Dear Beagle Editor, Logging is proceeding apace in the 2 compartments at the headwaters of the Tomaga River.
Contractors are proceeding in compartments 147 and 148 in Mogo State Forest on the west side of Ridge Road between Dunns Creek Road and Dog Trap Road (see map below)
Locals are calling on Forestry Corporation to halt logging operations until a proper faunal survey can be conducted to determine the true extent of the wombat and the arboreal mammal population esp. the Greater Glider. If necessary then a lighter logging regime can be implemented although there is a strong case for the cessation of all native forest logging now that the plantation based operations have grown to such an extent.
Concerns about the current operation are many and centre around the intensity of the logging regime which is described by Forestry Corp as “heavy”.
NSW Forestry Corporation has identified the presence of Greater Gliders in the area and yet have slated the area for “heavy” logging leaving only 5 habitat and recruitment trees per hectare. As the range of these animals is typically only 1-4 hectares this type of logging regime is particularly damaging for this species.They tend to die in situ during logging. The Greater Glider has just this this month been identified by scientists as heading for extinction. See http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/scientists-warn-greater-glider-faces-extinction-and-want-it-protected-from-logging-20170602-gwjbff
Furthermore, no provision has been made in the harvesting plan for the protection of wombat holes. Wombats are vulnerable and contractors have been known to bury them alive. In fact in another South Coast forest at Glenbog only 3 years ago many wombats were killed like this during a logging operation despite locals very clearly marking their burrows. See http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2014/10/15/9402/ It is very disturbing that Wombats don’t even rate a mention in the harvesting plan.
Apart from these immediate issues this forest contains some threatened ecological communities in the gullies which are the headwaters of the Tomaga River. Whilst the rainforest and other streams are theoretically protected by a buffer zone there is concern regarding collateral damage during logging as well as sediment runoff into the river, very difficult to avoid at times of heavy rainfall on steep slopes.
There are terrific mountain bike tracks through this forest as well as bushwalking opportunities. A local mountainbike Facebook group called Off Camber which uses these tracks has over 200 members, an indication of the potential of recreational activity in these forests. This is an example of a forest close to tourist and residents alike which should have been developed as a low impact eco-tourist and recreational activity site, helping to build the Nature Coast brand and adding diversity to the local economy.
Above: Bangalay Forest type
Above: Logging debris above rainforest gully
Above: Mountain bike track called Vietnam
For further background visit Forestry Corp.’s Harvest Plan http://www.forestrycorporation.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/718101/Mogo-State-Forest-Compartments-147-and-148-Harvest-Plan.pdf For further info regarding the cessation of native forest logging visit http://www.greatsouthernforest.org.au/index.html What can be done? You can contact the local member and ask why it is so financially imperative that this section of the NSW State forest needs to be logged. You can contact the NSW Greens and ask what they are doing as an action plan. David Shoebridge MLC Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (02) 9230 3030 Name and address supplied