SEFR condemns the latest in an ongoing string of illegal cutting of SE forests

SEFR Press Release Feb 21st This morning conservationists have halted logging in Glenbog State Forest Compartment 2360. Three logging machines are cabled to a tree sit 25 metres above the ground.

Forests NSW and their authorised logging contractors logging practices are being investigated, after more discoveries of breaches including the felling of dead standing trees, no marking up of habitat trees, using habitat trees as bumpers and destroying the habitat of threatened and endangered native animals.

The damage, at Glenbog State Forest at the top of the Brown Mountain, is the third time in three months that the state agency has come under investigation on the south coast.

Damage in Glenbog State Forest was uncovered by an environment group, South East Forest Rescue.

Glenbog State Forest provides a home for many threatened and endangered animals and plants such as Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl, Yellow-bellied Glider and Giant Burrowing Frog. The logging road is the only buffer between the logging compartment and the South East Forest National Park. This compartment contains old-growth.

"The Yellow-bellied Glider is on the threatened list," said Ms Stone. "Given the calls that were heard this morning the fact that there are no feed trees marked up for retention is incomprehensible."

“Recent audits have exposed illegal logging of endangered ecological communities, old-growth and rocky outcrops,’’ said Lisa Stone, spokesperson for South East Forest Rescue. “We have proven systemic re-occurring breaches on the south coast that show a pattern of non-compliance.”

The contractor in Glenbog 2360 was found to have committed some of the same breaches in Glenbog State Forest Cpt 2363. The logging contractor, who was found to have logged rocky outcrops in breach of regulations in Glenbog State Forest, was found to have committed the same breaches in Yambulla State Forest Cpt 446/450.

The Department of Environment Climate Change and Water has handed out two penalty notices to Forests NSW this year for breaking logging rules in Wandera State Forest. Despite this SEFR today confirmed that the illegal cutting of native forests continues.

“Loss of Hollow Bearing Trees has been listed as a Key Threatening Process since 2007,” said Ms Stone. “Despite this we have found hollows in trees that have been felled in the Glenbog compartment as well as in many other State Forest logging sites. The propping up by the State Government of this unlawful industry just makes no sense given that Forests NSW is currently running at millions of dollars in debt and the native forest logging industry has proven to be badly managed and unsustainable.”

“Further the Eden chipmill, (South East Fibre Exports owned by Nippon Paper Group) want to turn our forests into little pellets and send them overseas to be burned. Given what we know about the link between land degradation, deforestation and climate change this is an outrageous proposal,” said Ms Stone. “To burn our forests to run power stations is the height of madness.”

The group is calling on the State government to end native forest logging on public land and begin the process for fair exit packages for forest workers.
Submissions on the Pellet Factory proposal to Bega Valley Shire Council close on Thursday.