• North Coast Environment Council

    Formed in 1976, we are the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. We cover the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. We receive no government funding and have no paid staff or central office. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers, to remain effective. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.
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International Year of Forests: Challenges for North-east NSW

The North Coast Environment Council and North East Forest Alliance will use the focus of the UN International Year of Forests, to highlight forest conservation and management issues in our region.

The NCEC began campaigning for forest protection and to stop export woodchipping in 1976. Although we have seen some significant gains in forest protection unfortunately our job is not done,” said NCEC Vice President Susie Russell.

Forests both on private and public land are not being managed to best advantage. It is in the interests of the entire regional community that the benefits forests provide all of us: reliable and clean water supplies, biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and spiritual well being, be considered along side their timber values.

2010 saw the NSW Environment Department facilitate the logging of oldgrowth forests and core koala habitat on private land and propose the logging of Endangered Ecological Communities. On public land our organisations exposed that Forests NSW were logging rainforest and endangered Ecological Communities and that in each logging operation inspected there were dozens of breaches of licence conditions. The Environment Department has failed to develop a culture of compliance and logging contractors think they can get away with anything- and they do.

We are not going away, we will continue to blow the whistle on the diminishing protection being given to the State’s endangered species and high conservation value forests,” she said.

Dailan Pugh, co-founder in 1989 of the North East Forest Alliance said, “In 2011 we need to see the NSW and Commonwealth Governments take decisive action to stop the spread of Bell Miner Associate Dieback in our forests.

Bell Miner Dieback is now affecting tens of thousands of hectares of forests in north-east NSW, is rapidly expanding and is a threat to millions of hectares of native forest.

What happens is that after logging lantana invades the degraded forests, the open overstorey and dense lantana understorey provides perfect habitat for Bell Miners, these aggressive birds then chase away other birds and allow populations of sap-sucking insects to explode, the insects then slowly kill the remaining trees while the lantana suppresses regrowth.

For 20 years we have been raising our concerns that Forests NSW are facilitating the spread of Bell Miner Dieback by continuing to log affected forests and adjacent areas. Yet they still do it.

In this International Year of Forests we need to reverse the spread of dead and dying forests. In this region Forests NSW need to immediately stop logging Bell Miner Dieback affected forests, and adjacent areas, and actively control the lantana to restore forest health.

Logging of Bell Miner Dieback affected forests hastens their death, destroys fauna habiat, destroys forest productivity, releases carbon into the atmosphere, and is in contravention of ecologically sustainable forest management goals. It is well past time to stop,” Mr Pugh said.

Both organisations are committed to putting these and other forest related issues before the public and the Government this year.

 

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