Pilliga pillaged: Mark Speakman needs to come clean on ‘ecological thinning’ 

The reaction to The Greens David Shoebridge’s comments on timber harvesting in the Pilliga forest confirm what environment groups have long suspected: that the timber industry sees ‘ecological thinning’ as a lifeline says the National Parks Association of NSW.

Recent ABC media stories have highlighted the appalling destruction of the Pilliga forest, the largest inland forest left in NSW, as a result of overestimates of wood supply by Forestry Corporation.

A future for native forests means leisure, not logging

Magnificent places under threat
Think about it. Huge tracts of spectacularly forested hills. Panoramic ocean views periodically peek through the canopy. Creeks lined with lush rainforest trickle down gullies providing pure, clear water to downstream anglers and oyster farmers. Breakfast in the eco-lodge is peaceful and relaxing. But for those seeking more energetic pursuits, the relaxation doesn’t last long! This is perfect terrain for mountain biking, orienteering, climbing, canyoning and adventure racing. An ancient landscape, not too steep like across the Tasman, but constantly undulating and changing form. Spectacular places to spend a weekend.

These are NSWs’ State Forests. Two million hectares of public land, the majority found between Bega and Ballina east of the Great Divide. Forests that contain the best landscapes outside National Parks. But native forest logging shuts us out of these forests and prevents us from maximising their public benefit. Sure, Forestry Corporation will claim that recreation is allowed in State Forests and that’s true. Until logging starts. At which point it’s everyone out. And, sorry about this, but your bike track now runs through carnage.

IT’S TIME TO END THE FAILED REGIONAL FOREST AGREEMENTS  

The Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) that govern logging in nearly 7 million hectares of state forests in NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and WA have failed in all their objectives and should be terminated when they expire over the next four years. That is the damning assessment by over 30 environmental groups in a statement released today.

“The RFAs commenced in the 1990s and did not take factors such as climate change into account” said Lorraine Bower of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA). “Now we know that forests are vital for moderating climate and storing carbon, and that logging significantly reduces carbon stores in forests.