Logging Rapidly Smashing Braemar and Myrtle State Forests

Logging is rapidly smashing Braemar and Myrtle State Forests. They have so far logged some 146ha in Myrtle and 73ha in Braemar. Maps of the areas logged as at 5 February are attached. From his surveys Steve Phillips identified that despite the loss of most Koalas in the 2019/20 fires, 67% of patches of Koala habitat in both forests were occupied, though suitable patches are more dispersed in Myrtle, commenting that logging will exacerbate koala population decline in these areas and, in the worst case scenario, could potentially lead to the extinction of local koala populations”. These are extinction operations.

The North East Forest Alliance is calling on the NSW and Federal governments to urgently act to end native forest logging.

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2023 saw us put in a big citizen science effort in forests around the region looking for Gliders by night and Koalas by day.

These efforts were further spurred on, when a dead Greater Glider was found near active logging in Tallaganda State Forest on the NSW South Coast and the EPA issued a Stop Work Order.

This lead to a big spotlight beam of light being shone on the failure of Forestry Corporation (FC) to find Glider den trees, where they shelter during the day. According to the rules, a den tree, by definition, is one where a Glider has been seen coming or going… and that only happens at night.

Guess when FC look? Yep, during the day! So they never find Glider den trees and thus never have to trigger the 50m protected area around them.

It’s absurd that they have been able to get away with this abuse of the process for 5 years.

A further Stop Work Order was issued for Flat Rock SF when Glider den trees were identified by citizen scientists, where FC had failed to find any.

But Gliders on the north coast haven’t been so lucky. Den tree locations in Moonpar, Styx River, Cloud’s Creek, Barrington, Newry and Riamukka forests have been reported to EPA and nothing has happened.

It seems EPA and FC now have their heads together cooking up a new rule. You can bet it won’t protect Gliders.

The system is corrupt and failing our unique and precious wildlife.

Yellow-bellied Gliders, Squirrel Gliders and Greater Gliders depend on intact habitat with plenty of old trees with hollows. They can use many hollows each, depending on season and in order to not have a regular pattern a predator can identify. As these trees disappear through logging, age and fire, the Gliders also disappear from the landscape.

Don’t believe government spin they are protecting our wildlife from extinction, they are actively subsidising destruction. I don’t know how they sleep at night.


Since this was written, the new rule has been enacted and it comes with plenty of spin about better glider protections, but it’s all a lie. In many forests it will result in no extra trees being protected. And the requirement that FC identify den trees has been removed.


STOP PRESS: the new rule change has been delayed a week and may get changed again. Watch this space.

Photo: Bandit and friend, Barrington Tops (Credit: Bones)

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Undaunted by the NSW government's recent doubling down on policies that fail to protect species threatened by industrial logging of native forests, locals in the area of Clouds Creek State Forest on the western Dorrigo Plateau in North East NSW have stepped up to save precious public forest habitats.  In a move to protect an important population of endangered Southern Greater Gliders, they have declared Clouds Creek State Forest to be a Greater Glider Sanctuary.  Astonished at the removal of the requirement to survey at night before logging commences, local group the Blicks River Guardians in their own nocturnal surveys detected 22 individual greater gliders and confirmed several den trees of this unique marsupial. 
Having miraculously survived when a megafire swept through the area during Black Summer, this critical refugium now risks being decimated in Forest Corp NSW’s rush to extract timber before the area is protected in the Great Koala National Park.  In declaring the Greater Glider sanctuary the local community are joined by elders of the Gumbaynggirr nation in calling for an immediate cessation of works to allow adequate cultural and fauna surveys to be performed.  In the meantime they are maintaining a constant forest vigil to safeguard these critical Gondwanan forests, home to unique wildlife, ancient cultural significance, and a critical water catchment for the Coffs Coast and Grafton region.

To find out more about the campaign search #SaveCloudsCreek hashtag on social media or visit Blicks River Guardians on facebook for weekly action updates. https://www.facebook.com/blicksriverguardians 

Clouds Creek Forest Vigil
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NSW Government abandons requirements to identify and protect dens of Greater Glider

MEDIA RELEASE 2 February 2024

The NSW Government’s decision to abandon the requirement to identify and establish logging exclusions around the homes of Southern Greater Gliders and other threatened hollow-dependent species is another blow to their survival.

This decision attempts to over-ride the current legal requirement to identify and protect 50m around den trees of Southern Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Squirrel Glider and Brush-tailed Phascogale, along with nest trees for Masked, Sooty and Barking Owls, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“The homes of these hollow-dependent nocturnal species can only be identified in nocturnal searches.

“The political deal done between the EPA and the Forestry Corporation removes the need for nocturnal searches, instead requiring the retention of 4-6 additional mature trees per hectare in modelled greater glider habitat.

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Fridays4Forests Big Year Ahead


Fridays4Forests protectors have been meeting and sharing stories and ideas to help plan effective campaigns for the forests in 2024. Please find below, some of their thoughts. Get your diaries out protectors and get your local community busy on their own Fridays4Forests group;

  • Letter writing Stalls: locate your local markets and reach out to your community. These Stalls will need Banners, Sign Up forms, Vox pops, and promotions of upcoming F4F actions eg. ‘March in March’. Video and photos needed for talking points at Stalls
  • Fridays at your local member’s. A Sit In was suggested. Also, drop in letters
  • Highway awareness raising banner hangs
  • Direct Actions & Citizen Science surveys with Forest visits at least once a month
  • More Social Media and other skill sharing workshops to become more effective communicators

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A Sad Decision for Nationally Threatened Species

Justice Perry ‘s judgement of today in North East Forest Alliance vs The Commonwealth of Australia is that no contemporaneous assessment is required before extending Regional Forest Agreements beyond the originally intended 20 years, noting:

the question of whether or not to enter into or vary an intergovernmental agreement of this nature is essentially a political one, the merits of which are matters for the government parties, and not the Courts, to determine.

NEFA objected to the Governments extending the North East NSW Regional Forest Agreement in 2018 based on 1997 data, without requiring a new assessment, it is therefore extremely disappointing that after a 5 year legal battle this process of not requiring a contemporaneous assessment has been legally validated, NEFA President Dailan Pugh said.  

“This judgement means that it is valid to roll over Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) forever-more based on data collated in 1997 and politicised outcomes that ignore the science, including the rapidly increasing extinction risk faced by many forest fauna and the accelerating impact of climate heating upon them and forests.


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EPA refuse to enforce rules for Greater and Yellow-bellied Gliders on the North Coast

MEDIA RELEASE 4 December 2023

The North East Forest Alliance has called out the Environment Protection Authority for being negligent due to their refusal to make the Forestry Corporation search for and protect Southern Greater Glider and Yellow-bellied Glider den trees in active logging operations on the North Coast where NEFA have identified multiple records of both species, including den trees.

“When it comes to implementing the legal requirement to protect den trees of Greater Glider and Yellow-bellied Glider it is apparent that the EPA will apply the law for the south coast but not on the north coast”, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

Across both the south and the north the logging rules (CIFOA) require that den trees of Greater Glider and Yellow-bellied Glider must be searched for and 50m logging exclusions established around them.

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Time to stump up for Greater Gliders

MEDIA RELEASE 1 September 2023

The North East Forest Alliance is appealing to the Environment Protection Authority to re-instate the requirement for pre-logging nocturnal surveys to identify den trees for the Endangered Southern Greater Glider, given that the EPA have justified stopping logging in Tallaganda State Forest on the grounds that the Forestry Corporation have not identified all their den trees.

Across the north-coast of NSW the Forestry Corporation have not identified a single Southern Greater Glider den tree since 2018 in any of the 85,000 ha of native forests they are actively, and proposing, logging this year1, because in 2018 the requirements for pre-logging surveys for most species were removed, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

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Stop Logging Koala’s Homes, it’s the only way to save them.

MEDIA RELEASE 23 July 2023

With logging now underway in Myrtle State Forest, NEFA is calling on the Minns Government to immediately halt logging of habitat vital to the recovery of Koalas in Myrtle and Braemar State forests (south of Casino), by reinstating pre-logging Koala surveys and protecting core Koala habitat.

With roading complete, 2000 ha of Myrtle State Forest was closed to public access and logging started there last week. Nearby, 500 ha of Braemar State Forest has also been roaded and marked up for logging.

“Myrtle and Braemar State forests are both identified as Nationally Important Koala Areas that were badly burnt in the 2019/20 wildfires, killing many of their resident Koalas. Despite this, recent surveys have proved that most patches of preferred koala feed trees are still being utilised by Koalas” NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“Logging of more than 75% of the larger feed trees (>30cm diameter) that Koalas need to rebuild their numbers will be devastating for populations already severely impacted by the fires.

Braemar Koala

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Time to stop Logging Koalas to Extinction


The North East Forest Alliance is calling on people to take action to protect one of the most important Koala habitats on the Richmond River Lowlands in response to the Forestry Corporation commencing logging in Braemar State Forest (south of Casino).

Four days after the election of the Minns Government the Forestry Corporation released their plan to log over 5,000 mature Koala feed trees in compartments 6 and 7 of Braemar State Forest, and last week they began roading operations, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.

“They are obviously taking advantage of the chaos after the election of the new Government to log this habitat before the incoming Minns government can implement their promise to protect Koala habitat.

NEFA is asking people to urgently write to the new Environment Minister Penny Sharp and the new Forestry Minister Tara Moriarty asking them to immediately stop logging of this important Koala habitat in Braemar State Forest

Photo: one of Braemar’s Koalas that survived the fires, whose home is now proposed for logging.

For additional information see Time to Stop Logging Koalas to Extinction

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