Pressure builds to stop logging

Karen HuntManjimup-Bridgetown Times

Nannup residents met with members of the Greens Party on Thursday as they continued to press for a moratorium on logging of Barrabup Forest.

The forest, located 5km from the town centre, is top of the list on the Forest Products Commission’s 2017 logging schedule and expected to yield 13,500cubic metres of jarrah.

However, plans to log 530ha of Barrabup have been halted pending an assessment of its old growth status.

Conservationists say it is one of few high conservation value jarrah forests left near Nannup that has not been intensively logged, with rich indigenous and non-indigenous heritage.

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Greens South West MLC Diane Evers said Barrabup could be worth more left untouched, pointing to previous commission losses from native forestry.

“It is a beautiful forest 5km from town where locals and visitors alike enjoy bushwalking, wildflower and rare fauna spotting, cycling and picnics,” Ms Evers said,

“As demonstrated by scar trees, it is also part of an ancient dreaming tail and has remnants of our colonial past in the form of an old mill railway line.”

A detailed field assessment is under way but it is unclear how long it will take, according to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, formerly DPaW.

A department spokesman said both the Forest Products Commission and community members had called for the old growth assessment.

The commission consulted residents, neighbours and Aboriginal custodians during harvest planning.

However, the WA Forest Alliance called the commission’s pre-logging checks “inadequate”.

“The identification of threatened species habitat, unmapped old growth and Indigenous heritage is a job for ecologists and traditional owners,” spokeswoman Jess Beckerling said.

She urged the Government to act on its pre-election commitments to protect high conservation value forests and support the development of plantation and farm forestry.

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