Earlier this month Greens Senators Lee Rhiannon and Janet Rice traveled to southeast NSW gathering evidence on how the RFA’s have failed and why ending the native forest logging should be a focus for the up coming federal election. Examples cited were recent logging in Nullica SF, where there was a Spotted tailed quoll record and bulldozing wombats in Glenbog SF.
There were several responses from the logging industry. Sawmiller from Blue Ridge Hardwoods, Allan Richards suggested it is ludicrous to think native species are protected in National Parks. He argued the Greens don’t appear to have a clear policy of wildfire management and despite taxpayers providing $60 per hectare/annum for National park management, wildfire, due to not enough fuel reduction, kills most animals.
Not sure how that sits with the NPWS policy to burn everywhere once every twenty years, although recent research suggests fuel reduction burning provides little ‘leverage’ against bushfire in this bioregion.
In addition and regrettably, in this case Forestry decided to log at a time when the debris would be left over summer. The Merimbula News reports this lack of consideration is now a concern for local residents and the Rural Fire Service.
Another comment suggested Nullica forest was last logged in 1974, there are no quolls and there are thousands of hectares of forest for the species, while this area regenerates.
Just to get a handle on the compartments of concern, I downloaded the Harvesting Plan, the Operations map from which is above. As it turns out and as indicated on the map, Forestry have changed the boundary between the compartments. Last I heard and although they can muck around with internal areas, changing compartment boundaries is not permitted.
According to data FCNSW provided for the Eden RFA, logging in 1974 was confined to the lower portion of Cpt 618, the same area was logged again on this occasion, something else that isn’t permitted. However, estimated timber volumes were only provided for Cpt 619, indicating a total standing volume of 376 cm of sawlog and 8,160 of pulp logs.
Despite this estimate, the Harvesting Plan suggests some 15,712 cm had previously been removed from the compartment, this event estimated to provide another 1,949 cm.
Among the ways to consider these discrepancies is the potential that the original volume estimates were either half right, or 100% wrong. The latter being more consistent with current native forest management and another reason for a different approach.