Koala exclusion areas – pros and cons

While awaiting the OE&H’s response to a request for further detail, the Narooma News has published a map outlining the ‘Eden koala exclusion zones’.

Broadly consistent with expectations in Mumbulla SF, there are three separate areas in Murrah and a very small area at the southern end of Bermagui SF.

Interestingly, in the article Harriet Swift suggested funding to “identify further wood supplies” was “bureaucratic code for buying in sawlogs from another region.” And there was some agreement as logging contractor Norm Wilton indicated “We are cut to the bone now – there is just about nothing left,”

SERCA spokesperson Prue Acton said “Putting Forests NSW in charge of a significant far south coast biodiversity grant is a recipe for disaster,”. However the map indicates that part of the area in Mumbulla SF included in the exclusion zone, in the Murrah River catchment, is the location of the community initiated Murrah/Bunga koala recovery project.

This too was a Commonwealth funded project that operated under the auspice of the Bega Environment Network a SERCA member group. Forests NSW haven’t been ‘in charge’ of this area for quite some time and although the conservation movement no longer support local community initiatives, its inclusion provides the opportunity to restart, in a small way, the management required for forest restoration.

The ‘koala projects’ are funded for six years, when the RFAs end and while they will attempt more logging a major upcoming obstacle is the revised Australian Forestry Standard that, amongst other things, will require FNSW to acknowledge dieback, even though the OE&H don’t have to.



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