Protect Newry State Forest Rare Habitat

Protect Newry State Forest Rare Habitat

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Forest Ecology started this petition to The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP; and

NEWRY STATE FOREST UNDER THREAT OF LOGGING NOW

Many community members and conservation groups are concerned that Forestry Corporation of NSW have scheduled logging in Newry State Forest. Forest Ecology Alliance (FEA) is a group of ecologists and citizen scientists who are surveying the area for threatened species and organising public recreational activities.

Newry State Forest is a large, thriving native forest near Valla, Bellingen, Bowraville and Urunga. It is an extraordinarily beautiful, biodiverse forest, home to many giant trees up to 8 metres in circumference. 

The forest borders on Jaaninga Reserve and Bollanolla Mountain. This area has remained hugely culturally significant to Gumbaynggirr custodians for tens of thousands of years. 

Newry State Forest represents the most easterly boundary of the only significant remaining wildlife corridor running west to east from the high country to the coast in this water catchment area. It provides healthy habitat and an abundance of old growth tree hollow shelters for threatened and endangered fauna species, such as Koala, Masked Owl, Yellow-bellied Glider, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Giant Barred Frog, Eastern Osprey, Glossy Black-cockatoo, Brush-Tailed Phascogale and Stephen's Banded Snake. Threatened flora species include Golden Wattle, Slender Marsdenia, Native Guava, Scrub Turpentine and Native Cymbidium Orchids.

Trees that are unusual for this latitude, for example two species of Angophora, are vigorously growing alongside many other tall and/or feed trees such as Coachwood, Blackbutt, Ironbark, Tallowwood, Allocasuarina and Grey Gum.

Newry State Forest is an unusually quiet space and could be a focal point for locals and tourists to enjoy if it were to become part of the proposed Great Koala National Park. The economic gains and employment opportunities associated with eco-tourism are far more beneficial to the region both short and long-term than logging could ever be. 

The steep slopes of Newry State Forest are unsuitable for logging and have highly erodible soils. Forest destruction could heavily impact on waterways, properties and oyster farms downstream. 

Deforestation in the Mid-North Coast has escalated in recent years due to highway construction, housing development and modern harvesting machinery designed for fast clearfell intensive logging. Recent changes to logging rules and wildlife protection laws are highly destructive and lead to habitat fragmentation. Bushfire devastation, decreased rainfall associated with climate change, bell miner and weed infestation have also caused further forest destruction in the area.

Yet, right now, Newry State Forest is a peaceful, life-giving haven for all - and should remain that way.

TIME TO STOP NATIVE FOREST LOGGING

Australian tall trees currently capture and store carbon highly effectively and could continue to do so for generations to come.

Forestry Corporation of NSW has been operating at enormous loss for years and is heavily subsidised by taxpayers. It is just common sense to cease logging operations and instead direct the same taxpayer money into establishing and maintaining forest reserves. 

We call for an immediate end to native forest logging.

We also ask Forestry Corporation of NSW:

- to allow for wide community consultation and provide public information when requested

- to cease clearfelling and aerial herbicide spray operations

- to stop all woodchip and biofuel production

- to establish sustainable timber industries, ensuring that there is no ecological damage to the surrounding environment or its fauna or flora

- to transition all skilled forest workers towards employment in the care and maintenance of native forests or sustainable plantations

PROTECT NEWRY FOREST

It is our right as citizens of NSW to have a say in the management of our public forests. 

Newry State Forest stands as a vital, flourishing refuge for fauna and flora and is in dire need of protection.

We ask that Newry State Forest be declared as a conservation reserve. 

https://www.facebook.com/forestecologyalliance

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