Protect Braemar's Koalas in a National Park

NEFA is calling on the NSW Government to comply with their own Koala Strategy by creating a Koala national park covering exceptional Koala habitat in Braemar, Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests, south of Casino.

NEFA's searches have proven that these public forests contain exceptional densities of Koalas, unparalleled in any of the Forestry Corporation's searches over the past 20 years, according to NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

When announcing the NSW Government's Koala Strategy on 7th May 2018 their press release stated:

The centerpiece of the NSW Koala Strategy is setting aside large swathes of land where koalas can thrive and new habitats can be created.

“It is absolutely vital that we protect land where koalas currently live - and secure land where new koala colonies may exist in the future,” said Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton.

"In 2014 NEFA proposed the Sandy Creek National Park covering Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests after EPA investigations confirmed they contain a Koala population of regional and national significance.

"Now it is evident that Braemar is a key part of this population.

"The evidence of the outstanding importance of these forests for Koalas is beyond doubt.

"If the NSW Government wants to give the Koalas of the Richmond lowlands a future it is absolutely vital that they fully protect all identified core Koala habitat in Braemar, Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests from further degradation.

"As these forests recover from past logging so too will Koalas. With Koalas coming under increasing threat from droughts, heatwaves and bushfires it is essential that we give them the best chance we can to withstand climate heating.

"We challenge the Forestry Corporation to identify any area they have found in their past 20 years of undertaking Koala scat searches across NSW that has a higher density or more extensive scats than we have so far found in Braemar", Mr. Pugh said.

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Logging delay gives community more time to save Braemar's Koalas

The North East Forest Alliance has welcomed the postponement of logging of core Koala habitat in Braemar State Forest as an opportunity for the community to increase pressure on the NSW Government to protect extant populations of Koalas.

"We hope our rally on Sunday today sent a strong message to the Government that this community does not want to see our best Koala habitat on public lands devastated, even though the new logging rules allow it", NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

"This logging delay gives the community more time to speak up for Koalas and convince the NSW Government that they need to protect core Koala habitat to stop their extinction

"Logging was due to start on Friday 13 September though has been delayed for weeks after a review by NEFA exposed numerous deficiencies in the Forestry Corporation's harvesting plan.

"This is the first area to be logged under the new logging rules in north-east NSW, and despite the Forestry Corporation writing the new rules with the EPA, they proved that they are still unwilling to comply with the intent and letter of their own rules.

"It is reprehensible that the Government has removed protection for Koala high use areas, of which there is estimated to be over 100ha in Braemar State Forest. They have replaced this prohibition with the retention of just 5 small feed trees per hectare.

"NEFA has found that Koalas are using over 19 feed trees per hectare in Braemar.

"From their surveys in the adjacent Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests the EPA found that Koala use increased with tree size and that only one in five of the small (>20cm diameter) feed trees now required to be retained were actually used by Koalas.

"This nationally significant Koala population will be devastated by the new logging rules.

"This case highlights the need for the NSW Government to restore protection for Koala high use areas, not just in Braemar but wherever they occur.

"As identified by the EPA's own Koala expert panel if we want to give Koalas a future the highest priority is to protected extant Koala populations from logging " Mr Pugh said.



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Speak out to save Braemar's Koalas!

With logging due to start on Friday 13th NEFA are calling on the community to voice their opposition to logging of core Koala habitat in Braemar State Forest.

NEFA undertook its third Koala assessment of Braemar State Forest last weekend and again found abundant Koala scats, reaffirming that it is one of the most significant Koala populations known on State Forests, according to NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

"We now estimate that there are over 100ha of Koala High Use Areas, which is unprecedented on State Forests. Over the past 20 years, across the hundreds of thousands of hectares they logged, the Forestry Corporation only found a total of 200ha of small scattered Koala High Use Areas"

"Braemar encompasses core breeding habitat that is part of the nationally significant Koala population previously identified across the nearby Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests.

Photos: Trees formerly marked for retention have been re-marked as available for logging. Under this one, a large number of koala scats were found. Under another tree that had similarly been re-marked, scats were found of a mother koala and joey.

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Premier must stop logging of Koala habitat

Following NEFA's finding last  Sunday of an exceptional Koala population in Braemar State Forest, south of Casino, NEFA is calling on the Premier to intervene to ensure that the required thorough searches for Koalas are undertaken and all Koala High Use Areas protected.

Koala scats were found under 42 trees in a 3ha area of Braemar State Forest marked up for logging, 81 Koala scats were found under this single tree where none had been found by the Forestry Corporation.

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NEFA turns 30



On 5th June the North East Forest Alliance celebrated 30 years since its inaugural meeting at the Big Scrub Environment Centre in Lismore on World Environment Day in 1989.

"Over 30 years NEFA has made significant progress in its aims to protect oldgrowth, rainforest, wilderness and threatened species, unfortunately these wins are beginning to be wound back at a time when the necessity of protecting forests to avoid climate heating is more important than ever" NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

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Clearing Our Future Away

The North East Forest Alliance is alarmed over the 291,700 ha of native vegetation cleared in NSW over the 8 years 2009 to 2016, particularly with the 80% increase in deforestation in 2016-17.

"If we want to redress our climate emergency it is essential that we retain and enhance our forests to take up and store the carbon we emit. The NSW Government needs to stop deforestation not increase it", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

Photo: In 2018 the Government increased logging intensity and zoned 140,000 ha of public forests for clearfelling.

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Morrison too late for Koalas



NEFA today welcomed the Liberal Party's commitment of $6 million to protect Koalas in north-east NSW's and south-east Queensland as too little too late.

If the Morrison Government really wanted to do something about Koalas then they would amend their Regional Forest Agreements to protect Koala habitat and prepare the required Recovery Plan, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

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Jack Thompson #WhoSpeaks4TheTrees

Burning forests for electricity:

Really Crazy Stuff”

says Jack Thompson

Media Release 02/05/2019

The North East Forest Alliance today released it's clip of Jack Thompson's response to burning trees in power stations to generate electricity.

“It's hard to believe, that there are plans to cut our forests, turn it into pellets and burn them in wood-fired power stations. That's really crazy stuff,” Jack says.

“We're in a climate emergency. We need to stop emitting carbon dioxide now! Who speaks for the trees? We all can! It's time to Stand Up for the Forests Now!” he said.

“Jack Thompson echoes the sentiments of almost everyone we've talked to,” said NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell.


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BURNED- Are Trees the New Coal?

Roadshow to tour the North Coast.

This award-winning film will be screened across the north coast over the next two weeks.

“Many people saw the film Gaslands and this spear-headed the movement against fracking.People power in the Northern Rivers region rejected this destructive activity and energy source. This film is to forests, what Gaslands was to fracking,” said Susie Russell, who has galvanised the collaboration of the participating organisations.

“The idea that whole forests are being cleared and burnt in power stations instead of coal seems crazy, but increasingly that is what is happening around the world and Australian governments want to see it happen here too.

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Forestry fined $16,500 for Endangered plant

Forestry belatedly fined $16,500 for clearing and logging the exclusion zone of Endangered plant in Gibberagee

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the Forestry Corporation $16,500 for clearing and logging within an exclusion zone for the nationally Endangered Narrow-leaf Melichrus in Gibberagee State Forest (east of Whiporie) in September 2017, though refuse to acknowledge that it was as a consequence of a NEFA complaint.

The Narrow-leaf Melichrus is named Melichrus sp. gibberagee as it is yet to be formally described. This species was discovered during pre-logging surveys brokered with the Minister for Forests by NEFA in 1997. It is only known from a single population in Gibberagee State Forest, and on adjacent private property. It is now listed as Endangered by both NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

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