Letter to the editor, Bega District News responding to 22 March 2023 article on Forestry Corporation research
BDN (22/3/23) "New research finds small mammals thriving and increasing in Eden State forests" paints a glowing picture of conditions for wildlife since the bushfires.
The article tells us nothing about the logging history of these forests and few details about the scope of the research project.
It does strongly suggest, however that those species identified as "thriving" and experiencing "phenomenal on-going recovery" in most cases do not require old trees, or indeed, any trees.
No-one who lives in the bush will be surprised to read the news of the abundance of bushrats right now, but what about those species such as the gliders, large forest owls and birds which require tree hollows to survive and breed? For them, suitable hollows don't form until trees are well over 100 years old, impossible when the forest is subject to short rotation industrial logging and the more frequent and severe bushfires that this brings with it.
The deadly combination of logging and bushfires has made things very tough for most forest wildlife and we shouldn't be sucked in by the Forestry Corporation's self congratulatory propaganda which glosses over the grim realities.
23 March 2023
Reply published in Bega District News