Lewin Forest: safe for now

The blockade campsite in the Lewin Forest, near Nannup. Photo: Jess Beckerling.

An urgent campaign and blockade by the WA Forest Alliance to prevent logging in the Lewin Forest, west of Manjimup in Western Australia’s south-west, has dramatically demonstrated the need for more to be done to save forests in the region.

Following a huge public campaign in 2001 that involved tens of thousands of people, the then-Geoff Gallop Labor state government passed legislation that supposedly put an end to old-growth logging in WA’s south-west. 

However, old-growth was defined in such a way as to allow the logging of forest that contains any stumps from trees felled in the last 150 years. 

Furthermore, state government agencies apply a "minimum area rule" under which an old-growth karri forest has to be at least two hectares in size and square. Long thin areas of old-growth or patches with winding boundaries, such as those alongside streams or roads, are also disqualified.

Due to the protests, the state government imposed a moratorium on logging in the Lewin Forest on June 21. The moratorium is set to last until August 3. 

The WA Forest Alliance is encouraging supporters to contact state MPs to guarantee protection for the Lewin Forest and close loopholes in the current definition of old-growth forest. 

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