NEFA is launching its Save Oldgrowth Trees campaign on Friday to convince the NSW Government to implement its own scientific advice to protect and restore oldgrowth trees throughout State forests in response to the widespread losses of tree hollows in the 2019/20 wildfires that 174 of NSW’s animal species depend on for dens, nests and roosts.
To launch the campaign NEFA are gathering outside the electoral offices of the local members for Tweed, Geoff Provest, and Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh, at 10 am on Friday to press their request that they support the immediate implementation of the NRC recommendations.
“Before the 2019/20 wildfires land clearing and logging had already decimated oldgrowth trees, leaving large areas of forests without enough hollows to maintain populations of the most vulnerable hollow-dependent species”, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
“The fires made this into a housing crisis.
“Trees don’t develop hollows until they are very old, so it will take a long-time to restore the hollows lost in the fires, necessitating urgent action to retain the oldest trees left so they can develop replacement hollows relatively quickly.
“Hollows begin to form in trees when they are 120-180 years old, and it takes over 220 years before they develop the large hollows required by many animal species.
“In response to the extensive loss of hollow-bearing trees in the 2019-20 wildfires, in June 2021 the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) recommended to the NSW Ministers for Environment and Forestry that they urgently change the logging rules for State forests to begin restoring hollow-bearing trees.
“The NRC recommended that where there are not eight hollow-bearing trees per hectare, retaining the next largest trees to make up the balance of the eight trees, and for each of these trees retaining two ‘recruitment’ trees that have the potential to become the hollow-bearing trees of the future.
“Almost a year later the NSW Government has done nothing to implement the NRC recommendations and address the urgent housing crisis for hollow-dependent animals.
“With enough community support NEFA’s campaign to Save Oldgrowth Trees could convince the NSW Government to implement its own scientific advice”, Mr. Pugh said.
NEFA’s campaign is asking members of parliament and people to write to the NSW Ministers for Environment, James Griffin, and Forestry, Dugald Saunders, to immediately adopt the NRC post-fire recommendations.
NEFA have a webpage for its Save Oldgrowth Trees campaign with a video, background and Minister’s details.