Last Wednesday NEFA agreed to call off an action in Gibberagee State Forest (near Whiporie) in return for the Forestry Corporation's promise that within a week a joint inspection with NEFA, and the EPA if they agreed, would be undertaken to inspect the breaches NEFA had documented, now the Forestry Corporation have reneged and refuse to grant access for NEFA to the closed area at Gibberagee to show either the EPA or themselves the breaches.
"The Forestry Corporation cannot be trusted to honour their word. This breach of trust will not be forgotten", said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.
"NEFA considers it outrageous that we are once again denied the chance to show these Government bodies the numerous breaches of the Threatened Species Licence we have found.
"What concerns us most is that based on past experience the illegal logging will continue unabated while the EPA waits for years before verifying our complaints and at best giving the Forestry Corporation meaningless warning letters and cautions.
"Our intervention this time was aimed at trying to highlight the problems to bring this ongoing illegal logging to an end, while ensuring that the Koalas and 8 threatened hollow-dependent animals in the area get the minimal protection they are legally entitled to.
"This attempt has obviously failed", Mr. Pugh said.
Dailan Pugh reaches an understanding with Forestry Corp... that they have now reneged on!
Forest protector and forest friend. Animls like the Yellow-bellied Glider need old forests with tree hollows to nest in.Read more
The community fought hard in the late 1970s and early 1980s to protect rainforest and in the late 1980s and 1990s to protect oldgrowth forests. These were mapped in the Comprehensive Regional Assessment under the supervision of all agencies and key stakeholders in an open and transparent process involving an Old Growth Expert Panel in 1998.
Those oldgrowth forests on State Forests, above high thresholds for a combination of ecosystem, fauna, flora and Centres of Endemism reserve targets (called 'summed irreplaceability'), were identified as High Conservation Value (HCV) Oldgrowth and included in informal Reserves as part of the Comprehensive Adequate and Representative reserve system in 2000. They were counted as contributing to reserve targets for oldgrowth, forest ecosystems, and national estate in the 2000 Regional Forest Agreement.
Mapped HCV oldgrowth forests in the Upper North East are also legally protected as a heritage item under the NSW Heritage Act 1977. An additional 20,000 ha of oldgrowth was included in Special Management Zones in 2003.
As part of their new Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) the NSW Government is intending to subject mapped oldgrowth forest and rainforest protected for the past 20 years to a review process that is intended to make large areas of oldgrowth and rainforest on State Forests available for logging. They have changed the criteria and methodology for identifying oldgrowth and rainforest.
The outcome from these multiple revisions is that of the 103,000 ha of protected oldgrowth on State forests, in the order of 58,600ha (57%) may be wiped from the map and made available for logging, with some narrow strips and patches retained within these areas. Of the 81,567ha of mapped rainforest in the order of 50, 571 hectares (62%) of mapped rainforest could be opened up for logging.
The justification for this is a claimed shortfall of 8,600 cubic metres of high quality sawlogs per annum on the north coast. This is fraudulent as the contribution of hardwood plantations to yields was removed from the calculations, turning a claimed surplus into a deficit. The claimed need to log rainforest and oldgrowth protected for the past 20 years is based on a lie.
Forestry Corporation's yield projections are so grossly and deliberately over-stated that once oldgrowth logging resumes, claims of yield shortfalls will be used to log ever-increasing areas of oldgrowth to avoid compensation claims. This does seem to be the deliberate intent.
NEFA intends to focus on this issue in an effort to stop oldgrowth and rainforest being opened up for logging.
Mapping of Oldgrowth and Rainforest on the chopping block to be logged.
- Damning report: Clearing Koalas Away.
- Read our media release
- ABC coverage here
- Changes to the Koala Logging Prescription
- Proposed Threatened Species logging rules
Explosive documents reveal Government's secret logging agenda: click here to see ABC news story
The coastal forests will be divided into 3 zones. In northern NSW:
The 140,000ha Intensive Zone will see the alternate coupe clearfell logging practiced in Eden, extended all the way along the coast from Taree to Grafton. Coupes for clearfelling are proposed to be 50 to 80 ha. The current legal limit for clearfelling in northern NSW is 0.25 ha!
The regrowth zone will allow intensive logging but will have some tree retention requirements spread across the net logging area.
The non-regrowth zone, will have slightly less intensive logging and a few extra trees retained.
The requirement for pre-logging surveys for most species will be scrapped. For example 326 species of threatened plants will lose their current legal protections and 32 will have their protection areas significantly reduced. Only 77 species and populations of threatened plants will retain their current protections.
Grevillea quadricauda photo by Hugh Nicholson
Similarly, the requirement to survey before logging for most threatened animal species will also be scrapped. 23 animal species are to have their protection removed and 26 are to have their protection significantly reduced. Only 14 will retain their current species-specific protection.
Eastern Blossum Bat photo by David Milledge
Streamside protection in the upper catchment headwaters will be more than halved (from 10m to less than 5), and other stream protections decreased, when all the evidence is that they should be increased to 30m. The current requirement for streamside logging exclusion buffers, is that they are measured from the top of the stream bank. Under the new rules, they will be measured from the middle of the stream. This means that for many streams, logging will be able to occur right up to the edge of the bank and for all streams will result in seriously diminished protection.
Most areas protected over the last 20 years because of the presence of a threatened species, will be opened up for logging. This includes all the Koala High-Use Areas that have been identified to date.
There will no longer be a requirement to search for koalas prior to logging and exclude logging from the areas they are actually using. Thus areas with active koala populations will be logged.
The areas of greatest logging intensity coincide with the areas the Government has identified as the best koala habitat.
Wood supply contract negotiations with logging companies based on the new logging rules are in process. The government remains committed to enter new wood contracts sometime soon: 'in the middle of 2017'.
All of the above is occurring with the Government promising there will be 'no erosion of environmental values'. They must think we are all idiots.
The destruction has got to stop.
We need your help, can you inform your friends and colleagues?
Authorised by Daniel Peterson for the North East Forest Alliance
at 115 Molesworth Street, Lismore, 2480
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Logging Dieback
- Climate Change
- Cable Logging
- Logging Prescriptions
- Forest Slaughter
- Old Trees
- Logging Industry
- World Heritage
- Impacts of Grazing