Yes, there has been logging historically in the forests of the Upper Kalang, as in most accessible forested areas of our region. The harvesting operations today are highly industrialised, totally unlike earlier (largely selective) logging regimes. This will result in the removal of most forest cover in the harvest areas. This will sever the wildlife corridors that support globally significant conservation values and will mean that a weedy mess remains (dominated by lantana) and the habitat values of the existing high conservation value forests will be degraded, our rivers polluted and the carbon stored there mobilised.
These forests have nationally and globally significant conservation values that are not compatible with industrial logging regimes because the species and ecosystems here are sensitive - these values will be degraded by industrial logging and species are likely to be made locally extinct. These values have been confirmed and strengthened by recent community volunteer survey efforts. The Upper Kalang is an incredibly significant refuge for some of the most ancient and sensitive species on the planet. Leaving these forests alone and letting them regenerate from the logging of 30-50 years ago will increase the populations of the ancient, threatened and sensitive species within them and will give them a viable future. Industrial logging today will reverse these important processes of regeneration, vaporise massive volumes of carbon, change weather patterns and deprive the Kalang of its source of clean and abundant water. The science is very clear, forests make rain and hold water like a sponge, buffering against drought and the rapidly increasing temperatures that our world is experiencing.
Slavery was regarded by most of the world as an acceptable practice, until a rapid societal shift lead to it becoming totally unacceptable. What Darcey writes in relation to logging (Courier-Sun, online, Aug 8) is equivalent to the last calls of the slave-masters for the continuation of their vile industry. History shows that slavery became morally abhorrent, was rejected by most rational members of society and was ultimately shut down, resulting in a resounding benefit to repressed humans globally. Industrial logging of such priceless refuges of ancient and sensitive biodiversity must go the same way as slavery, if our agricultural, fishing and tourism industries are to continue, if our region is to remain reliably wet with a moderate climate and if our children are to enjoy the delight of experiencing Koalas, Long-nosed Potoroos, Spotted-tailed Quolls and Rufous Scrub-birds in the wild.
And finally, for the benefit of Darcey, ever the scrutineer of how our taxes and other public funds are spent, the finances of NSW will be much better off because the native forest logging operations of the Forestry Corporation lose taxpayers many millions of dollars annually.