Cole Neder, Intern, National Parks Association of NSW
While New South Wales battles with vested political interest in native forest logging in Australia, the State of Utah’s protected public lands are the centrepiece of a similar disagreement in the United States.
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. 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.
On Wednesday this week, the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) launched a new report entitled Regional Forest Agreements in NSW. Have they achieved their aims? In short, the answer is no — far from it, writes Dr Oisín Sweeney.