Lot 45 Valla Beach
I wrote an article for the local paper, Another Nail In The Coffin – Lot 45 Valla Beach, frustrated that the community’s efforts to save a wildlife corridor had failed, but good news (and there is so much bad)!
‘I note your concern that Council has pursued this proposal against the wishes of the local community and your desire the land remains as public open space . . . On 29 September 2022 I determined, as delegate of the Minister, not to make the proposed local environmental plan and to discontinue the planning proposal. Council has been notified of this outcome and will need to address key issues of concern to the local community prior to lodgement of any new planning proposal.’[i]
Forestry operations in this region
State-owned forestry company, Forestry Corp NSW get away with murder and the EPA rarely acts. ‘NEFA is outraged that its complaints about obvious and blatant damage to retained hollow-bearing and Koala feed trees in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest have been dismissed by the EPA on the grounds it does not constitute damage.’ [ii]
And the worry is the fake news and misinformation. ‘The debate (in NSW Parliament to end logging of public native forests, stop burning native forests for electricity, and implement the NRC bushfire recommendations) was informative in that it showed the level of ignorance we are dealing with.’[iii] Politicians supporting ongoing logging are so ignorant of what is happening.
‘There was a time when regulations dictated that trees marked for preservation be protected by five-metre buffer zones, not just to protect the big trees but to maintain an understory around them. That regulation was scrapped in 2018 and Graham shows us the scars where machinery has ripped through the bark at the base of the preserved trees.’ Forest News[iv]
Professor of Forest Ecology Suzanne Simard is appalled by the ongoing techniques forestry operations are using. ‘We’re finding that when you clear-cut you create the most risky environment: we lose a lot of carbon right off the bat, and we lose biodiversity, and we have less regeneration. The whole system ratchets down. Whereas if we leave clusters of old trees, they nurture the next generation. They keep the carbon in the soil; they keep the biodiversity; they provide the seed. And this is really cool—it shows a different way to manage forests. We call it partial cutting: when you leave old trees.’[v]
More on the ecology of trees and Suzanne Simard:
FrogID Week starts today.
Our frogs have vanished since two Green Tree Snakes arrived.
‘Using the free FrogID app, you can record the frogs calling around you and help us count Australia’s frogs. Join our growing team of citizen scientists this 11-20 November 2022.’
[i] Malcolm McDonald, Executive Director, Local and Regional Planning letter to Georgette Allen, 8 November 2022
[ii] Forest Media 14 October 2022
[iii] Forest Media 14 October 2022
[iv] Forest Media 11 November 2022, New South Wales, https://www.nefa.org.au/forest_news
[v] Suzanne Simard, interview, ‘Finding the Mother Tree’, October 26, 2022. https://emergencemagazine.org/interview/finding-the-mother-tree/