International Day of Action on Big Biomass - Saving Forests is Climate Action !
Peaceful community gathering against the logging of our public native forests on International Day of Action on Big Biomass Thursday 21 October.
Concerned locals from Mogo and surrounding coastal areas held a roadside community gathering at the tourist village Mogo’s northern town sign this morning.
Coastwatchers called the gathering to show community support against the logging of public native forests. Locals are participating in forest actions in the last week of October across NSW to draw attention to the valuable role forests play in reversing climate change in the lead up to the Glasgow COP 26 conference. The gathering commenced with a smoking ceremony conducted by a well-respected local Yuin lore man.
This gathering follows the launch of the ZeroSouthEast, Beyond Zero Future for South East NSW on 21 September. (See the Forest Factsheet, Eurobodalla factsheet, Bega climate action factsheet on www.zerose.space.)
“Significant carbon emissions are saved from stopping logging native forest in the Eurobodalla and Bega Shire councils. said Joslyn van der Moolen, Community Liaison from the Coastwatchers’ Association Forest Working Group.
”If logging of the Southern Forestry Region (SFR) ceased, 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would be avoided in our region each year”
“Eurobodalla has 106,462 ha of native State Forest according to “Our Estate” on the NSW Forestry Corporation website. 106,462 ha is twenty six per cent of the state forest in the Southern Forestry Region. So twenty six per cent of the total 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions produced every year from logging the Southern Forestry Region is 439,657 tonnes of CO2 each year. “The CO2 Emissions Snapshot for Municipalities website has a total of 440,000 tonnes of CO2 for the Eurobodalla in 2019. Keeping these native trees standing, to drawdown carbon would negate all the Eurobodalla’s emissions from electricity, transport, waste and agriculture.
“ As Bega has even more state forest than Eurobodalla (140,480ha) drawing down the annual 438,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019, 117% of the Bega shire’s emissions would be negated if logging stopped. In the Bega Shire the Eden Woodchip Mill has a biomass burning plan to turn our native forest into briquettes.
“Logging native forest is done at a loss, at taxpayers expense, with most cut logs exported as woodchips with profits going to private operators. The NSW Government pays forestry staff to manage it all and does not get enough royalties to cover the costs. Ceasing native forest logging will allow the industry and government to focus on the profitable plantation sector that supplies timber to the domestic construction industry. The few loggers that travel to the area including from Victoria to cut down our forests are already working in plantations as well as native forests. The industry needs to switch 100% to plantations on marginal agricultural land and leave native forests standing for carbon drawdown.
The action was held on Dog Trap Road as Forestry approved logging the spotted gum forest between Dog Trap Road, Mitchell Road and Dunns Creek Road (Compartment 146) last week. This compartment has records of 180 swift parrots in it– one third of the existing population. The trees that had swift parrots feeding on their nectar are not protected when logging starts and are likely to be cut down. Spotted tailed quoll scat has recently been found with analysis confirming long nosed bandicoot was its prey. Wombats and birds that survived the bushfires live in this forest as well. There are also families of Greater Gliders and Yellow bellied Gliders calling this forest home. The Nature Conservation Council NSW had already shown support for the community Save Mogo’s Forests campaign.
The harvest plan and map was released on 14 October 2021 and shows that three quarters of the forest will be logged - a total of 127.5 hectares. The planned yield from the 4,400 cubic metres harvested, has the highest use being 36% for pulp and firewood, then 32% low quality sawlogs and 32% high quality sawlogs. Most of the tree (up to 65%) is left on the forest floor when it adds to the fuel load, up to 400 tonnes per hectare. These yield figures are only nominal, as forestry have advised in the past, that these figures are worked out years ahead and are subject to change. After the fires, the yield is likely to have little value.
“Locals have concerns about this forest being logged as the new Mogo Mountain Bike Trail will go right through this very forest next to Dog Trap Road. Much of the existing Kona Trail will also be logged”, said Coastwatcher’s Forest Working Group spokesperson Nick Hopkins.
“Taxpayers are funding the Mogo Adventure Trail Hub Masterplan with $8m of which $750,000 is from Eurobodalla ratepayers. The local tourism and business chambers must demand this forest not be logged. Especially after the lockdowns people are hungry for nature-based recreational activities. Now is the moment in time to pivot to new land use priorities in our regional State Forests”, said Mr Hopkins.