Revised North East Forest Alliance position on:

Logging of our Publicly owned Native Forests

In recognition of the accelerating impacts of climate change the North East Forest Alliance is calling for a rapid phase out of logging from our public native forests in order to protect and restore:

  • Threatened and other native species habitat;

  • Water yields, water quality and stream health;

  • Carbon take-up and storage, and

  • Forest health and natural processes.

We are adopting this position because:

Decades long attempts to achieve ecologically sustainable forest management have failed, public forests are being intentionally cut-out of sawlogs and the limited rules to protect threatened species, old trees and streams are inadequate and regularly ignored. The Environment Protection Authority have proven themselves to be ineffective regulators and are now removing and further weakening the rules.

Forest values are being degraded by over-logging. Biodiversity, threatened species, water yields, stream health and carbon storage are declining, while weeds and dieback are spreading through the forest. Climate change is now compounding these problems.

Forests are the lungs of the earth, and if allowed to regenerate will take in and store a significant proportion of the carbon dioxide we are emitting. Left growing, forests are part of the solution to climate change, cut down they become part of the problem.

We strongly oppose proposals to allow widespread clearfelling, weaken erosion controls and start cable-logging of extremely steep country. We are alarmed by attempts to expand woodchipping by redirecting the chips from export into furnaces to generate electricity.

Our forests need to be allowed to grow old in peace. Older forests provide more habitat for threatened species, more nectar for birds and bees, take in and store more carbon, are more fire resilient and act like an underground water reservoir ensuring reliable water supplies. The recreational, cultural, spiritual and aesthetic values of our publicly owned native forests need to be securely protected.

State Forests are a public asset. They belong to the people of NSW, yet the public pay $8-15 million every year to subsidize their logging. It's time they were managed to maximise the benefit to the public.

The Forest Agreements for upper and lower north east NSW have not delivered either a Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative reserve system or Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management. Their 20 year period expires in 2018 and logging of forests on public land must end. We believe that this will be in the best environmental, social and economic interests of the community. Adopted unanimously - 17 January 2015.

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  • Jimmy Malecki
    commented 2015-02-07 09:21:02 +1100
    Really good to see Nefa release a new policy position. It’s been getting more and more disheartening driving past our public state forests and not seeing any trees that are good for habitat or even sawlogs. Forest NSW, The Forestry Corporation or whatever organisation the name is changed to had the opportunity to manage the publics forests sustainably. If you google Forests NSW or Forestry Corporation you’ll come up with pages and pages of reported breaches that include logging core Koala Habitat, logging critically endangered rainforests, logging endangered ecological communities and other areas that are off limits to logging. This destruction of habitat has come at a cost. A cost to our threatened plants and animals. And a cost to us, the public taxpayers. This logging is allowed, if not encouraged by our government while operating at a loss. This is not a good business or environmental model. It would be far better to get out of logging our public forests and encourage jobs in other sectors such as growing hemp for paper and building materials. The forestry workers that do machinery work can still have jobs in the building of infrastructure. There aren’t many trees left in our forests and what is left should be left in the ground to exist for habitat and absorbing carbon so that we can take direct action on climate change. NEFA’s new position is a good environmental and business model which should have been implemented years ago when it was apparent that Forestry Corporation wasn’t taking it’s job to keep our public forests in safe hands seriously.
  • Mark Merritt
    commented 2015-02-06 14:48:13 +1100
    Giant steps to a bright future.

    The stance adopted by NEFA is a watershed in our attitude to the Habitat.

    As clearly the dominant species on the only living planet, the only known Habitat in our galaxy, we have one chance only, to care for and protect the balance of life supporting systems in our world.
    The fearful, aggressive extractive nature of human activity over the past one thousand years, and the fiscal-fiasco we call “The Economy” has resulted in massive alterations to our Habitat around the planet and is directly responsible for the permanent extinction of many plant and animal species, and has even altered the thermal dynamics and chemical processes of our atmosphere, soils and oceans.
    Now that human culture has invented and created fiscal systems that run and rely wholly on money, there is a growing disconnect developing between people, our economy and our ecology. This situation will need special attention because the children in lower primary school today are likely to be the people who will make or break our already extremely challenged ecosystems. These young people must be allowed to maintain and strengthen their natural connections with the nature and ecosystems on Earth.
    Every time we change or alter The Habitat to support big-business and a thing ironically called progress, we permanently alter systems that have taken tens or hundreds of thousands, even millions of years to develop. Once altered it is nearly impossible to interpret and predict what will happen with these systems in the long-term parameters of geologic time-frames.
    As we head into an ever shortening future, to continue on with “business as usual” would be in my mind be extremely stupid. As I often say “Business as usual is dead!” We must work to protect The Habitat while we transition to sustainable values, reconnected ecosystems, low carbon technologies and a viable carbon sensitive economy.

    Sincerely – Mark Merritt

    I say – People do not spoil the Earth, it is corporations and corporate driven demands that do. Corporate law must be re-written to sustain and protect our Habitat first, to replace its fiscal profit priority with a priority to protect Earths’ Habitat.
  • Susan Haworth
    commented 2015-02-06 10:01:28 +1100
    Great launch of NEFA’s new policy position! The blatant mismanagement of our precious forests by Forestry Corp NSW has eroded the integrity of these unique ecosystems over the last few decades to the point of extinction of species. It is totally unsustainable! There is no other solution, commercial interests to not allow for any other values than economic feedback. We stand for the forests and for the heritage of future generations.
  • Caroline Joseph
    commented 2015-02-05 22:40:45 +1100
    Dear Friends if you want to get an overview of what is happening in what remains of our Native forests and if you care about Healthy Biodiversity and clean Waterways this site will give you a wealth of information. The Bellingen Environment Centre is proud to support the North East Forest Alliance in their stance of ending the tolerance of the lawlessness of Forestry Corporation. Please look around this site as it contains a wealth of information and resources. We join with our neighbouring Environmental groups from the Tweed to Port Macquarie and reach out to a new future with the “Great Koala Park” Please share our “Forests Forever Message”