Updated: September 18, 2004
Saving Our Forests - Green Policing
The folk that have been visiting the forests lately have encountered a mixture of highs and lows. Green-policing has been the focus of the forest campaign for the last couple of months. What happens with green-policing is, a group of people go to an area that has recently been logged by State Forests, and this area is checked for breaches of protocol. That is, we see if State Forests have obeyed the law in their logging practices.
State Forests are required to mark trees properly, leave hollow-bearing trees (called 'Habitat trees') in appropriate numbers (10 per 2 hectares) standing, leave enough trees the next size down from the largest habitat trees that will grow on to be habitat trees ('Recruitment trees' - also 10 per 2 ha.) More often than not, the law has been broken, and we write a breach report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) - the government organisation responsible for keeping an eye on State Forests' operations.
Breaches have been found in the Watagans-Heaton State Forest, Barrington State Forest, Chichester State Forest- Compartments 24 and 19, and Myall River State Forest near Bulahdelah. Once a breach report has been submitted to NPWS, they are supposed to visit the State Forest where the breach has taken place and confirm that the law has been broken and take appropriate action. We are waiting upon NPWS to do this at the moment.
It is sad to see that State Forests are not fulfilling even the minimum requirements to protect endangered species such as the Yellow-Bellied Glider, Golden-Tipped Bat, Glossy Black Cockatoo and various others, many of which need hollow-bearing trees to survive. Not to mention the protection of our biodiversity. However, there is satisfaction involved in getting to know the forest, and learning to recognise where the law has been broken and being able to do something about it. Thank you to every one that has been involved in the green-policing missions!
We hope to start conducting Forest Tours to beautiful areas of forest soon so we get a bit of a balance.
If you're interested in the Forest Campaign please get in touch with Claire, The Wilderness Society Forest Campaigner on 4929 4395.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Newcastle Inc
Hunter Heritage Centre,
90 Hunter Street,
Newcastle, NSW, 2300
Phone: 02 4929 4395