The North East Forest Alliance has described the NSW Government's "NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap" as just another ill-conceived PR exercise that repackages their failed 2012 commitment to rewrite the rules for logging on public lands.
"Katrina Hodgkinson claimed they were going to release their new Integrated Forestry Operations Approval in mid 2014, now they are saying they won't release it until next year", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"They have obviously lost their way, though a new map won't help them until they address the abject failures of their regulatory system and their gross over-commitment of resources from public forests.
SOS: Virtual Protection for Virtual Koalas Won't Save a Species
"It beggars belief that money is being spent on models for koalas that ignores whether an area has been logged or not, and the age of the trees in the area concerned. Virtual habitat might be good for virtual koalas, but we want to see actual koalas protected"
On World Environment Day 2016, Northern Rivers Environment Groups met to discuss the forthcoming election. Candidates for the electorates of Page and Richmond will be asked to state their positions on environment issues.Read more
Conservationists are calling on the Minster for the Environment, Mr Mark Speakman, to enforce the state’s logging rules and direct the NSW Forestry Corporation (FCNSW) to cease their unacceptable and illegal practice of clearfelling in the public native forests across the NSW north coast.
“The FCNSW is clearfelling huge swathes across north coast public native forests and has been doing so since 2009, in a clear breach of the conditions of the logging approval called the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA). FCNSW misleadingly call these large clearfelled areas – some over 100 hectares in size – “Single Tree Selection” (STS).” said North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Lyn Orrego.
“The Minister has now acknowledged, through a letter written by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) on his behalf, that this type of harvesting “practiced by the FCNSW, is not consistent with the definition and intent of STS (Single Tree Selection) in the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) as well as FCNSW’s own silvicultural guidelines.” (1) So we have an acknowledgement from the regulator that FCNSW is operating outside their approval conditions yet the Minister will do nothing about it,” she said.Read more
The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) is calling on the Baird Government to hold an independent public inquiry into the gross mismanagement of State forests.
NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said the privatisation of timber resources from public lands has proven to be a very expensive failure that has resulted in the public paying millions of dollars in compensation and subsidies to private companies, gross over-logging, and the widespread degradation of public forests.
"Yields from public forests are still declining as large sawlogs become rarer. Australian Solar Timber's laying off of 18 workers is just another indicator of the collapse of the timber industry based on public native forests due to gross over-logging.
"The NSW Government are not only running down the resource, they are severely degrading our public forests, they are leaving us with depleted wildlife, damaged soils, sick streams, severe weed infestations and spreading dieback. It will cost millions more to repair the mess.
"Our public forests are not being managed in the public's best interests.
"This is the result of secretive backroom political deals and cronyism. It is well past time for an open, public and independent inquiry into why NSW taxpayers have had to pay millions of dollars to private companies to unsustainably log public forests.
"With the hardwood sawlog industry based on public native forests in terminal decline an inquiry needs to consider the best future use of our degraded State forests, the costs of rehabilitating them, and who should pay to fix the mess" Mr. Pugh said.
Conservationists meeting over the weekend at Bellingen agreed to support calls by Australian Solar Timbers boss Douglas Head, for an inquiry into Wood Supply Agreements for public lands in North East NSW.
The North East Forest Alliance and the North Coast Environment Council have serious concerns that the people of NSW have been misled on the wood contract issue.
"When the then Minister Katrina Hodgkinson announced the decision by the NSW Government in 2014 to buyback 50,000 cubic metres of sawlogs a year from Boral Timber for $8.55 million she said 'we have focused on reducing demand rather than trying to increase supply'", NCEC Vice-President Susie Russell said.
"Nowhere in the media announcements was the information that while the contracts had been reduced between 2015 to 2023, they had also been extended for a further 5 years, to 2028.
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.
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