Showing posts with label #standup4forests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #standup4forests. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis: a portrait of political ignorance


Extract from an email sent by NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (former surveyor, property developer, local government councillor) on 20 May 2020:

Timber harvesting operations take place in around one per cent of State forests each year, which is around 0.1 per cent of forested land in NSW.

Well managed, sustainable timber harvesting operations provide the essential renewable building products our communities need to rebuild following the recent fire season, from power poles, to timber bridge and house frames.

By ensuring an ongoing wood supply, we will help maintain local jobs when they are most needed and meet the critical timber supply needed to rebuild our local communities.

Our forests have been harvested and regrown many times over the past 100 years. Importantly, they have also successfully recovered from bushfires before.

A small number of selective harvesting operations that commenced prior to the fires have continued under the strict regulations governing native forestry in NSW.

These rules require Forestry Corporation to set aside large areas of habitat in every operation they carry out. These rules have been developed by expert panels of scientists to ensure wildlife populations continue to thrive alongside sustainable timber harvesting.

However, the primary focus is on salvaging what timber can be recovered from those badly burnt parts of the forest. These are areas so severely affected by fires they are largely devoid of any habitat. Forestry Corporation is also preparing to embark on a massive re-planting program to recover this estate.

Well, how does one reply to a pottage of misleading statements about a timber industry rife with rule breaking and environmental vandalism?

Firstly the Forestry Corporation of NSW controls more than two million hectares of native and planted state forest in New South Wales and, annually it takes an est. 2.5 million m3 of sawlogs and around 2 million tonnes of pulpwood from these forests, which means it supplies an est 14% of Australia's timber product. This year to date the Forestry Corporation has harvested est. 1.21 million m3 of timber product.

Secondly, on a regular basis the timber industry racks up warnings and fines. As little as four weeks ago the NSW Environment Protection Authority announced that the Forestry Corporation had been fined $31,100 for failure to abide by conditions immposed concerning avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas and retention of habitat trees.

Thirdly, perhaps a few images will clearly show that even after severe bushfires, in the absence of chainsaws and logging trucks, trees will begin to recreate "habitat".

All photographs found at Google Images
And then there is this aspect.....

ABC News, 29 January 2020:

Research has also shown forests that are logged post-fire and then regenerated have an increased risk of burning in high-severity crown-scorching fires. 

This extra fire risk lasts for about 40 years after logging. That is, a burnt forest which is logged tomorrow will still carry an elevated fire risk in 2060. 

A global review published in 2009 showed that links between logging and elevated fire risk is a problem seen in wet types of forests worldwide. 

In 2016, an Australian study published by the Ecological Society of America found tree fern populations crashed by 94 per cent after post-fire logging..... 

Many burnt trees that look dead now will re-sprout in the next few weeks or months. This is already occurring in the burnt coastal forests of NSW. 

These recovering trees must not be logged. They are essential for the survival of animals like gliding possums — research shows that these animals are unlikely to return to forests that are logged immediately after burning for 180 years (if they can return at all). 

Heavy logging machinery will kill many of the plants that germinate in the nutrient-rich bed of ashes on the forest floor. 

Animals that have miraculously survived in burnt areas can also be killed in logging operations. 

Pioneering research from southern Australia has shown that fungi and nutrients in soils can take up to a century or even longer to recover from salvage logging. 

Mass movement of soils in areas logged post-burn can choke rivers and streams and trigger fish kills as well as kill many other kinds of animals....

The Guardian, 6 May 2020:

A group of senior Australian scientists have warned in an international journal that logging native forests makes fire more severe and is likely to have exacerbated the country’s catastrophic summer bushfires. 

In a comment piece published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the scientists call for a clearer discussion about how land management and forestry practices contribute to fire risk. 

The article by the scientists David Lindenmayer, Robert Kooyman, Chris Taylor, Michelle Ward and James Watson comes amid intense debate about the resumption of logging in Victoria and New South Wales in bushfire hit regions..... 

In the comment piece, the scientists say much of the conversation in the aftermath of the spring and summer bushfires had rightly focused on climate change, but the impact of land management and forestry on fire risk was often neglected in these discussions. 

They highlight this as a concern because land management policy was “well within the control of Australians” and the fires had been used by some sectors of the industry to call for increased logging in some areas. 

The paper says industry data showed that some 161m cubic metres of native forest was logged in the period from 1996 to 2018. 

“Beyond the direct and immediate impacts on biodiversity of disturbance and proximity to disturbed forest, there is compelling evidence that Australia’s historical and contemporary logging regimes have made many Australian forests more fire prone and contributed to increased fire severity and flammability,” the scientists write. 

This occurs because logging leaves debris at ground level that increases the fuel load in logged forests. It also changes forest composition and leaves these areas of forest both hotter and drier, they say. 

The article says during the bushfire season fire had spread from logged areas adjacent to old growth eucalypts and rainforests in the Gondwana world heritage reserves..... 

The Daily Examiner, 25 May 2020: 

The public was recently invited to comment on a draft code of practice – the “rule book” – for private native forestry. 

The CoP has been in place for about 15 years, with the current draft resulting from the mandatory five-yearly review. 

With the stated aim of ensuring ecologically sustainable forest management, one would expect any review to focus on that aim but unfortunately that has not been the case. 

Ecologists and conservationists have two major concerns, the first being that, while there are provisions to protect threatened flora and fauna that are known to inhabit the proposed logging areas, there is no requirement to actually look for them. 

In fact, unless there is an ­official record of a threatened species on the property, it is assumed they don’t occur there. 

The second concern is a lack of compliance monitoring and enforcement, for which there is certainly a wealth of evidence. 

Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a reason, possibly it relates to a lack of political will to take action against the industry at large. 

Perhaps it is a case of under-resourcing, poorly drafted legislation open to interpretation or all of the above but the fact remains that flouting of the code’s regulations is widespread. 

Two years ago, the Clarence Environment Centre reported one local case where a PNF ­operator broke virtually every rule in the book – literally hundreds of breaches. 

Logging on creek banks, in swamps, on rocky outcrops and on cliff edges. 

Snigging tracks were constructed on excessive slopes and across gullies, erosion control measures were inadequate, threatened species had been trampled by machinery and rubbish such as oil drums and tyres were left littering the landscape. 

The investigators spent days on site confirming the ­reported breaches and finding additional ones, yet almost two years later no action has been taken against the culprits and with the two-year statute of limitations looming, the case will likely be dropped. 

Unless operators are held to account, how can we have any faith in the supposed aim of Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management? 

John Edwards, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Time to fight for the forests in New South Wales


In the 2019-20 bushfire season wild fires ravaged forests across New South Wales.

The 100km deep coastal zone running the length of the state was particularly hard hit, but Nambucca State Forest was spared and is a critical refuge for unique wildlife still struggling after those fires.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 1 May 2020 that; Government logging has resumed in fire-damaged forests in NSW despite warnings that devastated bushland and endangered wildlife are too fragile to withstand further disruption.....about 92 per cent of the area set for logging was burnt in the fires.

On the morning of Friday 15 May 2020, Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners and the Nambucca community peacefully demonstrated outside the forest and successfully stopped the NSW Forestry Corporation logging for the day. 



This forest is one of the few remaining patches of unburnt koala habitat and critical refuge for wildlife after the recent bushfire season. 

Community action brought a welcome reprieve but the fight is just beginning. 

The people of New South Wales still need to make sure Nambucca State Forest is kept safe for good. 

Support the Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners on the frontline by calling on your MP to take urgent action to stop this logging destruction.

Join the fight and email your own state MP to save Nambucca and all native forests from the chopping block.

If you live in the Oxley state electorate make sure to email local Nationals MP Melinda Pavey at oxley@parliament.nsw.gov.au.



At 10am on Tuesday 19 May 2019 logging trucks again entered one of the few unburnt refuges in Nambucca State Forest at Jack Ridge Road, Nambucca. If you live in the region now is the time to protest legally along boundaries of this forest at logging road entrances.

The 'Protect Nambucca Heads State Forest' group have put out a call for assistance.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Raising money to return Australian east coast rainforests to their former glory


Echo NetDaily, 24 April 2020:

The last few years have been a rolling wave of dire situations: floods that caused local devastation, followed by drought that saw much of the country dry out, compounded by some of Australia’s worst fires. Of course that was all before the current COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the globe.

But the rain has come, and while community planting events have had to be cancelled due to the virus, there is still plenty of opportunity to support having a positive influence on the climate.

The Rainforest 4 Foundation has been at the forefront of positive action, including planting rainforest trees to restore fire-devastated rainforests and buying back land in the Daintree.

We’ve purchased four properties this year, one each month’, said Kelvin Davies, founder of the Rainforest 4 Foundation.

We ran a crowd funding campaign in November with Mullumbimby based company We Are Explorers, and that helped to purchase Lot 305, Cypress Road, Cow Bay, Daintree.’

In fact Rainforest 4 have managed to buy back, or have under contract, six properties in the Daintree since August 2019. They are currently raising the funds to purchase the sixth, Lot 330, Cape Tribulation Road, which is currently under contract. It will cost $25,000, so far they have raised $9,895 and need to raise another $15,105 to complete the purchase.

Rainforest 4 work in partnership with the local Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation and transfer the properties they purchase to the Daintree National Park and World Heritage Area….

Closer to home Rainforest 4 are looking to keep planting trees to help rebuild the local rainforests that have been devastated by the recent fires……
Kelvin Davies at Upper Wilsons Creek.
Image supplied.

Only one per cent of the Lowland Subtropical Rainforest remains in this region and Rainforest 4 is aiming to directly support that rainforest by planting and restoring habitat in and near areas that were damaged by the Mt Nardi fires.



Over 5,500 hectares were impacted by the fires in the areas of Terania Creek, Tuntable Creek, Tuntable Falls, Huonbrook, Upper Coopers Creek, Upper Wilsons Creek, Wanganui and surrounds.

For $10 you can support the planting of a tree, including its maintenance for three years. To donate, or to find out more go to Rainforest 4Foundation.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Sixteen weeks after the 2019 Border Ranges bushfires in north-east New South Wales this is how the rainforests looked



Some 160,000 hectares of NSW's rainforests burnt in 2019, the effects were devastating, this video shows the effects on World Heritage listed rainforests of the western Border Ranges.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped



Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.



What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 
willoughby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 
hornsby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 
thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 
environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 peter.gutwein@dpac.tas.gov.au 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001 
roger.jaensch@parliament.tas.gov.au

Monday, 20 January 2020

As the black crows of the NSW logging industry begin to gather for an assault on remaining forests, this from Australian Labor Party Leader.......



THE HON ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TERRI BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH
ECOLOGICAL AUDIT NEEDED FOLLOWING NATIONAL DISASTER

The Morrison Government should convene a meeting of state and territory environment ministers and commence an Australian Natural Asset Audit, amid estimates that up to one billion animals have perished in the nation’s bushfire disaster.
The Government must also guarantee continued funding for the nation’s Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, which will cease to exist from July next year because it does not conform to the Government’s rewritten guidelines for CRCs, which favour commercial research.
Australians love the bush. Many of us live in the bush and our precious wildlife is deeply ingrained in Australian sense of identity.
With more than eight million hectares burned so far this bushfire season, we must turn to land management specialists and scientists to assess the scale of this ecological disaster and advise governments on a national approach to recovery efforts.
The Melbourne-based Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre is building disaster resilient communities across the country by bringing together all of Australia and New Zealand’s fire and emergency services authorities with leading experts across a range of scientific fields.
In 2013 the Labor Government provided $48 million to fund the centre for eight years through to June 2021 based on warnings by scientists that climate change would increase the severity and frequency of extreme weather events.
Despite its strong record of success and ongoing need for national collaboration over natural disasters, the centre is ineligible for further funding under the Morrison Government’s current CRC Guidelines.
This bushfire season, up to 26 lives have been lost and at least 1800 homes have been destroyed.
Our key focus must be to support affected communities, victims and families of those who have lost their lives.
But Australians have also been shocked by graphic and heart-rending images of dead and injured wildlife as well as farm stock.
It is critical that as part of the recovery we understand the impact of the tragedy on the National Estate, including our wildlife, and that we better understand how to reduce bushfires and protect our precious natural habitat.
As part of whole-of-government approach to rebuilding our communities, the Federal Government must act now to better protect Australia’s unique natural assets.
The bushfire emergency is a national crisis that requires a national response.
Labor is proposing:

1. An Australian Natural Asset Audit
  • The Morrison Government should immediately commence Australian Natural Asset Audit to understand the true impact that these devastating bushfires on our national icons and natural assets. The audit would assess the loss of our native animal and plants species that have been wiped out an unprecedented rate during the bushfire crisis engulfing Australia, and would assess habitat loss and impacts on environmental assets.
  • The Commonwealth should mobilise Australian scientists and land management professionals to immediately begin the mammoth task of assessing the ecological and biodiversity damage to Australia’s natural assets. The audit would enable the government to bring together Australia’s best ecologists and on the ground practitioners, including rangers from our national parks, local and state government environmental management staff, farmers and indigenous leaders from impacted areas.
  • The audit should be used to inform short, medium and long-term recovery efforts, including urgently supporting the Threatened Species Scientific Committee on immediate actions to increase the recovery, management and protection of Australia’s threatened species, including any new listings required, and to recommend proactive measures for the next bushfire crisis.
2. Start national recovery planning now: The Commonwealth should urgently convene a meeting of the environment ministerial council to commence recovery planning now
  • Immediately start recovery planning through the joint environment ministerial council with the states, to assess animal hospital services, demand and funding and short to medium-term recovery measures in key habitats for existing critically endangered species.
  • The Government should also take steps to activate a coordinated national group of Landcare volunteers in an Australia-wide effort to recover and regenerate our key natural assets and to protect the economic benefits and jobs that flow from our international reputation as a natural wonderland.
3. Immediately guarantee funding for the Cooperative Research Centre
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison must provide funding certainty to the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.
  • The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC has less than 18 months of funding left and is currently ineligible for renewed funding under the Morrison Government’s amended CRC Guidelines.
  • The Centre predicts a return on Commonwealth investment of 7:1 through reduced loss of life and injury, reducing government costs and reducing insurance costs.
For example, the town of Gracemere in Queensland was saved in 2018 as a result of science-based predictive capacity developed by the Centre.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Meet some of Meet Scott Morrsison's "indulgent" environmental "anarchists" as they sing about 200 weeks of continuous protest


Terrifying bunch aren't they? One can just see they have molotov cocktails in their back pockets and are planning violent chaos. 

Scott Morrison is such a fool.  

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Remembering Terania......


ABC News, 17 August 2019:




It has been 40 years since the first images emerged of protesters blocking the path of bulldozers to stop the logging of rainforest at Terania Creek on the New South Wales north coast.

The protest is regarded as a watershed moment in Australia's environmental movement and cited as the first time people physically defended a natural resource.

While the fight to save the rainforest reached its climax in August 1979, the story began several years earlier when a young couple from Melbourne moved to a single-room cabin bordering the rainforest in Terania Creek.

PHOTO: Protesters Falls in Nightcap National Park are named after the demonstrations. (ABC North Coast: Leah White)



Hugh and Nan Nicholson said they were drawn to the incredible beauty of the area and were shocked to learn the following year that the Forestry Commission planed to clear-fell the forest.

"Our involvement was very sudden, very abrupt," Mrs Nicholson said.

"We had no experience, we were very young, but we felt we couldn't let this go, we had to try to do something."

Over the next four years, the Nicholsons said their efforts to halt the logging escalated from writing letters and submissions and lobbying politicians to hosting hundreds of protesters and being at the coalface of the fight.

"We found there were many other young people who had just moved to the area and they also were appalled at the idea of this beautiful forest being flattened," Mrs Nicholson said.

"So we quite quickly got into a group that was going to fight it, and that was the start of years and years of battle."

'Not so peaceful' protest say loggers

While the demonstrators' intentions were "non-violent, peaceful protest", not everybody held to that ideal.

Death threats were made and received by each side.

Even though Hurfords Hardwood had nothing to do with the Terania logging operation, the family's South Lismore mill was burnt to the ground.

The company who held the licence for the coupe at Terania Creek was the Standard Sawmilling Company from Murwillumbah.

John Macgregor-Skinner, the production manager at the time, said the toll from protests put an "astronomical" strain on his workers and family.

"We had tractors sabotaged, people threatened [with] chainsaws, trees spiked, bridges sabotaged and the like," he said.

"From a personal perspective, we received telephone calls to say that my wife was going to get raped, they knew where the kids were going to school and they weren't going to come home tomorrow.



PHOTO: Loggers say protesters sabotaged equipment during the Terania Creek protest. (Supplied: David Kemp)

"That happened on several occasions to the point that we had police protection and I had a direct line to the police inspector.

"Nothing did eventuate, but by gee you don't know."

Mr Macgregor-Skinner said the protest also had a detrimental impact on jobs on the NSW north coast.

"Terania Creek was only a very, very small part of our operations," he said.

"But what eventuated out of Terania Creek closed down the mill."

Mr Macgregor-Skinner estimates 600 jobs were lost in the region when Neville Wran, then New South Wales premier, made the historic 'rainforest decision' in October 1982, removing about 100,000 hectares of forest from timber production.

Legacy of saving the 'big scrub'

Bundjalung woman Rhoda Roberts was only young when the Terania Creek protests took place, but she can remember her late father, Pastor Frank Roberts, talking about the new arrivals who were eager to save the environment.

She said at the time traditional owners were living under the Protection Act.

"We didn't really have a voice. You've got to remember there were curfews, they were taking kids.

PHOTO: Rhoda Roberts remembers her father talking about the significance of the Terania Creek protest. (Supplied)

"People were very frightened, so to have a group of people who arrived on country and were determined to love that environment, from our perspective, was incredibly new."

Ms Roberts said the big scrub, which includes Terania Creek, is a 'storybook' place where knowledge is exchanged among generations.

"I'm indebted now because my children and the coming children … when we travel our territories, we still have a sample of land that we know has been there since time immemorial," she said.

"I pay my greatest respects to everyone who was involved in Terania Creek because you saved country for us, and we are all benefiting from that.".....

Read the full article with more images here.