Koalas at risk as logging goes on

FORESTS NSW has decided to keep logging in Royal Camp State Forest near Casino even though koalas may be living close by.

North East Forest Alliance claimed koalas were at risk from logging in the area because Forests NSW failed to accurately identify the number of high-use trees.

Early this month, NEFA raised concerns about Forests NSW's initial assessment of koala activity in the area and an audit of the assessment was conducted. Forests NSW re-concluded there were seven high-use koala trees in the area.

NEFA also conducted an assessment of the area and, based on amounts of koala fecal scats found near trees, identified 23 high-use trees.

"Our real concern is that there's no one, or at least no one checking properly, for these high-use areas," NEFA spokesman Dailan Pugh said.

"They had done all the assessments they intended and the whole area would have been logged by now if NEFA had not intervened."

A Forests NSW spokesman said logging had resumed to the east of the area where potential high-use koala trees were being assessed.

"The forest qualifies as intermediate-use koala habitat, with some areas protected as high-use habitat, so additional koala-preferred feed trees are also protected during harvesting," he said.

"The new harvest area has been subjected to all pre-harvest surveys and has been marked for harvest."

Mr Pugh said an independent assessment of koala activity in the area was required.

"There's not many high-use koala areas on public land so it is really important that we protect them."



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