BREAKING: Media Release Tuesday 18 July

Bulga Logging Resumption Set to Ignite Conflict

The resumption of logging in Bulga State Forest north of Taree appears to be imminent with the Forestry Corporation again closing the forest to the public. Logging was halted there in early 2023 due to sustained pressure from Save Bulga Forest.

Forestry Corporation has an aversion to transparency. They don’t consult on their logging plans and they certainly don’t want people seeing the damage being done to the heads of the catchments of the Hastings and Manning Rivers.

The logging will cause major damage and likely lead to the deaths of Koalas and Greater Gliders, both endangered and both known to be living in the area.

“The Government’s logging company says logging doesn’t harm Koalas or Gliders, but they are the only ones that believe that spin. These animals are social creatures, they live in colonies, have communities, have favourite hang-outs, have home ranges, have special trees for particular flavours of leaves. Greater Gliders are very similar to Koalas in that they both have a diet made up exclusively of gum leaves. So they both are quite slow and are mainly active at night when they move around to feed.  Greater Gliders use multiple tree hollows in any given area. They don’t just need one, they sometimes use more than a dozen, depending on the season and what food trees are available nearby. They also need landing trees that make pathways for them as they glide through the forest,” said local conservationist Sharyn O’Dell.

“It’s been known for decades that Yellow-bellied and Greater Gliders need old forest, and that they have pretty much disappeared from the regrowth forests.

“Taking out most of the trees in the forest they use, will see an area that is a known stronghold for both of these unique creatures become degraded and fireprone like much of the region’s forests.

“We’ve recently done some citizen science surveys in this area of Bulga Forest. We found Koalas and evidence of breeding koalas, which you can tell because of the different scat sizes.

“We also saw Greater Gliders, quite a few. From what we are hearing from colleagues, the Bulga population of Greater Gliders could be one of the largest in the region.

“That’s the problem, governments haven’t invested in trying to establish how many animals actually remain. The Greater Glider is endangered because 80% of its population has died out over the last 20 years. [1] That’s drastic. We all need to do something about it.

“We’re particularly worried about logging resuming now, because the female gliders will have their young in their pouches. Most of the newborns stay in the pouches over winter and come out in the spring. Those mumma gliders don’t need the stress of trees falling around them and their flight paths and homes disappearing.

“Bulga Forest should be protected for Greater Gliders alone, apart from all the other animals that live there, the water it sends down into the rivers, the carbon in the trees. So many reasons. We’ll do what we can to save these critters. Someone needs to speak for them,” Ms O’Dell said. “We’ve written to the NSW Ministers for Environment and Forestry and are awaiting responses.”

[1] Australian Conservation Foundation, Greater Glider

*Picture above is of an endangered Greater Glider. Taken in Bulga Forest in May 2023 by members of Save Bulga Forest.