NCC regional conference – highlighting what doesn’t work

In collaboration with SERCA, the NSW Nature Conservation Council will be holding its annual regional conference in Bermagui, next weekend.Co-incidently, I emailed SERCA a couple of weeks back, asking if the majority of members forsee a time when they would support approaches to management that the NCC and others support. Surprisingly there was a response, saying they would get back to me in a couple of days, but they didn’t.

On the program for Saturday morning are talks about coastal issues, increasingly successful community efforts to hold back the coal-seam gas industry, and forests and wildlife. The latter session will be kicked of by anti – woodchipper Harriet Swift, talking about forest wildlife conservation status and trends, in the south east. Harriet, along with other SERCA members, has long held the belief that koalas are or could be everywhere, and the only threat to the species is woodchipping.

After Harriet’s chat, others will talk of new threats to forest conservation, followed by a discussion on forest campaigns, what has worked and what problems remain.

2014 burn

The map above shows approximation of areas recently burnt, previous logging in Bermagui, the Dignams Creek highway re-alignment area, and the minimal koala exclusion areas in yellow. Two of the areas burned have, or had koalas, and all signs indicate the state government is intent on similar outcomes for the rest of the forests.

When it comes to what has worked in the past, the most successful at stop logging has been challanging the EPA on soils. The connection with CSG, is the threat this industry can pose to ground water, is similar to the guaranteed outcomes expected from long term soil degradation.

Primarily an anti-woodchip group, SERCA doesn’t support alternative management for the koala exclusion areas, or any where else. While this problem is likely to remain, I may go along to the conference,  to provide some local input.

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