Pages tagged "forests"
February 20th, 2024
A huge thank you to the thousands of people who have supported our campaign to protect the greater glider.
After sustained pressure, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has backed down on their attempts to scrap survey requirements for greater gliders. They have also agreed to mandate that surveys for greater gliders be undertaken at night, and require Forestry Corporation to retain more hollow-bearing trees in some of our southern forests - from 8 to 14 per hectare.
(Photo: Dave Gallan)
This is a small a small but positive step in the fight to protect our forest's most valuable habitat trees. However, when pressed on how these surveys would be undertaken, the EPA informed us that Forestry Corporation would only be required to survey a small proportion of each compartment, and even then only along logging roads and tracks. That means 95% of a logging compartment will now be exempt from glider surveys, as will all glider dens not facing a road or path.
(Photo: Dave Gallan)
It is clear that our laws are failing to protect endangered animals from logging.
20 years ago greater gliders were a common site throughout NSW's forests. Now, they face extinction.
Areas we know have a high density of gliders living in them are being logged right now. While Victoria and Western Australia have this year ended native forest logging, Forestry Corporation NSW has plans to increase the amount of native forest they cut down, pulp and turn into woodchips and cardboard. This will devastate our remaining forests and the animals who rely upon them.
Native forest logging has to end. We've already lost too much of our precious bush. We will keep fighting for strong greater glider protections and to stop this devastating practice for good.
(Photo: Dave Gallan)
February 2, 2024
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today criticised in the strongest possible terms the EPA’s changes to pre-logging forest surveys.
The changes announced today will remove the requirements for Forestry Corporation to undertake species specific surveys for Greater Gliders before commencing logging.
Instead, there will be a requirement in some areas to retain a small increase in hollow bearing trees (80 cm or above) from 8 to 14 per hectare.
The move comes after revelations that Forestry Corporation was surveying for the nocturnal marsupial during the day, which had become the subject of heavy criticism from environmentalist across the state.
Statements attributable to Clancy Barnard, NCC Spokesperson
“The EPA seems to have agreed that that surveying for nocturnal gliders during the day is ineffective, and rather than mandate nighttime surveys they have simply removed the requirements to look for them altogether.
“The Environmental Protection Authority recently found 19 dens and 89 gliders in just one area Forestry Corporation was logging.
“This decision will mean this beautiful animal will continue the fast glide towards extinction.
“It will now be up to citizen scientists to do the work the EPA and Forestry Corporation won’t and identify the hollow bearing trees that are vital sanctuaries for endangered species like the greater glider.
“Native forest logging needs to end. Every piece of forest lost won’t come back in our lifetime.
“NCC analysis has shown that areas with some of the highest numbers of Southern Greater Glider records in the state are being logged right now.
“Endangered species like the Greater glider need real protection, not lip service.
“The only way to ensure a prosperous future for our forest dwelling friends is with an end to native forest logging in NSW for good.
Media contact: Clancy Barnard
E: [email protected] Ph: 0438 869 332
Note: NCC Spokesperson Clancy Barnard is available for comment on request
31st July 2023
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the states leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today called on the NSW Government to commit to turning around the state’s abysmal deforestation record.
The Trees Scorecard report released today by WWF-Australia has ranked NSW dead last for forest protection and restoration.
The report made a number of recommendations to the NSW Government to improve their record, including an end to native forest logging, strengthening land clearing laws, incorporating the benefit of forest retention in the NSW Net Zero Plan, and improving transparency.
“NSW is the only mainland state without a plan to end native forest logging. NSW are outliers in what is clearly the future of forestry – a transition to 100% plantation timber,” said NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford.
Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford
“Sadly, Australia is a deforestation hotspot up there with the Brazilian Amazon and the Congo Basin. And we have the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. It’s time we turned this abysmal record around.”
“In NSW between 2018-2021 264,170 hectares of forests were cleared – that’s more than three trees bulldozed every 10 seconds. The NSW Government has the opportunity to put the state on a new trajectory – one that will take us off the list of deforestation nations and repair the damage done by native forest logging and watered-down land clearing laws that have loopholes big enough to fit a bulldozer through.
“NSW is struggling with run-away land clearing after 12 years of the Coalition weakening regulations. Land clearing rates have tripled since 2016 and it’s time this was fixed. In The NSW Vegetation Clearing Report released today, we can see that land clearing for agriculture is still increasing – woody vegetation clearing for agriculture has increased by 15%.
“Australia has some of the most iconic animals and pristine wilderness in the world but we have a long way to go to truly value and protect our wildlife and forests.
“We’ve already destroyed far too much of the NSW bush. Only 36 per cent of forest and woodland in NSW remains intact. What’s left should be protected, not pulped. Our forests are worth more standing.”
- ACT and SA have had no native forest logging for many years;
- Victoria has announced an end to native forest logging by the start of 2024;
- WA has announced an end to native forest logging in the south-west of the state by 2024;
- NT currently has no native forest logging industry but have left the door open to developing the industry in the future.
- Queensland has made moves to end native forest logging in the south-east.
Media contact: Anna Greer
E: [email protected] Ph: (02) 7208 9482
Note: NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford is available for comment on request
Open letter to NSW Members of Parliament
Map of the proposed Great Koala National Park (white outline). Red polygons show planned logging over the next 12 months. White polygons are 'koala hubs’ - the most important sites of koala habitat in NSW
One in five koalas in NSW live within the forests of the proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP).
Of the 175,000ha of state forests that are proposed to be reserved within the GKNP, Forestry Corporation NSW plans to log more than 17% of it, including some of the most important koala habitat in NSW. This represents a 385% increase in logging of compartments of state forest that fall within the boundaries of the future Great Koala National Park since 2021-22 figures.
The NSW taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill. The native forest logging industry is running at a loss and is propped up by taxpayer dollars. Over the past two years, $29 million was spent subsidising Forestry Corporation’s native logging, equating to $5 million to log forest in the Great Koala National Park.
Victoria and Western Australia have already committed to ending native forest logging by next year. NSW, however, still plunders its magnificent forests, even in critical habitat of the endangered koala. It’s time to end this outdated industry.
We call on you to:
Immediately suspend logging operations within the boundaries of the proposed Great Koala National Park.
Protect the full 315,000 hectares of the proposed Great Koala National Park.
Invest in the plantation industry to ensure NSW sources all its timber from sustainable plantations and to create good, sustainable jobs.
- Cease conversion of native forest to plantation and protect koala habitat within existing plantations in the GKNP footprint.
Map of the proposed Great Koala National Park (white outline). Red is areas Forestry Corporation NSW plans to log in the next 12 months, white polygons are ’koala hubs’ - the most important sites of koala habitat in NSW, and green is state forests that constitutes the GKNP proposal.
NCC calls for halt on logging in Great Koala National Park
May 23rd 2023
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state's leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today released analysis showing that 17.7% of state forest that constitutes the Great Koala National Park proposal will be targeted over the next 12 months by Forestry Corporation NSW (Forestry Corp).
NSW's 12 Month's of Operations Plan Portal shows that Forestry Corporation NSW plans to log 30,813ha (over 17%) of state forest that constitutes the Great Koala National Park (GKNP) proposal.
NCC has also developed this map in order to help members of the community visualise this plan and highlight the imminent threat koalas are facing.
Critically, the analysis found that logging is planned in areas the NSW government has identified as the most important areas of koala habitat in NSW (OEH Koala Hubs) including Wild Cattle Creek, Clouds Creek, Pine Creek and Boambee State Forests.
“The NSW Government committed to protecting koalas by creating the GKNP, but before the assessment process even begins, Forestry Corp plans to log nearly 20% of the park. This absolutely cannot happen if we want koalas in the Great Koala National Park” NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford said today.
“Forestry Corp knows this national park is coming, and they are deliberately ramping up operations within its boundaries to extract as much timber from it as possible.”
“The ridiculous thing is that for the last couple of years under the Coalition government taxpayers subsidised FCNSW to the tune of $29 million. The new Labor government has a real opportunity to stop the destruction of koala habitat and sending taxpayers the bill" Mumford continued.
Analysis by NCC has also found that in the 2021-2022 financial year the hardwood division of Forestry Corporation NSW, which is responsible for the native forest logging, ran at a loss of $9 million. This followed from 20-21 FY where the division ran at a loss of $20 million.
Logging compartments of native forest that fall within the proposed Great Koala National Park has cost the NSW taxpayer an estimated $5 million ($4,991,823.2) worth of subsidies since 2020. (see below)
“It seems absurd to have to say it, but the NSW taxpayer should not be paying to kill koalas”
Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford
“The Great Koalas National Park proposal was developed by leading scientists, ecologists and local environmental groups, including the National Parks Association, who identified the most important areas of koala habitat in NSW. All of these areas need to be protected if we are to ensure the survival of koalas in the wild."
“I call on the NSW government to immediately halt logging in areas that will become the Great Koalas National Park and undertake a thorough and publicly available assessment on the impact of Forestry Corporation NSW's planned logging activities on koala populations.”
“Forestry Corp operated as a rogue agency under the previous government, and every day we hear new reports of them breaking the law. They have been fined or prosecuted 10 times since 2020 for breaches such as illegally felling protected giant trees, felling trees with hollows, and felling koala feed trees.”
“Victoria and Western Australia are now both ending native forest logging by 2024, while Queensland is stopping logging south of Noosa by next year. NSW is now the laggard in this space, and it's time for the NSW government to step up."
“This is a watershed moment for the Minns Government. Will you act in line with community expectations and desires and protect koalas or risk their extinction.”
Koala hubs: In 2017, at the request of the Chief Scientist, the Office of Environment and Heritage analysed Koala records "to delineate highly significant local scale areas of koala occupancy currently known for protection", identifying “areas of currently known significant koala occupancy that indicate clusters of resident populations known as Koala Hubs”. The previous government refused to publish the report and allowed the Forestry Corporation to go on logging them, and they still are.
State Forests logged within the GKNP since 2020
Using the annual Sustainability Reports released by FCNSW, analysis shows that there were 160 compartments logged in state forests across the state in 21-22.
This equates to a loss of $56,250 per compartment logged when taking into consideration the $9 million lost over this year.
Coffs Harbour City Council TOTAL= 20 cpts at $1,125,000
- Wedding bells (17 cpt)
- Conglomerate (3 cpt)
Clarence Valley Council TOTAL= 8cpts at $450,000
- Wild Cattle Creek (4 cpt)
- Clouds Creek (3 cpt)
- Ellis (1 cpt)
Nambucca valley council TOTAL= 6 cpts at $337,500
- Tamban (6 cpt)
In the FY 2020-21, the Hardwood Division of Forestry Corporation ran at a loss of $20 million.
There was a total of 104 compartments logged during this period, meaning it lost $192,307.7 per compartment.
Coffs Harbour City Council total= 10cpts at $1,923,077
- Conglomerate (2 cpt)
- Lower Bucca (4 cpt)
- Wedding Bells (2 cpt)
- Bagawa (1 cpt)
- Orara east (1 cpt)
Clarence Valley Council total=4cpts at $771,630.8
- Wild Cattle Creek (4 cpt)
Nambucca Valley Council total=2 pts at $384,615.4
- Tamban (1 cpt)
- Ingalba (1 cpt)
TOTAL TAXPAYER COST TO LOG FOREST WITHIN THE FUTURE GREAT KOALA NATIONAL PARK - $4,991,823.2
Giant trees almost felled: Suspension of logging highlights the need for greater oversight of NSW forestry Corporation
18th April 2023
Giant trees almost felled: Suspension of logging highlights the need for greater oversight of NSW forestry Corp
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today welcomed the cessation of logging operations in Doubleduke State Forest on Bundjalung Country near Grafton.
The EPA conducted a site inspection in response to concerns raised by members of the community and identified that Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) was planning to commence illegal logging operations.
“This highlights the vital role members of the community are playing in protecting our native forests” CEO Jacqui Mumford said today. “If it wasn’t for a dedicated group of conservationists, Forestry NSW would have destroyed habitat for critically endangered species like the greater glider, koala and both the powerful and masked owl’.
“It also highlights the culture of noncompliance and malpractice that characterises FCNSW, who has been allowed to run rogue under the previous Liberal National Government.”
“Every day we hear new reports of Forestry NSW breaking the law. FCNSW has been fined or prosecuted 10 times since 2020 for breaches such as illegally felling protected giant trees, felling trees with hollows, and felling koala feed trees.”
“Their own industry study showed that in logging communities 65% of people are against native forest logging- their social license to operate is rapidly disappearing.”
"We know that those figures jump even higher when people hear that most trees taken from native forests end up as cardboard, woodchips and other low-grade products that are sent overseas.”
Mumford said she was hopeful that the new government would follow their Western Australian and Victorian Labor colleagues and end native forest logging in NSW.
“At the very least, we need to see greater enforcement of the existing laws, and an end to the absurd subsidies that keep this industry going.”
In the last two years the hardwood division of Forestry Corporation (the section responsible for native forest logging) lost $29m of taxpayers' money.
Further statements attributable to Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO
“Forests are the lungs of the earth. They are essential to clean air, a sustainable climate and healthy ecosystems where plants and animals can thrive.”
“Critically endangered species like the powerful owl, gang-gang cockatoo, greater glider and koala will go extinct in our lifetime unless we take action now.”
“We’ve already destroyed far too much of the NSW bush. The remaining habitats should be protected, not pulped.”
You can view current or planned native forest logging operations at the Coastal IFOA Native Forest Plan of Operations Map (12 Months) here: https://planportal.fcnsw.net/
An image of the EPA carrying out the inspection is available here: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/news/2023/protecting-giant-trees-in-doubleduke-state-forest
Media contact: Clancy Barnard
Open letter to NSW Members of Parliament
In the past year koalas, gang-gang cockatoos, and greater gliders officially became endangered species.
Yet logging companies are still allowed to destroy 18,000 hectares of their spectacular native forest homes every year.
Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland have already committed to ending this archaic industry. NSW, however, still plunders its forests, and exports gum trees as woodchips.
Even worse, the native forest logging industry is running at a loss and is propped up by taxpayer dollars.
It’s time NSW caught up with other states and protected native forests by ending logging.
We call on you to:
- Stop wood-chipping native forests.
- Protect the full 315,000 hectares of the proposed Great Koala National Park;
- Commit to end native forest logging, with a plan to develop sustainable timber plantations; and
- Ban burning native forests to generate electricity.
The NSW Government has introduced a bill to fast-track logging in native forests and scrap local governments' ability to protect koala habitat.
Koalas were declared endangered just six months ago. It was meant to mark a turning point for protecting and restoring koala homes.
Instead, we are seeing the National Party push this desperate ploy to reduce already weak koala safeguards for their powerful logging mates.
Write to your MP and the Premier and let them know you want this bill stopped.
Today’s announcement that koalas will be finally listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act is a huge wake up call for protecting koala habitat in New South Wales.
“The devastating endangered listing of koalas comes as no surprise in a state where the government refuses to protect habitat. Koala numbers have been in freefall for years and the NSW Government must act immediately to protect their habitat” Nature Conservation Council Deputy Chief Executive Jacqui Mumford said.
"The reality is koalas are dwindling across New South Wales and we don’t have a proper mechanism to protect their habitat.”
“If you want to save koalas you have to protect their trees. It is not complex. But koala habitat continues to be destroyed because of weak government policy that prioritises land clearance for grazing, agriculture, urbanisation, timber harvesting and mining.”
“The recently released NSW Koala Strategy was inadequate for protecting the species and we are seriously lacking a state-wide mechanism to bring this iconic species back to a healthy population. Any party looking to lead NSW into the future needs to have this as a commitment.”
“We are calling on the NSW Government to immediately:
- Ban the destruction of koala habitat, on both public and private land;
- End native forest logging; and
- Expand the National Parks estate to protect high quality koala habitat including the proposed Great Koala National Park”
The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee found:
“Human activities including deforestation and land clearance for grazing, agriculture, urbanisation, timber harvesting, mining and other activities have resulted in loss, fragmentation and degradation of koala habitats” (page 3)
“Large areas of forest and woodland within the koala’s range were cleared between 2000 and 2017 (Ward et al. 2019) with clearing for grazing accounting for most of this loss of koala habitat”. “Land clearing continues to impact habitat across the koala’s range” (page 3)
“Clearing of native vegetation’ is listed as a Key Threatening Process under the Act.” (page 4)
“Modelled climatic suitability from 2010 to 2030 indicates a 38-52% reduction in available habitat for the koala and a 62% reduction in koala habitat by 2070 has been forecast” (page 4)
“... it is facing a very high risk of extinction in the near future...” (page 5)
The Nature Conservation Council is deeply disappointed that the NSW Government hasn't done more to plug loopholes and shut down attempts to marketise our native forests in its response to the Sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW inquiry.
Jacqui Mumford, Deputy Chief Executive of NCC: “The NSW Government has missed an opportunity to provide additional protections to our increasingly vulnerable native forests, and the wildlife they support.
“Burning trees for electricity is backwards; it destroys habitat for NSW’s iconic species and is dirty, costly and unnecessary.
“When the government says that only native forest residues are allowed to be woodchipped and burnt to generate electricity, they don't say that this can include entire trees.i
“Proposed projects such as the Verdant Biomass Power Station in Singleton, if approved, will create a market for bulldozing smaller and wonky trees that should be left standing in the forest to provide critical habitat to koalas and other species.”
The Verdant Biomass Power Station in Singleton could burn 850,000 tonnes of biomass per year, sourced within 300km of the Singleton. It could see a massive increase in native forest logging on the north coast of NSW, if the Perrottet government neglects to amend the definition of wood residues.
“This report comes only a week after the koala was uplisted to endangered, and was a real opportunity to take a step in the right direction.
“This Inquiry made it clear that the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 must be amended to close loopholes that allow native forests to be woodchipped and burnt for electricity. The Government has ignored the advice of experts.”