BELL TOLLS Logging Threat to Local Forests; Local Old-Growth Forests Threatened by Bell Miner Dieback

Article excerpt

THE forests of the North Coast could once again be turned into battlegrounds with local environment groups planning to use the focus of the United Nation's International Year of Forests to highlight regional forestry issues.

The North Coast Environment Council and North East Forest Alliance say top of the agenda are old growth logging and koala habitat.

C[pounds sterling]Forests on private and public land aren't managed to best advantage,C[yen] NCEC's Susie Russell said.

C[pounds sterling]It's in the interests of the entire community that the benefits forests provide to all of us Co reliable and clean water supplies, biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and spiritual well-being Co are considered alongside their timber values.C[yen]

She said that last year the NSW Environment Department facilitated the logging of old-growth forests and in core koala habitat on private land.

C[pounds sterling]On public land our organisations exposed that Forests NSW were logging rainforest and endangered ecological communities and that in each logging operation inspected there were dozens of breaches of licence conditions.C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]The Environment Department has failed to develop a culture of compliance, and logging contractors think they can get away with anything.

C[pounds sterling]We are not going away, we will continue to blow the whistle on the diminishing protection being given to the State's endangered species and high conservation value forests.C[yen]

Dailan Pugh, co-founder of the North East Forest Alliance said governments need to take decisive action in 2011 to stop the spread of bell miner associate dieback. …