Road building, ahead of logging, has begun in the unburnt southern section of Nambucca State Forest in New South Wales. There is a plan to log most of the remaining forest this year.
Nambucca Valley Conservation Association (NVCA) spokesperson Lyn Orrego said the community was against logging of this coastal public forest.
“It begins just as the Nambucca State Forest is recovering from the drought and after most of it avoided last summer’s devastating bushfires. This forest is valued by residents for recreation and is a refuge for wildlife”, she said.
Species that were threatened even before the bushfires include the sooty owl, masked owl, powerful owl, grey-headed flying fox, koala, little bentwing bat and yellow-bellied glider. The forest contains high quality koala habitat and glossy black cockatoo feed trees.
Threatened plants including the slender marsdenia, a moist area forest vine, have been recorded in the forest which is slated to be logged. Another rare plant, the scrub turpentine was also found.
Orrego said the conservation group let the Forestry Corporation know about the threatened species, but it now operates with “new weakened logging rules”.
“Some patches of rainforest, old growth, rare forest, and swamp sclerophyll forest, which is a threatened ecological community, are protected, but will become exposed islands with logging [taking place] all around them.
“We may be inside our own homes now due to the coronavirus, but outside, the New South Wales state government is continuing to authorise the degradation and destruction of the environment.
“Public forests should be for the public good. Keeping our native forests and letting them grow old would also reduce as much as a third of our greenhouse gas emissions.”