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Expiry of first Regional Forest Agreement offers opportunity to end the forest wars

Wednesday the 3rd February is a milestone in the long and chequered history of native forest management in Australia. The first Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) expires in East Gippsland following 20 years of destructive logging. Instead of just extending them, prolonging conflict and driving species towards the edge, now is the time to chart a new course says the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA).

Regional Forest Agreements are 20-year deals between the state and federal governments that permit the logging of public native forests. Across Australia, almost 7 million hectares of native eucalyptus forests are logged under 10 RFAs[1]. The RFAs were an attempt to marry conservation, logging and recreation to bring an end to the ‘forest wars’ that pitted conservationists against the logging industry. They haven’t worked.