Nambucca Valley environmentalists say legal logging on private land shows gaps in wildlife protection – News Of The Area
ENVIRONMENTALISTS are distraught that the private lands of Congarinni North are selectively exploited.
Tracey Reynolds lives directly across from the property from which the trees were removed and is a Caregiver with the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education (WIRES) Service.
Ms Reynolds has released night owls, bandicoots, an echidna, marsh wallabies and rednecks and antechinus (marsupial mice) on her property and the neighboring property in question.
She says she also saw a koala and a koala scratching themselves on the trees on the neighboring property.
Ms. Reynolds is deeply concerned that native animals in her immediate vicinity have seen their habitat destroyed by selective logging.
However, logging is done on private property, which is covered by the Code of Good Practice for Private Indigenous Forestry (PNF).
This code requires proof that “a species has visited or regularly uses a site, and includes sightings of, for example, pellets or faeces, chewed seed cones or a nest, or proof that the site was used as a latrine ”, before the logging can be questioned.
According to a spokesperson for the Forest Ecology Alliance (FEA), a group of environmentalists, community members and citizen scientists who work to conserve native forests, “PNF logging approvals are often granted for years. prior to the start of operations, but there is no community consultation or environmental assessment other than desktop data verification.
“Until affected residents contact the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), no field assessment is being done and it is unfortunately too late,” the spokesperson said.
In the case of Congarinni North, local residents contacted the EPA, whose representatives visited the operating site and found that the NFP was respected.
News Of The Area spoke to the owner and the logging contractor, and both said they had not encountered any koalas or other endangered animals on the property.
The owner said he bought the property ten years ago for the purpose of harvesting timber.
He said contractors use chainsaws to limit damage to the forest.
However, this does little to console conservationists, for whom any large tree felled or native animal killed is one too many.
The FEA spokesperson said: “Locals are increasingly concerned about the rapid acceleration of land clearing in our area.
“We hope that landowners will contact conservationists to discuss ways to all protect healthy biodiversity,” the spokesperson said.
Both the owner and the contractor are operating legally, and conservationists say it shows that laws to protect native forests in New South Wales are ineffective and urgently need to be reviewed.
By Andrew VIVIAN