Please take action to stop the destruction of Nambucca State Forest where logging is scheduled to commence on Monday 20th April 2020. Most of Nambucca State Forests did not burn in the 2019/20 bushfires, making it a critical refuge for native flora and fauna, many of which were listed as threatened even before the bushfires.
Here’s two things you can do:
Sign on to NSW Nature Conservation Council’s letter to Melinda Pavey MP to save the Nambucca State Forest https://www.nature.org.au/get-involved/take-action/help-save-numbucca-state-forest/
Write a letter in your own words (one of the most effective actions you can take). Write to:
The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP – 37 Elbow St, West Kempsey 2440 NSW (02) 65626190 (02) 65631355 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hon. Matt Kean NSW Environment Minister MP – Suite 5 The Madison, 25-29 Hunter St Hornsby 2077 NSW (02) 94763411 (02) 9476 2965 email@example.com
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, NSW Premier – GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001 https://www.nsw.gov.au/premier-of-nsw/contact-premier
The Hon. John Barilaro MP, NSW deputy Premier – GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY NSW 2001 https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/deputy-premier-minister-for-regional-new-south-wales-industry-and-trade
Here is some background information to help in your letter writing:
- Most of Nambucca State Forest did not burn in the 2019-2020 bushfires making it an essential refuge for forest fauna and flora, many of which were threatened even before the fires.
- The 2019-20 wildfires had a profound impact on public native forests of the north coast NSW – see quote below.
- “The 2019-20 wildfires burnt 456,058 ha (54.4%) of State Forests in north-east NSW (north of the Hunter River), with 259,293 ha suffering significant canopy loss. This includes 16,000 hectares (43%) of Pine Plantations. The fires also burnt 868,714 ha (59%) of National Parks, with 517,802 ha suffering significant (full or partial) canopy loss. The forests were so dry that the fires burnt across creeks and through 35% of rainforests. Vast areas of both the formal (national parks) and informal (exclusions on State Forests) reserve system excluded from logging were burnt. The logging rules (Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals – CIFOA) assumed the retention of these areas to offset the impacts of logging on threatened species. As evidenced by the Koala, there are many threatened species (both plants and animals) that have been significantly affected by the burning of this retained habitat, as well loss of resources in logging areas. Across the north coast It is estimated some 350 million birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs are likely to have been killed, and many threatened plants have lost most of their populations. Many north coast species have had most of their known localities burnt, with Pugh’s Frog losing 89% and Hastings River Mouse 82%. Rainforests have been burnt, with some unlikely to recover, numerous hollow-bearing trees have been burnt out and cut down, eucalypt flowering has been set back for years, many understorey feed trees (ie forest oaks for Glossy Black Cockatoos) have been killed, streams have been polluted.” (Dailan Pugh 2020)
- Given the extent of the fires, their known and likely damage, every patch of unburnt public native forest should be retained so forest dependent plants and animals can have a refuge to survive in until the burnt habitat across the north coast recovers.
- Nambucca State Forest is rich in many rare and special natural values containing areas of old growth forest, stands of rare Scribbly Gum, rainforest and Swamp Sclerophyll forest (a threatened ecological community). There are records of threatened native animals including Sooty Owl, Masked Owl, Powerful Owl, Grey-headed flying fox, Little Bentwing bat, Yellow-bellied glider and Koalas, all of which were threatened even before the fires. Rare plants such as the Slender marsdenia (Marsdenia longiloba) and others are also to be found.
- Being on the coast and not subject to urban development is rare in itself and warrants Nambucca State Forest being protected from logging.
- Forests sequester and store carbon with older forests storing four times more carbon than very young forests. Keeping our public native forests and letting them grow older is a climate solution
- Disturbances, such as logging, destabilise and degrade ecosystems, increasing their vulnerability to climate change. We need to build resilience back into our forests by restoring natural processes and ecosystem functions to better enable them to resist the consequences of climate change.
- Forests are also known to be rainfall generators and in a heating and drying climate keeping our forests helps to minimise the effects of drought and provide water security.
- Nambucca State Forest is a tourist attraction and provides a valued scenic backdrop to the town.
- The NSW north coast, tourism bodies and Nambucca Council, promote our region as having pristine beaches and forests for city tourists to come and enjoy. Studies have shown that every hectare of protected forest eg in national parks and reserves, generates three times the tourist dollar of unprotected areas. People will return to enjoy the beauty and amenity of a healthy native mature or old growth forests but not to devastated logging areas.
- Nambucca State Forest is a community owned natural asset valued for recreation use. It is enjoyed by many residents for walking, picnicking, bird watching and mountain bike riding.
- Being in forests is known to have a beneficial health and well- being effect on people even above the benefits of exercise alone.
- Nambucca Heads needs to retain its surrounding greenbelt and let it grow older into a truly special and rare coastal public native forest asset, managed for the public good.
- Many individuals and conservation groups are calling on the NSW government for a moratorium on logging on unburnt and burnt areas across coastal NSW until an inventory is taken of the impacts of the 2019/20 bushfires.
- Public forests should be managed for the public good and in line with community wishes.
- Many local people and groups are calling for Nambucca State Forest to be protected in the reserve system for all its many natural values.