This weekend will see Coastwatchers and Friends of the Forest (Mogo) attend Big Canopy Campout hosted by the Brooman Forest Conservation Group. The Big Canopy Campout is the worlds largest coordinated canopy camping event, where participants share their stories and experiences whilst raising funds to protect forests around the world.
Trained and experienced climbers will be sleeping high in the trees this weekend, but you don’t need to be a climber to get involved. Many participants attending this weekend will simply be setting up hammocks near the forest floor for a night of forest camping.
Organisers say "We want everyone who cares about forests to get involved and join our passionate global community of tree climbers, scientists, adventurers and forest enthusiasts in showing appreciation for these incredible environments. "This year’s Big Canopy Campout will focus on the local and native trees and forests that have become so integral to our everyday lives.
"Our chosen charity for 2020 is the incredible Bob Brown Foundation. They have played a fundamental role in building the Big Canopy Campout community from the beginning, with their inspiring and unrelenting work protecting the native forests of Tasmania. We are excited to be joining forces to campaign and protect native forests and ecosystems around the world." The Big Canopy Campout can be found 800m on the northern side of Sheep Track before it meets with The River Road (if coming from the Princes Highway).
Another option is to do a camp-in at home and then join the Brooman Forest Conservation group's two-hour logging tour at 2pm Saturday October 17th or at 11am on Sunday October 18th. Both tours will be in convoy so be sure you car has high clearance suitable for dirt roads. They begin at the picnic tables at the Termeil Service Station on the highway.
In July 2020 a decision by the NSW Environment Protection Authority to issue a stop work order to Forestry Corporation was handed down after multiple acts of illegal logging were identified by local residents. The EPA then called for the maximum penalty for the illegal action and a moratorium on all logging in burnt forests until a statewide ecological assessment of the potential impacts of post fire logging are understood. The stop work order was issued after evidence was found that 26 critical hollow bearing trees that are required to be protected under new post-fire logging rules had been logged (see images below). This is the second stop work issued by the EPA within a week, after the agency found it had felled two giant trees in contravention of forestry rules. Forestry Corporation had been logging burnt areas within the South Brooman State Forest after being granted special conditions in February/March 2020. The rules specify that all hollow bearing trees are to be left standing (Clause 22). These hollows are critical habitat for many species recovering after the fires. Locals have documented and reported numerous incidents where these critical habitat trees have been felled. The stop work order prevented more logging in the forest for 40 days giving Forestry Corporation and opportunity alter practices. The Brooman State Forest Conservation Group with the support of Coastwatchers and Friends of the Forest (Mogo) have documented and had made multiple breach reports to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority in June triggering an investigation into the potential logging rule breaches.