submissions NEEDED NOW FOR best operating standards for NEW SOUTH WALES Private Native Forestry
The NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation is currently seeking comments on their draft Guidelines for Logging Private Land.Please get your submissions in as soon as you can. The deadline has been extended to the 10th of March.
Susie Russell of NEFA (www.nefa.org.au) has studied the relevant documents and reports that the proposed new guidelines will make it easier to carry out destructive activities. There has been no consultation for the preparation of these "guidelines" with either conservationists or the agencies that have environmental regulatory functions.
Documents should be available in DLWC offices. Please let us know if you ask for a copy and can't get one. Having searched in vain at the Department of Land and Water Conservation's website under "Private Native Forestry", the Rainforest Information Centre has relied on the always reliable Susie Russell's reading of this elusive document for our submission. We urge you to either get hold of the documents or do the same.
Susie writes: "It seems that the Department of Land and Water Conservation (DLWC) is supporting the logging industries drive for unfettered access to private lands (as the public land wood supply is fast running out).
The Government's intent is that these proposals will become the benchmark for private land logging operations across the whole of NSW. No doubt they are designed to guarantee wood supplies for wood-fired power stations and charcoal burners and ongoing woodchipping"
Submissions should be sent to
Leanne Wallace, DLWC,
GPO Box 39, SYDNEY,
fax 02 9228 6427
or email email@example.com
Letters also need to be sent to Richard Amery, Minister for Land and Water firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Debus, Environment Minister, email@example.com
and the premier Bob Carr, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a copy of the RIC's submission:
BEST OPERATING STANDARDS FOR PRIVATE NATIVE FORESTRYHere is the Rainforest Information Centre's response to your draft.The proposed guidelines are wishy-washy and encourage highly destructive logging to occur in contravention of the requirements of ecologically sustainable forest management and the urgent need to provide protection for species threatened with extinction. The guidelines are called best operating standards and yet represent the worst operating standards in operation in NSW.
The guidelines have not been properly exhibited. Requests for copies at regional offices have been met with blank looks, as of March 6, 2001 there is no copy on the DLWC website. The draft has been poorly circulated.The document has been prepared on a State Forest computer. There is a conflict of interest between an agency responsible for logging being given responsibility for drafting "guidelines" to regulate logging.
The "guidelines" are inconsistent with the objects of the native Vegetation Conservation Act, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, and the Threatened Species Conservation Act.There is a knowing imposition of significant impact.
UNREGULATED LOGGINGThere is no minimum canopy retention.There are no minimum tree size retention requirements.There is no restriction on clearfelling. The minimalist tree retention ie up to 5 trees/ ha on average, allows for configurations that enable broadscale clearfellingNo requirement to provide information on how much of the proper ty has already been cleared, the age class and size of the remaining forest and a management plan that even bothers to pay lip-service to sustainability.LOGGING EXCLUSION AREAS
There is no intended (or implied) exclusion of logging from rainforest , oldgrowth forest, wilderness, or rare, endangered
and inadequately reserved ecosystems.Previous DLWC guidelines had better protection for rainforest, oldgrowth forest, wetlands, heath and rocky outcrops. These guidelines are retrograde and provide less protection at a time when the community expects there to be stronger protection.Forest ecosystems which are poorly reserved on public land, (measured against the minimum criteria set up the Commonwealth Government) receive no protection and no process for determining which areas on private land are of conservation significance.Areas of extreme erosion hazard are allowed to be logged.Logging on land over 30 degrees can be logged if a cable logging technique is used. Expert opinion of soil scientists has been to limit ALL logging on land over 25 degrees.There is no recognition of the need for broad regional wildlife corridors to enable movement of species between major habitat areas.The requirements for local wildlife corridors have been reduced to the point of being pure tokenism.STREAMS
There is a significant reduction in the widths of unlogged buffers along streams.The filter strips on streams and watercourses are less than those required by the EPA and NPWS on public land.Filterstrip widths fail to take into account the extent of erosion hazard potential.Streams
in western forests and woodlands, already severely degraded, are afforded only a five metre buffer or filter strip. This is tantamount to criminal negligence.HABITAT RETENTION FOR THREATENED SPECIESOnly 2 habitat trees /hectare have to be retained in River Red Gum forests (except within 50m of a river), this compares to requirements to retain 5 habitat trees/ha in coastal and table land areas.There is no requirement at all to leave habitat trees in some Cypress Pine logging operations which could see all the old
ironbarks removed.No requirement that retained trees (whether as habitat or feed trees) must be from the largest size classes, and skinny sapling will do.No requirement to retain stags (standing dead trees) which are important habitat.No requirement for retention of nectar feed trees for River Red Gum and Cypress Pine forests.No requirement for pre-logging surveys for threatened species of plants and animals by accredited experts.No exclusion buffers around the nests or roosts of any threatened species.No conditions to protect specific threatened species that may occur on the property or in the unlikely event any are detected and recorded.No identification required of high use koala areas, and there fore no requirements to maintain buffers around such areas or to retain minimum numbers of koala feed trees in other areas of koala habitat.
for the Earth
John Seed, Ruth Rosenhek, Binnie O'Dwyer, Tessalie Parker, Phil Murray, Anja Light,
Rainforest Information Centre
Box 368 Lismore 2480
61 (0)2 66213294