North East Forest Alliance
15 November 2021
Logging is underway in compartments 3&4 of Cherry Tree State Forest, on the Richmond Range near Mallanganee.
NEFA has written to the EPA and
Minister Kean asking this logging to be stopped until outstanding issues are
dealt with. It is particularly concerning that buffers are not being applied to
rainforest given that it is known that logging significantly increases the risk
and intensity of fires, and 30% of north-east NSW’s rainforests were burnt in
the 2019/20 wildfires, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
“As Koalas are present in the area
there needs to be surveys to identify core Koala habitat for protection.
“The Richmond Range represents the
divide between the Richmond and Clarence Rivers, with most of the logging area
draining into the Richmond River. Protection of these headwater streams on
steep country is particularly important to the health of these rivers.
Regrettably the stream buffers have been significantly reduced, increasing
logging impacts on water quality.
“NEFA audited logging of the
northern part of this planning area in 2015 and identified widespread and
systematic breaches of the logging rules, from which the EPA identified 66
cases of non-compliance with legal requirements for threatened plants,
rainforest, habitat trees, tracks, streams and threatened fauna.
“The outcome was that the EPA
issued 2 Penalty Infringement Notices ($2,000 fine), corrective action
requests, and 47 Official Cautions for non-compliances. This is nothing,
particularly as they got away scot free for many.
“We are now asking for compensatory
habitat protection for the illegal logging of some 95 hectares of Endangered
Ecological Communities and hundreds of hollow-bearing trees, as well as
excessive canopy removal in habitat of the Endangered Black-striped Wallaby,“
Mr. Pugh said.
NEFA’s report requests that before
• The Border Ranges Rainforest
Biodiversity Management Plan needs to be complied with
• Wide buffers need to be placed around
rainforest and related vegetation
• Canopy retention needs to be
increased to mitigate impacts on the Black-striped Wallaby and to compensate
for the past excessive logging
• Compensatory areas need to be
retained for the 91.3 ha of the EEC Grey Box-Grey Gum Wet Sclerophyll Forest
• All hollow-bearing trees need to
be retained to compensate for the hundreds illegally logged
• The identified Wildlife Habitat
Clumps need to be redesigned to maximise inclusion of the best habitat and remove
overlaps with existing exclusions and heavily logged areas
• Areas susceptible to Bell Miner
Associated Dieback need to be identified and excluded from logging.
NEFA has asked that all logging be stopped until these issues are fully dealt with.