Bellingen protest marks International Day of Forests

Forest activists and blockaders met in Bellingen on the corner of Church and Hyde streets, today, to protest on International Day of Forests.                                

They did this to highlight;

  • The steep and sensitive Kalang headwaters forests are in imminent danger from Forestry Corporations industrial logging of native forests,
  • That the need for the Great Koala National Park becomes more urgent every day as Koalas, wildlife, rivers and our unique forests are increasingly decimated,
  • And as the pressure from the Forestry Corporation on  logging native forests and unsustainable plantations around Bellingen keeps rolling on a better approach overall is needed.

The Bellingen Environment Centre (BEC) believes the fight to protect the Kalang headwaters and rivers is now about to start in earnest. The BEC thinks the Forestry Corporation are planning to move into the Kalang headwater forests any time after 31 March, at the end of seasonal restrictions that  limit logging on steeper slopes.

Four compartments of The Kalang headwater forests in Scotchman and Roses Creek State forests  are scheduled for logging first. The compartments  are rated in the Forest Corporation of  NSW’s  own draft harvest plan as  having ‘potential for mass movement and instability’ as well as having soils that are ‘inherent hazard level 3, ‘ the second highest erodible rating available.

“The steep headwater forests, are at the furthest distance from timber mills and are currently providing clean water, carbon sequestration and protection to internationally recognised biodiversity features. They should not be being intensively logged in this day and age” said  Mr Ashley Love a BEC spokesperson .

The area to the west of Bellingen is also one of three recognised strongholds in the world for the endangered Rufous  Scrub-bird, Atrichornis rufescens (pictured).

The Rufous Scrub-bird is significant as one of the most primitive living song birds and its last remaining unprotected habitat in this region is within the Kalang headwater forests scheduled for logging in the near future.

“People travel from around the World to listen to the distinctive call of this species”, added Mr Love.

As a result of the threats to the Kalang headwaters forests Mr Love said the “Kalang and Bellinger community are left with no choice but to blockade, to take non-violent direct action and demand that our headwaters are left intact for our community”.

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The above is a Press Release from the BEC.

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