Ending logging of our public forests is part of the solution
With the climate emergency rapidly escalating, north coast conservation groups are calling on the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to immediately end the logging of public forests to allow them to maximise their carbon sequestration and storage.
The North East Forest Alliance is calling on the NSW Environment Minister to intervene to stop the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) changing the logging rules on public land to open up over 15,000 hectares of protected stream buffers and exclusion areas for threatened animals in the Clarence and Richmond River valleys for logging.
NEFA today released the report 'New IFOA Changes in Forest Protection, In the Clarence and Richmond River Valleys'.
(image is Fleay's Barred Frog, one of the threatened species that will be affected)
The NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman must accept responsibility and intervene to force the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to do their job, after yet another failure by the EPA to properly investigate breaches of logging conditions by the Forestry Corporation.
While the EPA found the Forestry Corporation guilty of "picking" 8 vulnerable Onion Cedars, it ignored evidence that another 18 plants were affected and that the offences occurred when the Forestry Corporation bulldozed an illegal road through an Endangered Ecological Community Lowland Rainforest, said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
FORESTRY CORPORATION MUST PAY FOR ILLEGAL WHIAN WHIAN LOGGING
MEDIA RELEASE 3/1/2016
The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) is outraged that the Forestry Corporation is refusing to pay fines of $11,000 for bulldozing a road through exclusion areas for Koalas and threatened plants, and that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will not make them pay.
NEFA is calling on Premier Baird to intervene to provide justice to communities traumatised by the Forestry Corporation's construction of an illegal road under the watch of the EPA and police guard.
For a short video see:Read more
Roads built illegally through endangered rainforest and plants vulnerable to extinction, multiple failures to find and protect feed trees for Koala and Yellow-bellied Gliders before logging, and thousands of breaches of the rules for retaining and protecting fauna habitat trees, have been identified by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) in a new report on site inspections in Cherry Tree State Forest* following recent logging operations by the NSW Forestry Corporation.Read more
It took a freedom of information request, by the North Coast Environment Council, but the Environment Protection Authority have finally released the membership of the Threatened Species Expert Panel advising on the re-writing of the logging rules for public forests.
The documents show that far from being independent experts they are Government employees, dominated by current and former employees of Forestry Corp.Read more
EPA's WHIAN WHIAN LOGGING FINES PATHETIC AND INEFFECTIVE
MEDIA RELEASE 16/9/2015
Police and forestry discussing tactics to facilitate the illegal logging.
NEFA has described the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA's) issuing of $11,000 fines to the Forestry Corporation for knowingly and illegally constructing a track through the habitats of the Koala and a endangered plant on private land at Whian Whian as pathetic.
NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said it is reprehensible that these flagrant breaches occurred after NEFA had requested a Stop Work Order from the EPA and after the EPA had inspected the area. The breaches are of the worst kind because they were done intentionally while under the EPA's supervision.Read more
Conservation groups have thanked NSW Minister for the Environment, Mark Speakman, for making the time to accompany them on a brief tour of north-east NSW's forests, for listening, and for showing interest in their concerns about our ailing public native forests.
On Saturday representatives of the North Coast Environment Council and the North East Forest Alliance took the Environment Minister on a tour of forests at Royal Camp and up the Richmond Range, west of Casino.
In 2014 the NSW Upper House undertook an inquiry into The performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority, with its terms of reference including (vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest. Today the Government gave its formal response to the inquiry, though they have been reacting for some time. NEFA's submission is available at Performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority (Inquiry) (vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest
NEFA welcomed the Government's announcement of the allocation of an additional $1.3 million to the EPA for forest compliance, though remains concerned that the most pressing need is for a change of attitude within the EPA, a willingness to take action, and a significant increase in fines to act as a deterrence.
NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said that NEFA is dismayed that the Government's reaction to the exposure of the Forestry Corporation's ongoing destruction of core Koala habitat ,and blatant flouting of environmental laws, in Royal Camp State Forest is to change the laws to reduce protection for Koalas and other threatened species.
NEFA have accused the EPA of intentionally misleading the community by claiming that unmapped streams on State forests in the Richmond catchment are not currently required to be protected by 10m buffers.
"NEFA categorically rejects the EPA's claim that unmapped streams on State forests in the Richmond catchment do not have a 10m buffer applied, and stand by our contention that all mapped headwater streams, and most unmapped ones, are currently legally required to have 10 metre buffers applied", NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh saidRead more