Forest groups call for halt to logging in drought and bushfire crisis

The South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) is one of 9 major forest conservation groups around NSW calling for a moratorium on logging until impacts of drought and bushfires are assessed and addressed.

In a letter to the Premier this week the groups have asked for a halt to all logging in public native forests in NSW to deal with the impacts of drought and fire on forests, take action to mitigate losses and to help the forests recover.

Spokesperson for SERCA, Harriett Swift says that wildlife are struggling in the severe drought and face enough of a challenge to survive even without logging to contend with.

“Patches of apparently dying trees are now a common sight in the region’s forests.”

“On the South Coast, the Currowan bushfire has at least 6 logging operations nearby either under way or planned in the near future. Logging in that area could be the last straw for many forest dwelling creatures.

“Bushfires will make any surviving wildlife more vulnerable to starvation, loss of shelter and predation by feral predators.

“We have been relatively lucky on the South Coast so far with only a few fires, but further wildfires can be expected as summer progresses into our normal fire season.

“In any fire coming from the west there is increased risk of ember attacks on coastal towns.  Debris left on the forest floor following recent logging operations at Mogo, Bodalla and Corunna pose serious risks to Malua Bay to Tomakin, Potato Point to Kianga and Mystery Bay.

“Our letter to the Premier asks at what point will common sense prevail.”

“We are gravely concerned for the survival of our forest dwelling wildlife and any continuation of logging activities in drought stricken and burnt forests will greatly compound the impacts on surviving fauna, jeopardising their survival.

“Areas of forest which have not been affected by fire are more valuable than ever as refugia for our stressed and starving wildlife.

“They must be retained undisturbed as source areas for recolonisation of burnt forests.”

Contact: Harriett Swift

10 December 2019