Yesterday evening a four wheel drive ute with hunting dogs in the back was seen entering the Glenbog State Forest. With so much destruction in the forest, how on earth are animals to flee? Hunting for sport is a terrible notion…. but when the odds are even more against the wildlife what chance to they have? Pretty much none.
Raising awareness of the logging industry (specifically the Glenbog State Forest)… the damaging impacts to threatened flora and fauna.
In June 2014 logging of the Glenbog State Forest began. Glenbog is home to many threatened species of flora and fauna. The aim of this blog is to highlight the damage being done and to ensure that native fauna are being considered and protected.
Glenbog State Forest covers an area of about around 11,000 hectares and is located in the southeast of Australia in New South Wales. The closest townships are Bemoka and Nimmitabel.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for regulating native forestry operations on public (Crown) land. The Forestry Corporation of New South Wales is the company carrying out logging in Glenbog.
Marie and Ray Wynan – who are wildlife rehabilitators – own a property that adjoins the state forest. Their property is a part of the Wildlife Land Trust and also has a National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Agreement that protects threatened flora and fauna. They are at the forefront of this campaign and have shared information about the logging activity and the impacts to Australian native animals, including many threatened species.
Some of the wildlife of Glenbog include:
Chocolate Wattled Bat
Black Rock Skink
Gang Gang Cockatoo (vulnerable)
Striped Marsh Frog
Greater Glider (endangered)
Little Forest Bat (vulnerable)
Swift Parrot (vulnerable)
Powerful Owl (vulnerable)
Mountain Brushtail Possum
Yellow Bellied Glider (vulnerable)
Alpine Tree Frog (endangered)
Southern Brown Bandicoot (vulnerable)
(source: Atlas of Living Australia)
Threatened ecosystems include montane peatlands, swamps and sphagnum bogs.
Forestry operations are permitted in most State Forests under NSW Forest Agreements and integrated forestry operation approvals (IFOAs). These provide long-term arrangements for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests, consistent with the National Forest Policy Statement.
Glenbog is a State Forest, so unfortunately it was always intended to be logged. However, with such a high number of threatened species within the forest and the fact that the area has a large population of wombats, we believe that Forestry Corporation of NSW needs to be thoroughly open and transparent, more environmentally aware and fully accountable for their actions in relation to wildlife harm.
The legal definition of harm (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974)
Harm an animal (including an animal of a threatened species, population or ecological community) includes hunt, shoot, poison, net, snare, spear, pursue, capture, trap, injure or kill, but does not includeharmby changing the habitat of an animal.
Harm an object or place includes any act or omission that:
(a) destroys, defaces or damages the object or place, or
(b) in relation to an object—moves the object from the land on which it had been situated, or
(c) is specified by the regulations, or
(d) causes or permits the object or place to be harmed in a manner referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), but does not include any act or omission that:
(e) desecrates the object or place, or
(f) is trivial or negligible, or
(g) is excluded from this definition by the regulations.
“Harm” in this context is not that the environment / habitat is being changed but that wildlife may be harmed physically by the activity. For example: burrows of the Bare-Nosed Wombat have been GPS marked and are regularly checked. While each burrow within the Glenbog State Forest is to be protected (and most cases they have been) some burrows are gone – backfilled or completely covered by wood waste and debris. The question must be asked, what has happened to the wombats in those burrows?
There is also concern for the local koala populations – what considerations are in place for koala displacement? And what of other species? Are nesting hollows being checked for gliders? Are ground dwelling animals being moved before logging trucks move in? Our aim is raise awareness of these issues.
Work has only recently begun so we have time to investigate these issues and bring them to light. Major works have not yet entered the area that houses the most wombat burrows – we hope to have the burrows fully protected.
There are multiple ways you can help.
1. Visit Glenbog and report to EPA
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) encourages members of the community to report forestry operation incidents that they suspect may have been illegal or pose a threat to the environment.
Unlawful forestry operations include breaches of environmental regulations and forestry licensing conditions. They could involve such things as logging in stream protection zones, causing sediment to wash into streams, and damaging habitat in protected areas.
To make a report visit this link
2. Contact MPs about the issue.
Greens MP David Shoebridge has already expressed interest in the activity. The more letters David receives the more likely he will be spurred into action.
David’s contact details are:
David Shoebridge MLC
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9230 3030
3. Contact Forestry Corporation of NSW
Forestry Corporation Head Office
121-131 Oratava Ave
West Pennant Hills
Phone: 9872 0111
Fax: 9871 6941
Glenbog has both hardwood forests and softwood plantations.
Batemans Bay office (hardwood forests)
PO Box 42
Batemans Bay NSW 2536
Phone: 1300 880 548
Fax: (02) 4472 6557
Snowy Region (softwood plantations)
PO Box 291
Tumut NSW 2720
Phone: (02) 6947 3911
Fax: (02) 6947 2865
4. Sign the petition
Over the next few weeks we hope to gain enough signatures to our petition that will be sent to the Forestry Corporation of NSW and EPA. The petition will call for increased protection of both flora and fauna within Glenbog State Forest. The petition is currently being created so watch this space!
We are not alone in this campaign. Significant environmental organisations are also becoming involved. These include The Wildlife Land Trust, South East Region Conservation Alliance and The Australian Wildlife Society.
Our ultimate aim is to help Marie and Ray Wynan forge bonds with the Forestry Corporation of NSW – to help them preserve and protect native flora and fauna. Thank you for being a part of this campaign.
The Glenbog Blog