With logging due to start on Friday 13th NEFA are calling on the community to voice their opposition to logging of core Koala habitat in Braemar State Forest.
NEFA undertook its third Koala assessment of Braemar State Forest last weekend and again found abundant Koala scats, reaffirming that it is one of the most significant Koala populations known on State Forests, according to NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"We now estimate that there are over 100ha of Koala High Use Areas, which is unprecedented on State Forests. Over the past 20 years, across the hundreds of thousands of hectares they logged, the Forestry Corporation only found a total of 200ha of small scattered Koala High Use Areas"
"Braemar encompasses core breeding habitat that is part of the nationally significant Koala population previously identified across the nearby Carwong and Royal Camp State Forests.
Photos: Trees formerly marked for retention have been re-marked as available for logging. Under this one, a large number of koala scats were found. Under another tree that had similarly been re-marked, scats were found of a mother koala and joey.
"Our appeals to the Premier to intervene and ensure that all Koala High Use Areas are identified and protected were counter-productive. Instead the Government has decided to switch over to the new rules where Koala High Use Areas are no longer protected.
"A new Harvesting Plan was released last Saturday and logging is due to start on the auspicious date of Friday the 13th September.
"There are likely to be 60-90 Koalas living in the area they are about to trash.
"Now that Premier Berejiklian has removed protection for Koala High Use Areas the Forestry Corporation is also proposing logging compartment 13 Royal Camp SF where they were stopped in 2013 because of the extensive Koala High Use Areas NEFA identified.
"The onslaught on the nationally significant Koala population on public lands of the Richmond lowlands is fully underway. Spending millions to build Koala hospitals is treating the symptoms. when we most need to stop trashing their homes to save them from extinction.
"We are calling on the community to speak up for Braemar's Koalas by spreading the word, writing to the Premier and contacting their local parliamentarians before it is too late.
"We are inviting people to come out to Braemar, at the Rappville turnoff 24 km south of Casino on the Summerland Way, at 10am next Sunday 15 September to stand up for Koalas", Mr. Pugh said.
"They are only expecting to get 1,400 cubic metres of high quality logs from flogging this Koala habitat.
"Annual commitments of such logs from north-east NSW are 220,000 cubic metres, and over the past 3 years the Forestry Corporation has over-logged by 95,500 cubic metres. They need to stop their gross over-cutting rather than destroying Koala habitat for a pittance."