North Coast

25,000 seedlings donated to support koala habitat tree planting programs 

Forestry Corporation of NSW has delivered 25,000 koala food tree seedlings to the Friends of the Koala’s Lismore nursery to support north coast koala conservation groups’ efforts to establish habitat on private land. 

With wet weather rife across the region, all involved were relieved that the nursery site remained dry enough to receive the bulk seedling delivery in support of Friends of the Koala’s and Bangalow Koalas’ planting programs. 

Forestry Corporation has donated a total of around 175,000 seedlings to conservation groups over the last four years to support community koala habitat planting programs, said Forestry Corporation Partnerships Leader Ryan Ellis. 

“We’re proud to work with Bangalow Koalas, Friends of the Koala and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital to help local communities improve existing habitat connectivity and create future food sources across the landscape,” Mr Ellis said. 

“These projects are primarily on private or public lands outside of the State Forest estate.” 

The northern NSW landscape continues to weather the current wet period, which has significantly affected volunteer organisations, local communities and industry. 

“The ongoing work being carried out shows the resilience of these groups; they continue to accomplish great outcomes and are best placed to support local projects,” Mr Ellis said. 

This year’s delivery to Lismore was delayed due to flooding across the region, however the wet season and additional time in the nursery resulted in a healthy and more mature delivery of seedlings than usual. 

“The stock we have received are in great condition and now stored safely at our Lismore facility for acclimatisation and hardening,” said Friends of the Koala Nursery Manager, Mark Wilson. 

“Coordinating a delivery of 25,000 in one day was a big effort — many thanks to the volunteers who assisted on the day,” said Mr Wilson. 

“I was nervous about how it was going to work out with the wet conditions and weather, but the operation went smoothly and the trees look great.” 

The current wet conditions are causing issues for tree establishment projects in areas that survived initial inundation. 

“The challenges we currently face include prolonged waterlogging, excessive grass and weed growth and access to some sites,” said Bangalow Koalas President Linda Sparrow. 

“Part of this year’s seedling delivery will be used to repair and re-establish gaps created due to flooding damage and seasonal impacts.” 

 The mix of koala-preferred species this year includes Forest Red Gum, Tallowwood, Swamp Mahogany, Grey Gum, Dunn’s White Gum and Black Butt. These will be distributed between Friends of the Koala Lismore and Bangalow Koalas to areas of highest priority across current and future projects. 

The seedlings were grown at Forestry Corporation’s Grafton nursery, which last year produced 3.2 million seedlings for plantation reestablishment. This year the Grafton nursery is on track to deliver 3.5 million seedlings for forest reestablishment in support of sustainable timber production.  

To find out more about Forestry Corporation’s community partnerships, please visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au 

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