Greater Gliders have now been found in heart of logging operation at Mogo State Forest. The gliders were found by members of the community conducting a faunal survey on the night of 10th July at the headwaters of the Tomago River adjacent to Dunns Creek Rd Batemans Bay. The survey revealed both the vulnerable Yellow Bellied Gliders and Greater Gliders. The discoveries, made by volunteer members of Wires, Coastwatchers (Eurobodalla’s Environment Group), National Parks Association and local residents, should be ringing alarm bells. Greens Forests Spokesperson, Dawn Walker has called again for an urgent suspension of logging operations in Mogo State Forest, near Batemans Bay due to impacts on endangered species and their habitats. “Locals have now found more endangered species in this area of forest. It is alarming that Forestry Corporation has not already surveyed for this species, as the Greater Glider population in the Eurobodalla area has been classed as endangered by the Office of Environment and Heritage since 2007 and the species is highly sensitive to disturbance caused by logging. Continued logging could see it disappear from the region altogether. “Mogo State Forest also contains records of nationally listed endangered species including Glossy Black Cockatoos, Swift Parrots, and Spotted Tail Quolls and State listed Species including Masked, Powerful and Sooty Owls and the Brush Tailed Phascogale. “It is shocking that locals are having to do the job Forestry Corporation is paid to do. The community should not have to conduct species surveys themselves. "The fact that a survey for threatened species was only conducted after locals raised the issue shows the assessment process is broken and in need of reform. “The community is being failed by local Liberal MP Andrew Constance, who has shown no interest in addressing the escalating situation in Mogo State Forest, despite the continued concerns of locals. “It is time to recognise that the greatest values of our public native forests come from preserving them, not logging them. Our native wildlife should not be killed for a few tonnes of loss-making timber. “Now is the time to end logging in our public native forests and shift the forestry industry into a sustainably-managed, plantation sector to avoid this devastating impacts on native wildlife” said Greens MP Dawn Walker.
In June 2017 Scientists went public to alert the community of the vulnerable status of the species calling for an end to native forest logging where populations have been detected 1.
A total of just eighteen hours were allocated to ecologically survey the entire 400 ha site for threatened species. Forestry personnel told Wires volunteers the area adjacent to Dunns Creek Rd would not be surveyed, as allocated time was up.
Mogo State Forest contains records of nationally listed endangered species including Glossy Black Cockatoos, Swift Parrots, and Spotted Tail Quolls and State listed Species including Masked, Powerful and Sooty Owls and the Brush Tailed Phascogale. The Dunns Creek area of Mogo State Forest contains many popular recreational trails in the last accessible parcel of temperate rainforest left in the locality. It is an area of profound natural beauty.
"The Regional Forest Agreements (RFA’s) that govern Forestry Corporation logging procedures were intended to provide protection for Threatened Species and their habitat but haven’t been updated since 1998 and are grossly inadequate", said Lisa Pfitzner of the Resident’s Action Group. "It is outrageous that in March 2015 NSW Government pledged $100 million to protect the state’s threatened species, yet despite this and there being a plethora of legislation to conserve our country’s biodiversity, native forestry operations, are exempt from having to comply.
"The RFA’s Threatened Species Licence includes subclauses that permit Forestry Corporation to build roads and fell trees in threatened species exclusion zones. This can leave Yellow Bellied Glider habitat trees so exposed the marsupials fall prey to predators or the elements. With rules like these to protect them, the species holds little chance of survival.
"The tree felling and the “hazard reduction” burn involved in the industrial logging process taking place at Dunns Creek and all over the state not only kills our native wildlife and devastates habitat but destroys our second most effective (after our oceans) carbon capture device, The condition forests are left in renders them highly susceptible to bush fire, as the soil and small trees dry out.
"Industrial scale logging is destroying our public forests that contain the areas the community love and use for recreation. A public relations exercise touting months of scientific research in each compartment is designed to assure the community of the environmental sustainability of industrial logging. "The reality is the devastation of places of great natural beauty, home to so many animals reduced to a pile of discarded waste waiting to be burnt.
Above: 29 clear felled log dumps proposed for Dunns Creek
"A drive along Ridge Road and Dog Trap Road reveals what is happening in our local forest. These areas have not been rezoned for development, as believed by many horrified Batemans Bay residents. A visit to the Forestry Corporation website harvest plan section shows the scale of destruction occurring all over the state. 2
It is time for Government to stop ignoring the scientific evidence regarding the irreversible damage inflicted on our ecology, economy and community through native forest logging, Ms Pfitzner said. It would be sensible to retrain industry personnel to jobs involved in genuine care of our forests to exploit them for their true value of eco-tourism and carbon credits.
Above: Forest trail in valley adjacent to Dunns Creek Road
"The forest next to Dunns Creek Road is worth so much more to the Nature Coast as endangered species habitat, tourist attraction, carbon storage and recreational area than as logged timber. We are calling on local MP Andrew Constance to immediately close down native forest logging in this precious corner of his electorate.
Earlier this month the Beagle reported on Community volunteers out marking wombat burrows in Mogo State Forest, east of the highway near Batemans Bay this morning to protect them from being crushed by Forestry operations.