Karangi Residents Protest Logging Plans

‘Friends of Karangi Forest’ protest against logging of their neighbouring forest.

FORTY ‘Friends of Karangi Forest’ held a peaceful protest against Forestry Corporation NSW (FCNSW) plans to log Orara East State Forest at Karangi, on Wednesday, September 28.

As previously reported in News Of The Area, residents say they have recorded sightings of koalas in the area, as well as the presence of other endangered and/or significant species and flora.

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The ‘Friends’ claim only three of the ten residents with properties adjacent to the area to be logged were notified.

Paul Healy, from the Friends of Karangi Forest said, “We are joining with other communities who are fighting to protect their local native forests.”

Protesters came from a range of backgrounds, the group including teachers, farmers, construction workers and a local councillor.

Mr Healy said there has been a significant amount of runoff from the new roads and residents are investigating the impact on local waterways.

He said residents will meet to discuss their next strategies.

A spokesperson for FCNSW said that Orara East State Forest near Karangi is a mix of timber plantations and regrowth native forest designated for timber production and areas managed for conservation and recreation.

Harvesting operations are intended to start in the next few months in around 100 hectares of the regrowth native forest and 40 hectares of hardwood timber plantation, although timing may be later and depend on weather and other operational considerations.

The spokesperson said there are strict conditions regulating all timber harvesting operations and only a portion of the native forest will be harvested for renewable timber.

She said large areas will be set aside for wildlife habitat, along riparian corridors, to protect environmental features, to maintain seed resources for regeneration and to maintain biodiversity.

The spokesperson said the roading being undertaken is maintenance and improvement of the existing road network that will facilitate timber haulage and beyond this, will be used for access to the forest for tourism and recreation and fire management.

She said all Forestry Corporation’s operations are completely transparent, with detailed harvest plans published on its website and operations independently regulated.

The spokesperson said that direct forest neighbours have been notified of the operations.

Further information is available from the FCNSW website or by contacting its Coffs Harbour Office directly.

By Andrew VIVIAN

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