Tarkeeth State Forest debate fires up

ADVOCATE: Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham is one of many leading the charge against logging at the Tarkeeth State Forest.
ADVOCATE: Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham is one of many leading the charge against logging at the Tarkeeth State Forest. Contributed

FORESTRY NSW and environmentalists continue to lock horns over logging in the Tarkeeth State Forest, near Bellingen.

A new video posted to social media by Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has reignited controversies surrounding the 1500ha forest.

In the short video, Mr Buckingham slammed Forestry's management of Tarkeeth's timber plantations, calling it unsustainable for the 21st century.

"It's a backwards practice in an age of climate change to be operating this way," Mr Buckingham said.

"It's a waste of forest, it's a waste of resources."

Forestry Corporation NSW senior manager Dean Kearney said there were no new revelations in the video about the forest.

Mr Kearney hit back at Mr Buckingham's claims about run-off polluting soils and surrounding rivers. He emphasised sustainable practice is central to the management of the forest.

"We are actively putting mitigation practices in place," Mr Kearney said.


"All the trees are retained along the exclusion zones so you can see the network of drainage lines in that aerial footage (in the video) there.

"That's the standard practice and we're confident that there will be no soil erosion or pollution from that site."

Mr Kearney said about 850ha of the forest was used for timber harvesting and the remaining 650ha was native forest.

Within the native forest area, half has been dedicated to conservation and the other half has the potential to be harvested timber.

Tarkeeth lands dedication map drawn up in 1984.
Tarkeeth lands dedication map drawn up in 1984. Forestry NSW

But Mr Kearney said there were no plans to develop timber plantations within that area of native forest, quashing rumours that Forestry is logging in native forest at Tarkeeth.

"The idea that we are harvesting and clear-felling and burning native forest is totally incorrect, it's not true."

When asked what triggers these accusations about Forestry's operation in the Tarkeeth, Mr Kearney said he was at a loss.

"We are trying our best to be clear about the fact that we are harvesting the plantations and that we are going to replant the plantations and that is what this proposal is all about."

Topics:  logging

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