Time for Forestry to pay respect
The Beagle Editor, “Last week, Forestry Corporation NSW, issued a temporary reprieve to the public native forest around Big Spotty, the worlds tallest spotted gum reaching 72 metres. Compartments 49 and 50 in North Brooman State Forest were scheduled for logging from September this year. Forestry now advise this logging will start in the middle of 2024.
Protecting this forest that contains Big Spotty, west of Termeil, is a golden opportunity to showcase this amazing tall tree more than 500 years old. The tree’s tourist potential was recognised by Shoalhaven City council’s unanimous decision to ask Forestry Corporation NSW to take the forest surrounding Big Spotty off the logging schedule permanently.
The obvious comparison to saving Big Spotty is the management of the Kauri tree in New Zealand known as Tane Mahuta or the Lord of the Forest. This ancient tree is revered by generations of Māori and other Northland NZ locals. Tane Mahuta stars in tourism marketing campaigns to attract people from all over the world. The visitation boardwalk, picnic and parking infrastructure around Tane Mahuta is second to none and accords Tane Mahuta the Giant Tree status it deserves.
VIDEO: Tane Mahuta - New Zealand - slpnz
Why can’t Big Spotty be accorded similar protection, so that local domestic and international visitors can arrive at this Giant Tree, driving through protected maturing forest rather than continually logged forest? Big Spotty's forest (Compartments 49 and 50) needs to be dedicated as a “Preserved Forest Area”, a protective category within the state forest network . Parts of the same forest at North Brooman already have this protected status.
In the grand scheme of things, protecting the forest surrounding Big Spotty, as a Preserved Forest Area, is a very small ask, One that could be achieved with the stroke of a pen. Come on Forestry Corporation NSW, let’s do this!” Nick Hopkins