Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) intends to resume logging operations in the Mogo State Forest despite warnings from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Eurobodalla Greens lead candidate for the 2021 Local Government election, Alison Worthington, has condemned the resumption of logging in burnt South Coast forests.
“It demonstrates eye-watering arrogance that FCNSW would act in defiance of both its regulator, the EPA, and the growing community sentiment opposing native forest logging.
“Not only is it ecocide to go in and log severely burnt forests, but in this case it compromises the viability of the widely welcomed Mogo Adventure Trails nature-based tourism initiative. This eco-tourism project has the potential to play a key part in the economic recovery of a very hard hit part of our Shire.”
Logging could commence as early as this week in Compartment 180, which covers about half of what will be part of the Maulbrooks Rd section of the Mogo Adventure Trails.
“We are also concerned about proposed logging of Compartment 146, to the east of Mogo, which includes the trail that cyclists can take when approaching the existing Deep Creek Dam Loop from the trailhead in Mogo Village” the Greens spokesperson said.
Protective measures were applied early in 2020 in recognition of severely fire-affected forest ecosystems. FCNSW has repeatedly failed to abide by these ‘site-specific conditions’ and faces at least 16 penalties arising from breaches whilst logging in 2020 in NSW.
Eurobodalla Greens yesterday called on the EPA to urgently intervene on the basis of the threats to hollow-bearing trees (HBTs) in the planned logging of Compartment 180.
Ms Worthington said that concerned members of the community documented and reported to the EPA multiple counts of non-compliance by forestry contractors operating in the burnt South Brooman and Mogo State Forests in 2020. These breaches largely related to felling of HBTs and Forestry Corporation were issued with Stop Work Orders over this matter.
“In Compartment 180 FCNSW are now specifying to the logging contractor to leave only 8 HBTs per hectare.
“So it’s ‘bad luck’ to any of native fauna using hollows in other HBTs growing in each hectare. Tree hollows are prime real estate for up to 140 species of native animals, including threatened species like Greater Gliders. Since the fires of 2019-20, affecting 80% of the forests in this Shire, our local forests remain largely depleted of native animal populations. Logging burnt forests while these animal populations are still in the recovery phase is like kicking someone when they are down.
“This is not the time to destroy their remaining habitat. NSW State government should seize this moment to begin a just transition towards 100% plantation-based forestry and to manage our native forests for their recreational and ecological values as well as their ecotourism potential,” she said.
This statement coincides with a notice of motion put today in State Parliament by Greens MLC David Shoebridge calling for a halt to logging within these forests close to Mogo.