Forestry Corporation’s last dash to log koala habitat on the mid-North Coast

Danielle Ryan and James Sherwood, Conservation Campaigners

“They are rushing. They can see the end is coming,” says koala expert John Pile. He is referring to Forestry Corporation’s overzealous response to the recently renewed North Coast Wood Supply Agreement, which allows logging to continue for another five years.

The mood amongst local campaigners living in the proposed Great Koala National Park region is grim, as they watch Forestry Corporation slowly chip away at public forests known as core koala habitat.

Overall, there are 20 State Forests in the proposed area for The Great Koala National Park which have been designated for logging, as ‘proposed’, ‘planned’ or ‘active’. As of July 2022, Forestry Corporation are actively harvesting three State Forests in the area, Clouds Creek (Compartments 30, 31, 32, 33), Ellis (3, 4, 5, 6) and Thumb Creek (5,6) and have approval for four more Bagawa (1), Boambee (4,5,6,7), Collombati (9,10) and Conglomerate (23).

Book Review: The Blue Mountains. Exploring landscapes shaped by the underlying rocks, uplift and erosion

Authors: Peter Hatherly and Ian Brown (2022)

Review by Roger Lembit, NPA Member

On my first walk in the Blue Mountains with the school bushwalking club over 50 years ago one of the teachers pointed to the railway cutting at Glenbrook Station. ‘There is a volcanic dyke running through this section of the Lapstone Monocline’ he said. I have been fortunate to have travelled widely through the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in subsequent years, for pleasure, and for work, awed by the diversity of the landscape and the plants.

Nature Kids: Animals Lost and Found

Hope for the hopping mouse

Mitchell’s Hopping Mouse was presumed extinct in NSW due to habitat loss and feral animals. But since April 2022, 150 of the mice have been reintroduced.

Bred at a South Australian safari park, the mice have been released in western NSW’s Mallee Cliffs National Park in the largest feral predator-free enclosure on mainland Australia!

Find the other species already released, or soon to be re-wilded at Mallee Cliffs …


Plastics bans start in NSW

Australians have the second biggest single-use plastic use per person in the world, but things are changing for the better …

Lightweight single-use plastic bags have been banned in NSW since June 2022 and from November so will other single-use plastics including straws, cutlery and plates.

Have a look at the 10 worst single-use plastics and eco-friendly alternatives

10 worst single-use plastics and eco-friendly alternatives

Koala colony discovery

Koalas are an endangered species in NSW and also, it turns out, good at blending into the scenery! Two citizen scientists have photographed nearly 80 previously undocumented koalas in Heathcote National Park on Sydney’s southern fringe. It’s hoped that there could be more as-yet-undiscovered koala colonies.


Wet weather helps pelicans thrive

With extensive flooding and storm damage in 2022, it’s easy to forget that wet weather is not always a bad thing. NSW’s wet summer helped created ideal conditions for native pelicans to breed at Lake Brewster in the Central West. A record-breaking 15,000 nests were recorded at the lake! Research and conservation work has used bands on pelicans to track their movements, as well as artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage.

Look at and listen to some noisy pelican footage

Wild summer sparks ‘extraordinary’ pelican breeding season as 30,000 birds look for mates


Magpies v Researchers

Researchers testing out backpack-like tracking devices on magpies were surprised to discover an entirely new social behaviour rarely seen in birds. The magpies cooperated … to help each other remove the trackers!

So it’s “back to the drawing board” for researchers on how to collect the data needed on magpie movements.

Read more about the research and magpies here: Altruism in birds? Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices

Don’t forget the fires (poem)

Lesley Hodges

Don’t forget the fires when it’s cool and moist and starts to rain.
The monster’s only sleeping – don’t treat it with disdain.
We’re feeding it with Carbon,
It will rise and come again.

Don’t forget the terror, lost lives and property,
The trauma and the worry. Thank God for our community.
Don’t forget the billion native animals that used to bless our land.
Those animals left; they need us; we must also give them a hand.

Climate change is real, my friend. It’s showed its teeth this year.
Through floods and ice and mighty fires,
While we had to watch in fear.
Beaches are growing smaller, Pacific islands bear her wrath.
Rivers stopping running and the fish can only gasp.

You can keep on denying. Why not? You say we need our coal.
And gas and fracking and all that stuff.  But they’re doing harm to all.
Still, you want to live the same old way; stay all nice and comfortable.
You don’t want to change a thing – that is what I’m told.

But surely, for our children’s sake, it’s time for something new. 
We could reduce our emissions with a decent strategy or two.
Our economy will benefit if we only play it right,
Instead of losing money from the drought and flood and fire.

We could be a leader to the world –
One that sends a needed voice.
It’s time to make some changes.
It’s time to make the choice.

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Reviewed by Talara Blackwood, a guest at NPA Book Club

Braiding Sweetgrass truly is a book like no other. Each chapter is its own unique journey told in Kimmerer’s whimsical storytelling structure (which some readers mentioned initially struggling to follow).