Preliminary Audit Myrtle State Forest

Preliminary Audit Myrtle State Forest

The 2019-2020 wildfires burn out 2.4 million hectares of north-east NSW (north from the Hunter River), burning through around half the remnant native vegetation. These fires were unusually extensive and intensive because of record low rainfalls and extreme temperatures. The Spotted Gum forests of the Richmond River Lowlands, and the Koalas that inhabit them, were amongst the worst affected in north-east NSW.

The Forestry Corporation has commenced forestry operations in burnt forests in compartments 10- 16 of Myrtle State Forest. A brief audit of those compartments found:

  • patches of forest with both red gums and Coastal Grey box >30cm diameter (dbh) common, and thus likely to have supported resident Koalas before the fires

  • few Small-fruited Grey Gum, emphasising the importance of all individuals of this key Koala feed tree resource

  • Koala scats under 3 trees, and scratches on a number of trees, showing that Koalas survived the fires and indicating the presence of breeding Koalas

  • to satisfy retention requirements for Wildlife Habitat Clumps the Forestry Corporation are protecting some of the most heavily burnt forests, with many dead trees, despite their relatively low wildlife values

  • exclusion zones have not been applied to some 40 kilometres of mapped Class 1 drainage lines, some of which likely qualify as drainage lines and many of which likely qualify as drainage depressions, and thus require 10-20m exclusion zones

  • ten log dumps are being constructed on Classified Class 1 drainage lines, along with a number of tracks, which pose significant erosion threats

  • in many places the required exclusion zones around Classified Class 2, 3 and 4 Drainage Lines have not been fully applied.

Click this link to read the full audit.

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  • Hughie Green
    commented 2020-06-05 07:48:54 +1000
    Unbelievable to read of this greed for the product Of Spotted Gum but worst of all, our State Government has allowed this to happen on their watch.
    The Forestry People just do what they do. State government policy is the Real culprit. When you put Producers (National Party) in charge of our most precious and vulnerable forests, you get exactly this travesty. Stand Up for Forests, before we lose it all.