The Friends of Durras recently surveyed Benandarah and Boyne State Forest areas on the western side of the highway opposite Murramarang National Park. It was certainly disheartening to see the management neglect of these areas by the NSW Forestry Corporation including illegal dumping as well as invasive weeds.
It is evident that the removal of large quantities of defective trees (habitat trees) as a consequence of clear fell logging practices in these areas has now led to the simplification of these forests and, in many cases, the creation of plantation-like conditions.
The potential for stand simplification in Australian native forests has been highlighted by a number of extensive and rigorous field studies. One major study in East Gippsland found that unharvested areas had seven times more trees with hollows than in logged sites. The decline of trees with hollows is serious because many vertebrate species are dependent upon them such as the gliding possum species. The NSW Forestry Corporation has in fact known since 1980 that clearfelling eliminates arboreal mammals from the logged area. How do they know? Because the report that contained this statement was written by scientists from the NSW Forestry Commission as it was known back then.