Illegal logging claim in Mistake State Forest in the Nambucca Valley

Illegal logging claim in Mistake State Forest in the Nambucca Valley,

Conservationists claim ongoing logging in Mistake State Forest is illegal due to Forestry Corporation NSW’s failure to undertake surveys for the Endangered Greater glider in accordance with the new survey rules.

Forestry Corporation (FC) are required to find den trees of the Endangered Greater glider and protect them with a 50m radius buffer from logging, but only 5 of the 22 survey transects were done within an hour of sunset as was required.

We have written to FC and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) asking them to suspend logging until FC carry out surveys according to the new rules,said Friends of Mistake spokesperson, Joy van Son.

These compartments contained prime Greater glider and Koala habitat before they started logging and is currently being assessed by the NSW government for inclusion in the Great Koala National Park (GKNP). Logging continues despite strong community opposition.

“It doesn’t make sense. If this government was serious about protecting Koalas, they wouldn’t allow the destruction of their habitat to occur just months before handing the area over to the National Parks Estate.

Mistake SF is the upper catchment area of the Nambucca River and provides abundant, clean water to downstream farms and towns. It is steep mountainous terrain with easily eroded subsoils that pollute watercourses when disturbed during logging. We have been campaigning for over 35 years to have it protected.

Expert studies carried out over the past 35 years confirm the highly erodible nature of Mistake SF soils. My family and I saw it with our own eyes in 1993 when Forestry Corporation were logging in Mistake SF upstream of our farm. Our creeks were brown,” Ms van Son said.

Currently 40% of logging operations underway in public native forests on the North Coast are within the Great Koala National Park’s proposed boundaries. These are smash and grab operations” said Susie Russell from the North Coast Environment Council.

“The big, old trees being targeted by FC are providing hollows critical to the survival of hollow-dependent species such as Greater gliders and are koala feed trees,” said Ms Russell.

The Nambucca Valley Conservation Association (NVCA) supports a suspension of logging in Mistake SF until the Great Koala National Park boundaries have been finalised.

“It’s outrageous that logging is going hell for leather in the heart of what the current Labor government promised to protect to save koalas from extinction,” said Lyn Orrego (NVCA)

“We have written to Environment Minister Penny Sharpe on five separate occasions since Labor was elected in March 2023 and received no answers whatsoever to our letters.

I joined the recent peaceful Mistake SF logging protest to highlight the fact that the Minns government is responsible not only for smashing koala habitat in the public native forests they promised to protect, but also for the community angst and division by letting this situation continue.

Over 60 community members gathered at Taylors Arm to urge the Minns government to “Fix the Mistake!” and make Mistake SF part of the GKNP as a matter of urgency,” she concluded.

Photo by Jan Roberton 1/7/2024

Photo by Jan Roberton 1/7/2024


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