the Forestry Corporation to undertake logging of burnt Koala habitat in three State Forests on the Richmond River lowlands.
“We are all very concerned that Forestry is about to commence taking trees down in this already very stressed out forest.” Said Ruth Rosenhek of NEFA/XR. “As we know, forests are the lungs of the earth. They play a vital role in sequestering and storing carbon and this carbon storage has been significantly diminished in vast areas of NSW’s forests due to widespread logging as well as the recent bushfires.
“We need to protect degraded forests as part of the solution to climate change and cease the logging of public native forests. Allowing regrowth forests to mature will avoid significant releases of CO2 and allow carbon to be sequestered and stored in the tree trunks and soils of the regenerating forests. If we can allow forests such as Myrtle SF to regenerate it will continue to store carbon in ever increasing volumes as it matures over decades and centuries.”
“ As pandemic restrictions ease, it is time to take bold steps towards ending business-as-usual and moving towards a future that will support future generations both human and wildlife. Increasing carbon storage in forests and avoiding emissions represents a significant economic, environmental and social benefit to all people in NSW.”
The arrival of the group into the forest - chanting “Enough is Enough, It’s Time to Stand up!” - caused the day’s roading activities to cease.
The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) urges the EPA to immediately withdraw their approvals for logging of Koala habitat in Bungawalbin, Doubleduke and Myrtle State Forests and do due-diligence by assessing the landscape impacts of the fires on Koalas. As shown by this example, a moratorium is needed on further logging of populations of all species significantly affected by the fires until surveys are undertaken to assess their vulnerability.
For further information, contact Ruth Rosenhek on 0459 362 357
With over a third of north-east NSW's rainforests burnt last year the North East Forest Alliance is calling for the immediate protection of 50m buffers around rainforest and an urgent weed control program in and adjacent to burnt stands.
"The NSW Government's mapping of fire extent and canopy scorch shows that some 160,000 hectares (35%) of north-east NSW's 462,000 ha of rainforests were burnt last fire season", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"It is tragic that over a third of these priceless relicts burnt in one year. Across the fire-grounds most leaf litter, logs and understorey plants were burnt, along with their inhabitants. Many tree bases were damaged.
"Most worrying is the significant loss of large canopy trees, hundreds of years old, across 125,000 ha of rainforests, with 34,000 ha of these losing most canopy trees.
"Some stands are unlikely to ever recover.
Burnt rainforest at Tooloom National ParkRead more
NEFA is calling on State and Federal Governments to intervene to immediately halt the Forestry Corporation's grossly irresponsible logging of unburnt habitat of the nationally endangered Hastings River Mouse in Styx River State Forest (east of Armidale).
The Hastings River Mouse is one of the endangered species most severely impacted by the fires in Australia, yet the Forestry Corporation are criminally logging the last remaining unburnt patch of known habitat in Styx River State Forest, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
Picture has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license
Original source: Hasting River Mouse captures Uploaded by berichard
Author: Doug Beckers
The North East Forest Alliance is demanding that the NSW Government heeds the Commonwealth's advice by immediately placing a logging and clearing moratorium over all unburnt habitat of the 57 animal species in north-east NSW identified by experts as needing urgent help to survive in the wake of devastating bushfires.
Almost two and a half million hectares of north-east NSW (north of the Hunter River) was burnt in the recent fires, affecting 29% of the land area and around half the native vegetation and its inhabitants, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"North-east NSW provides core habitat for half of the 113 animal species that the experts commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment identified on Tuesday as needing urgent help to survive in the wake of devastating bushfires.
"This includes 10 birds, 13 mammals, 9 reptiles, 11 frogs, 12 spiny crayfish and 2 freshwater fish species.
Photos: Puhj's Frog, Yellow-bellied Glider, Spotted-tailed Quoll
The North East Forest Alliance totally rejects industry claims that logging is good for koalas, while calling for an immediate logging and clearing moratorium on all 'highly suitable koala habitat' as identified by the Government.
Logging has removed many of the large trees preferred by Koalas for feeding as well as vital fire refuges out of the reach of ground fires, in the process reducing Koala populations and making forests drier and more flammable, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"Logging has had a profound impact on Koalas and their chances of surviving our apocalyptic future.
"North-east NSW Koala populations have declined over 50% in the past 20 years, and last year 30% of 'highly suitable koala habitat' was burnt, including many known core populations. Thousands of Koalas were killed," he said.
New Koala SEPP a boon for developers and loss for Koalas
MEDIA RELEASE - 22 December 2019
NSW Government's new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for Koala Habitat Protection makes it easier for developers, without providing Koalas with the long-overdue and urgent protection they desperately need, according to the North East Forest Alliance.
The new SEPP relies upon mapping of 'highly suitable koala habitat', on the north coast 29% of this has been burnt this year making it urgent that the Government protect what's left from clearing and logging while we wait for the decades it will take to map and protect core Koala habitat as required by the SEPP, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh
Survivor of Braemar fires.Read more
A number of groups appearing before today's NSW Legislative Council inquiry into Koala populations and habitat in New South Wales have requested the committee actively call on the NSW Government to put in place a moratorium on logging koala habitat across public and private lands as an emergency response to the loss of thousands of Koalas and their habitat due to wildfires.
As of yesterday, since July wild fires have burnt out over 1.6 million hectares of the north east NSW bioregion (north from the Hunter River and westward to the Great Escarpment ), this represents 28% of the region and 39% of native vegetation, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.