Northern Rivers community members are rallying in Cherry Tree State Forest west of Casino today as it is threatened with logging this week.
“Cherry Tree State Forest is well known for its diversity of fauna and flora. Species previously encountered on Cherry Tree road include Koala, Black Striped Wallaby, Rufus Bettong, Phascogale and Quoll. There are a number of koala records for the area and it is considered intermediate koala habitat, so identifying and protecting koala high use areas from logging must be a priority.” said North Coast Environment spokesperson Jim Morrison.
“Despite the extensive range of offences clearly highlighted by NEFA in 2015 Forestry Corp were never held to account.That area now exhibits a very dense understory of Lantana and increasing numbers of Bell Miners. This is a precursor to the development of Bell Miner Associated Dieback which is killing forests further north on the Richmond Range. Forestry Corp now plans to log the native forest adjoining the previous logging damage.” Mr Morrison said.
“People are shocked and outraged when they learn that our public native forests are still not safe from the destructive impacts of industrial logging. NSW citizens are demanding an end to this government’s ideologically driven agenda of forest carnage.” said North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Sean O’Shannessy
“Cherry Tree Forest includes ridges above very steep slopes leading to a dense network of lower order streams. Protection of these steep upper catchments is fundamental to the health of both the Richmond and Clarence rivers.The Cherry Tree Forest was spared the black summer wildfires which impacted many nearby forests and National Parks. A very good reason not to log it.” said Mr Morrison
“It is 2021. We are in the midst of a biodiversity and climate emergency. Our water supplies are drying up and our koalas face extinction. Our native forests are our carbon sinks, our biodiversity refuges and our water catchments but they are being systematically destroyed for a pittance by the Berejiklian government. How is this possible?” Mr O’Shannessy asked.
“Despite past logging operations there are still a number of precious large trees across the forest. These will no doubt be the target of logging under the new rules. The area is part of a key regional wildlife corridor and one of our biodiversity hotspots that supports a range of threatened flora, fauna and Endangered Ecological Communities.” said Morrison
“NEFA will be conducting preliminary wildlife audits in the forest today & preparing to defend our remaining public native forests from destruction if we have to in future.” O’Shannessy said.