Protect Lake Brou

Lake Brou is a beautiful coastal lake lying just 2.5 kms south-west of Potato Point near Bodalla on the NSW South Coast. It is part surrounded by Eurobodalla National Park to the north-east, east and south-east, and forms part of the Batemans Marine Park. The Coastal Lakes Inquiry undertaken by the NSW Healthy Rivers Commission in 2002 classified Lake Brou as a Significant Coastal Lake.

Photo courtesy of NPWS

Unfortunately the forest on the lake’s north-west edge is part of Bodalla State Forest (compartment 3004) and at this stage is scheduled for logging late 2019.

This is the Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Harvest Plan (current as of November 2019):

The boundaries of the proposed logging can be seen here (image courtesy of Google)

A variety of threatened species rely on these forests. As an example the Swift Parrot uses NSW South Coast forests for winter-flowering nectar trees on its annual migration from Tasmania. All State Forests ( including the compartment under threat of logging) in Eurobodalla Shire east of the Princes Highway form part of the Ulladulla to Merimbula Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for Swift Parrots. These critical forests extend about 10 km inland from the coast and include many other local forests currently being logged or planning to be logged. The most important feed trees for these migratory birds are Spotted Gum and other flowering eucalypts. Forests dominated by Ironbarks and Bloodwoods which are likely to support the Parrots in years when the Spotted Gums are not flowering are also vital.

In 2014, researchers from the Australian National University modelled that the Swift Parrot may face extinction by 2031 due to predation in Tasmania and loss of habitat on the mainland.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) upgraded the status of the Swift Parrot from endangered to critically endangered in October 2015 based on results from the study. It is thought that less than a thousand pairs remain, the key threatening process on mainland Australia being “Habitat loss and fragmentation from forest harvesting”

Giant Trees with girths greater than 4.4m grow in this forest.
Pied Oystercatchers (endangered) forage on Lake Brou shores next to the State Forest

Apart from threats to fauna and flora there is the increased risk of uncontrollable fire in the area due to large volumes of crown debris left drying out on the forest floor. Increasingly Forestry Corporation is experiencing difficulty finding time in the shortening annual windows for burning off all the “waste” on the forest floor that is being generated by all the logging operations. More and more logged forests are left to pose fire risks from arson or lightning strikes.

Victoria has now announced a phasing out of the native forest logging industry over 10 years. How much longer is the community going to put up with native forest logging on public land in NSW?

CoastWatchers urges all concerned citizens to write to the local State member Andrew Constance, to Forestry Corporation of NSW and to the Beagle, BayPost and Narooma News demanding a moratorium on logging of all coastal State Forests and in particular Bodalla State Forest adjoining Lake Brou…..too precious to lose.

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