30 Aug 2023
EPA ISSUES STOP WORK ORDER ON LOGGING OF GREATER GLIDER HABITAT AT TALLAGANDA
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia tonight commended the New South Wales Environment Minister Penny Sharpe and the NSW Environment Protection Authority for a swift investigation and halt to logging at one of the state’s last remaining greater glider strongholds. While that investigation is ongoing, the EPA has issued Forestry Corporation of NSWto cease harvesting in Tallaganda State Forest. It lasts 40 days and can be extended. “We are deeply upset but not surprised that a dead greater glider was found just 50 metres from logging operations,” said WWF-Australia chief conservation officer Rachel Lowry. “WWF’s conservation scientists warned the government agency responsible for this destruction of the reckless impact this logging would have on greater gliders." Forestry Corporation of NSW’s own plans reveal an area equivalent to more than 2,500 rugby league fields at Tallaganda State Forest is being impacted. The EPA said FCNSW is required to protect greater gliders and implement 50 metre exclusion zones around identified den trees but the EPA stated it was “not confident that habitat surveys have been adequately conducted to ensure all den trees are identified.” On Tuesday WWF-Australia kicked off a campaign to stop this destruction, launching a petition and releasing drone video and stills which revealed huge areas cleared of all but a few trees.
The community response to the campaign has seen numerous community groups rally behind the call. “We applaud all our supporters and the many community groups who have mobilised to expose this destruction,” Ms Lowry said. “The fact that it had to come to this, an actual sighting of a deceased, endangered animal, is beyond sad, and we can only hope that this temporary cease fire becomes permanent to help give the Greater Glider a fighting chance.” “What this case demonstrates, is that if Australia wants to live by our nation’s commitment to zero extinctions, we really do need to accelerate nature law reforms and ensure that regional forestry agreements are included as part of that package." “WWF has more than 2.5 million supporters who are the backbone to conservation efforts such as this. Australians are fed up with having to fight for trees to remain standing as our climate warms and our species march towards the extinction line. Our country deserve better. It’s time to regenerate our country and start incentivising win-wins for people and nature."
“The NSW Government has an opportunity to fast track a commitment to transitioning out of native timber harvesting. There are better solutions than what we have witnessed this week in Tallaganda." This case has come into the spotlight just weeks after WWF launched , where NSW ranked as the poorest state in ensuring the protection and restoration of trees. .