Welcome news from various sources this week, beginning with a joint press release from the NSW conservation movement, expressing serious concerns, and threatening to boycott, the ‘remake’ of public forest logging rules (IFOA). Interestingly, new NCC chief executive Kate Smolski said, “ We are prepared to work with the government to ensure vital protections for soil, streams and threatened species are maintained, but we will not put our name to proposals that come out of a flawed process” .
Of course there is an argument that currently, there is little protection for soils, streams and threatened species, only the illusion of protection the government creates.
NEFA’s Dailan Pugh suggested the best available science should be used, and it is ‘up to the government to demonstrate it is genuine about seeking and incorporating our input’. SERCA’s Heather Kenway added, “We need new forest and forestry policies that take account of the degraded state of the forests, the economics of the plantation and native forest industries, and global and domestic market circumstances.”
At a local scale, we are yet to see any genuine government consultation on the koala issue, and while acknowledging forests are degraded is a step forward, SERCA are yet to support new forestry policies for koalas, so it may be a sign of movement in that direction.
However, challenging the NSW government requires information, like the previously referred to chart below , now with more DBH classes, indicating forest that is currently classified as Eucalyptus woodlands with a tussock grass understorey, has been transformed into Allocasuarina forests and woodland.
For those keen on reversing this trend , more welcome news comes from Murdoch University’s Centre of Excellence for Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health, and the Mulligans Flat woodland experiment in Canberra. On the former, researchers have have confirmed that declining native forest in western Australia, and elsewhere, is linked to the loss of ‘once-common digging mammals such as boodies and woylies’.
At Mulligans Flat, the Eastern Bettong breeding program, initiated with 60 animals, translocated from Tassie during 2011-12, has been declared a success, so other locations to are required.
All good news really, for those moving in that direction.