14 May, 2013

Logging parks would be a disaster for wildlife and habitat

Letters to Editor
Sydney Morning Herald, May 14, 2013

I am appalled our national parks could be opened to commercial logging (''Logging looms in national parks'', May 13). It is ridiculous to propose swapping the old-growth, diverse forests in national parks for heavily exploited state forests. This will lead to a loss of wildlife and irreplaceable habitat.

Using land for forestry does not provide the same conservation benefits as managing land for conservation in the national park system.

The Premier must make a stand against the Shooters and Fishers Party and categorically rule out plans to log our national parks.

Robbie Bentley St Peters

I have seen small, rural communities sacrificed on the altar of city votes as their industries were closed down; forests that had been managed for over 100 years touted as ''virgin'' and marked ''must be preserved in parks'' and a succession of state politicians declaring more land tied up; maybe, just maybe, someone will take a rational look at the expansion of our national park system.

The Murray River red gum forests were the most recent sacrifice, just before our marvellously conservation-minded (and mining-devoted) Labor government went to the polls. Those forests had only been managed and had multiple usage for about 150 years, so saving them in a park was vital.

Why, on the South Coast the koalas keep turning up in state forests that have been managed for multiple uses for more than 100 years so now those areas desperately need to be locked up in parks. Forget their productive history.

Of course, declaring a national park is different to funding the national park service adequately to manage the massive areas of resources. The parks make do with insufficient resources and cop heaps of criticism from neighbours etc. Mere detail.

Nothing will come of this upper house inquiry though; there are no votes in the bush.

Terry Beath Wollongong

I can see the headline now: ''Logger shot by feral-animal hunter.''

David Sayers Gwandalan

So now Robert Brown wants logging permitted in national parks and proposes a compromise tenure swap between state forests and national parks. A better idea is to continue the logging ban and allow the Shooters and Fishers people into national parks - but only with their fishing rods together with the appropriate licence.

Peter Bennett Nelson Bay

When Bob Carr came to government he commandeered large tracts of native forest, which were sustainably managed to supply timber for domestic consumption and export, to create new national parks. He locked the loggers out and replaced foresters with park rangers.

In the meantime, the greenies looked at the remaining native forests as they thrived under expert care and, when they reached about 40 years of age, they started claiming the loggers were harvesting old-growth forest. Bob Carr locked up yet more native forest. It's time for a more balanced approach to native forest management in NSW.

Cherylle Stone Soldiers Point

I was under the impression the existence of national parks was for the conservation of nature for future generations.

How exactly does shooting by recreational hunters and logging fit into this concept?

Sarah Benmayor Bondi

When there's a downturn in jobs in the construction industry, I suppose we could knock down the Opera House and build something new.

Dominic Toomey Hunters Hill

Of course, the Shooters' proposal makes perfect sense. Without those pesky trees in the way, the risk of bushwalkers getting shot by recreational hunters will be much reduced. It is win-win!

Anne Cooper Earlwood

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