New South Wales, Australia, state forestry enterprise Forests NSW suspends but defends logging after conservationists raise concerns over koala habitat

LOS ANGELES , August 7, 2012 () – Concern for koalas voiced by some conservationists in the Australian state of New South Wales has persuaded state forestry enterprise Forests NSW to suspend some logging activity, while asserting that proper measures are in place to protect wildlife, ABC News reported on Aug. 7.

Koalas are protected and need to have buffers around their habitat, according to Dailan Pugh, from the North East Forest Alliance.

Pugh said his group had identified four high-use areas for koalas in the Royal Camp State Forest near Casino, one of which was being logged, with another one set to be logged soon.

The environmentalist complained that Forests NSW staff were not “adequately trained to implement their licence requirements,” and that they lacked both the time and the desire to do a proper evaluation, ABC News reported.

Although harvesting has now been suspended in the area, Dean Kearney, a north coast planning manager for Forests NSW, was confident in the processes in place to protect wildlife in state forests.

The harvesting suspension does not mean logging operations posed a threat, he said, adding that information Forests NSW had received suggested there were additional koala groups.

The koalas were well ahead of where the current harvesting was taking place, and the company was going out to inspect the areas imminently, said Kearney.

The primary source of this article is ABC News, Sydney, Australia, Aug. 7, 2012.

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