The Nature Conservation Council has visited North Coast forests as the campaign to halt cable logging trials steps up a gear.
The Nature Conservation Council has visited North Coast forests as the campaign to halt cable logging trials steps up a gear. Trevor Veale

Nature Conservation Council call to stop cable logging trial

THE NATURE Conservation Council is calling on the NSW Government to abandon plans to trial cable logging on steep slopes on the North Coast.

Council CEO, Kate Smolski, visited Coffs Harbour this week to inspect habitat restoration and rehabilitation projects and said this controversial form of timber-getting would have a devastating impact on the region's native species and water quality in streams and rivers.

"Logging on slopes over 30 degrees was abandoned years ago and must not be allowed to return to our forests," she said.

"The environmental costs are simply too high.

"In the Upper Bellinger Valley, 80,000 tonnes of soil washed into the river during a single logging operation on steep slopes in the early 1990s.

"As a result of the community outcry and a damning Land and Environment Court judgment, State Forests were subsequently required to prepare environmental impacts statements before logging and steep lands were effectively removed from forestry operations.

"Now, quite incredibly, the Forestry Corporation is preparing to pillage steeply sloping forests in this region once again, this time with a controversial and costly technique called cable logging."

Ms Smolski said environment groups on the North Coast were deeply opposed to the trial because of the risks it posed to large, forest-dependent fauna, many of them threatened species, including powerful owls and yellow-bellied gliders.

"These areas are currently in very good condition, with lots of mature trees that contain hollows that are essential as nesting sites for many species.

"These precious areas must not be destroyed for short-term financial gain.

"The region's struggling koala population, which is under intense pressure from habitat fragmentation, disease, and inbreeding, would be further threatened by this proposal.

"Sightings and other records show koalas use these steeply sloping forest areas for feeding and as corridors between colonies, which allows separate populations to mingle and avoid inbreeding."

The Nature Conservation Council is also conducting a campaign aimed at bringing the North Coast Emu back from the brink of extinction by improving conditions in the Upper Cold Stream catchment near Grafton. .



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