Forestry vandals target 1000-year-old trees

NSW GOVERNMENT STUFF UP: North East Forest Alliance inspects damage. Six hectares of old growth brush box forest was
NSW GOVERNMENT STUFF UP: North East Forest Alliance inspects damage. Six hectares of old growth brush box forest was "trashed" by Forestry NSW.

RECENT evidence of intensive logging of an old-growth forest near Woodenbong has sparked a call for action in Parliament by NSW Upper House Greens MP Jan Barham.

Photographs of the logging of six hectares of the Koreelah State Forest were taken during a recent inspection of the area by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

Some 23 hectares of Koreelah have been classified for general logging by Forestry NSW.

"These trees are irreplaceable and their destruction is a travesty," Ms Barham said in a statement.

"The Government must investigate and announce what action it will take to protect the biodiversity and heritage of our old growth forests from any further planned destruction."

NEFA spokesman Dailan Pugh said contrary to Forestry NSW's classification, the forest met all the requirements of an undisturbed old-growth forest.

He said Koreelah was a key ecological link between the twin world heritage areas of the Great Dividing Range and the Border Ranges.

"It's an important stand of old-growth brush box with a rainforest component," Mr Pugh said.

The brush box trees which characterise the forest - and are also the target of logging - are estimated to be at least 1000 years old.

"Here we are - a long time after Terania Creek - and we're still having logging of irreplaceable assets going on."

The NEFA report also identified a koala high-use area which was logged. But this should have triggered protocols to stop logging within 20 metres of the habitat, Mr Pugh said.

The logging of koala high-use areas by Forestry NSW was an ongoing concern and NEFA was still awaiting the outcome of an EPA investigation into the logging of six koala high-use areas near Casino.

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