Yurangalo Inc

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Background Information

Information about the Giant Burrowing Frog in Western Yurammie

The Warm Temperate Rain Forest of Yurammie Special Prescription Zone - May 2010 (pdf 700KB)

Forest NSW claims about water

Click here to download Forests NSW Presentation to Wyndham Community Meeting 11.5.2010 (pdf 1MB)


Background and Update as at 21.4.10 Re: Yurammie Special Prescription Zone (YSPZ) Yurammie State Forest Compartments 963-967

 

Yurangalo Inc and other community groups continue to seek permanent protection for this high conservation value section of Yurammie State Forest in the Eden Region. Locally this forest is also known as Western Yurammie and it remains under the threat of logging in the near future.

Yurangalo Inc is a founding member of the South East Region Conservation Alliance (SERCA) which was formed in order to act for the protection of sensitive forested areas not protected in the Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) for Eden and Southern. Yurammie, Mumbulla, Murrah, Tanja, and Bermagui State Forests in the Eden Region all have ‘disputed territories’ that the community sought to have permanently protected because of their high conservation values.

During the negotiations for the RFA in Eden there was strident community pressure to fully protect Yurammie Compartments 963 – 967 by making them part of the South East Forests National Park. As a government compromise, the YSPZ was created in the RFA between the State and Federal Governments. Yurangalo Inc has continued to lobby the NSW Government in the intervening years to present the community view that the YSPZ Forest Management Zone (FMZ) 3b designation is inadequate as this forest warrants permanent protection.

In addition to Yurangalo Inc, the Wyndham Water Users strongly advocates the permanent protection of Western Yurammie. As a result of community outrage about the proposed logging of Western Yurammie, the Myrtle Catchment Group has been formed and is also lobbying Government to secure the permanent protection of this forest.

The high conservation values of this forest are very clear. The biodiversity is both rich and abundant; it is a vital part of Wyndham’s water supply and is a watershed for both the Towamba and Pambula rivers. Further, Western Yurammie offers considerable potential to play a role in Wyndham’s economic future through tourism.

Forests NSW (FNSW) has indicated that (should logging occur) they expect the sawlog proportion to be 20% of the cut. This proportion is significantly higher than that usually obtained (normally about 5%) and is a clear indication of the Old Growth nature of this forest. Many of the trees are Candidate Old Growth. The number of hollows is large, supplying an essential resource for hollow using fauna.

Water is vital to Wyndham’s future. The village of Wyndham maintains an independent water supply. The Wyndham Water Users, who manage this water scheme, have indicated the village’s reliance on the YSPZ in low flow and drought conditions. The viability of the village depends on securing this area which acts to store and deliver water reliably over the long term. The water catching and holding capacity of this area of forest is clearly demonstrated by the fact that during the drought of 2002-2003 there was no tree death visible in this forest whilst such death was visible in nearby forests. The continued lack of disturbance to the forest in the YSPZ is vital to this. Further, there needs to be no compromise to the role of the rainforests and swamps in this water supply.

As part of the ‘Wilderness Coast’, tourism will benefit our growing community. Visitor commentary on the logging in the nearby and visible Gnupa State Forest has been overwhelmingly negative. This logging, which has already taken place in another part of Wyndham’s water catchment, has given the local community a clear indication of what it has to lose. It has galvanised community support for the permanent protection of the YSPZ. Over 400 people attended a rally on March 7th to demonstrate their support. Once secured from logging, the YSPZ offers considerable tourism potential. It offers easy driving and walking access to rainforests and swamps. In recognition of their value, the rainforests of the YSPZ have been listed on the register of the National Estate.

FNSW has indicated in its communications with Yurangalo Inc and the broader community no will or ability to provide the level of protection the community has always wanted for the YSPZ. Because of the YSPZ FMZ3b zoning and promises from the NSW Government, Yurangalo always expected a genuine consultation process with FNSW. The ‘consultation’ offered by FNSW has been of a highly unsatisfactory and questionable nature. There has been gross misrepresentation by FNSW of the nature of communications between Yurangalo Inc and FNSW.

The FNSW ‘information day’ held in March was an organisational fiasco which disenfranchised many people. Information presented by FNSW at this day has done nothing to allay community fears. The hydrology information presented does not deal with water supply in dry times, nor does water flow data exist to predict this. There is no Candidate Old Growth marked on the maps they have supplied. Specific long term data about biodiversity is almost non-existent, meaning that there is no way to verify the delivery of Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management. Survey for Threatened Species is demonstrably inadequate, as are the ‘Special Prescriptions’ FNSW has declared for this area. There is no offer of any additional prescriptions except for those dealing with visual and aesthetic considerations and these do not begin to meet the community’s needs. For all these reasons permanent protection is the only answer to the community’s concerns.

The community is aware of the myth of a sawlog driven industry. FNSW has indicated that 80% of the current proposed harvest in the YSPZ is non-sawlog timber. Yurangalo Inc, the Wyndham Water Users and the Myrtle Catchment Group do not regard this part of our catchment as ‘waste wood’, a product that South East Fibre Exports, a multinational corporation, can’t sell and wants to burn for electricity.

In this International Year of Biodiversity there is an opportunity for the NSW Government to address issues remaining from the Eden RFA.  Whether for water, threatened species or biodiversity, high conservation value forests, like Western Yurammie, that remain in State Forests’ hands in Eden require permanent protection.