State News

North East Forest Alliance protecting Koala habitats. Image: NEFA Facebook

Roading haulted at Myrtle State Forest

Ten members of the Northern Rivers Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement and the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) paid a visit to Myrtle State Forest just south of Casino where logging operations have commenced in the past couple of weeks.

In early March 2020, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) approved the Forestry Corporation to undertake logging of burnt Koala habitat in three State Forests on the Richmond River lowlands. 

“We are all very concerned that Forestry is about to commence taking trees down in this already very stressed out forest.” Said Ruth Rosenhek of NEFA/XR. “As we know, forests are the lungs of the earth. They play a vital role in sequestering and storing carbon and this carbon storage has been significantly diminished in vast areas of NSW’s forests due to widespread logging as well as the recent bushfires.

“We need to protect degraded forests as part of the solution to climate change and cease the logging of public native forests. Allowing regrowth forests to mature will avoid significant releases of CO2 and allow carbon to be sequestered and stored in the tree trunks and soils of the regenerating forests. If we can allow forests such as Myrtle SF to regenerate it will continue to store carbon in ever increasing volumes as it matures over decades and centuries.

“As pandemic restrictions ease, it is time to take bold steps towards ending business-as-usual and moving towards a future that will support future generations both human and wildlife.  Increasing carbon storage in forests and avoiding emissions represents a significant economic, environmental and social benefit to all people in NSW.”

The arrival of the group into the forest – chanting “Enough is Enough, It’s Time to Stand up!” – caused the day’s roading activities to cease. 

The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) urges the EPA to immediately withdraw their approvals for logging of Koala habitat in Bungawalbin, Doubleduke and Myrtle State Forests and do due-diligence by assessing the landscape impacts of the fires on Koalas. As shown by this example, a moratorium is needed on further logging of populations of all species significantly affected by the fires until surveys are undertaken to assess their vulnerability.

To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/nefa.org.au/d/msgid/regional/3776F8BF-2EA3-4ECA-8D52-416A164627C4%40gmail.com.

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