Politics, Science/Environment

Wild Cattle Creek site of “next State Forest massacre” – Bellingen Environment Centre

Whilst the Gumbayngiirr Conservation group are quietly celebrating the departure of logging crews from Nambucca State Forest today, spare a thought for the badly damage Wild Cattle Creek State Forest North west of Coffs Harbour .

The logging machines removed from Nambucca State Forest were quietly shifted into Wild Cattle Creek State Forest and photographed there on Tuesday afternoon.

The Forestry Corporation recently approved plans to log much of the remaining unburnt forest in this recognised biodiversity hotspot.

The Liberation Trail fire burnt for several months including near Nana Glen in November 2019

Last year the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) mapped much of Wild Cattle Creek State Forest as the second largest of ten ‘Koala Focus areas,” priority conservation areas recognised within   the community proposal for the Great Koala National Park . That assessment followed  a two day visit by Energy and Environment  Minister Matt  Kean, looking for Koala parks, in May 2019.

Wild Cattle Creek State Forest, like most of the Dorrigo plateau forests was impacted by the enormous Liberation Trail bushfire in late 2019.

Most of the Wild Cattle Creek State Forest was burnt after the most  extreme of the  fire  conditions had passed and patches of forest on the eastern edge escaped the fire altogether to remain as unburnt remnants for wildlife .

 Since the Liberation Trail bushfire the Forestry Corporation has been clear felling and burning hundreds of hectares of plantation forests within Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.

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Some of the clear felling in and around Cattle Creek. Photo; BEC

“Now, after being shamed into leaving Nambucca State Forest by four weeks of citizen  blockading,  the Forestry Corporation is about to log one of the main fire free remnants of native forest remaining  in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest.” Said Bellingen Environment Centre (BEC) spokesperson Ashley Love.

“The Koala Focus Area, identified over 6000 ha of native forest in Wild Cattle Creek State Forest  last year,  has been subject to  prolonged drought , the Liberation Trail fire, then  the clear felling and burning of extensive  surrounding plantations and now faces  logging of unburnt native forest remnants” added the BEC spokesperson.

Map of Wild Cattle Creek State Forest in New South Wales - Bonzle ...
Cattle Creek Forest is within the purple box

This is the first of the DPIE ten Koala Focus Areas to be proposed for logging by the Forestry Corporation since the DPIE report was released early this year.

Conservationists are asking how much can Wild Cattle Creek State Forest take.

“Extensive areas off the forest landscape  were changed perhaps forever by the Liberation Trail bushfire , now the Forestry Corporation are   systematically  plucking away at the remnants , the very areas required to  reinfuse and rebuild  the extensive fire scarred landscape of the Dorrigo plateau forests .” said the BEC spokesperson.

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The above is a Press Release from the Bellingen Environment Centre – Wednesday 24 June 2020.

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