Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Robert Stokes could become the Minister for Logging Parks

“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness calls on the Minister for the Environment, Robert Stokes to save his career and reject plans to log and graze parks in the Pilliga just north of Coonabarabran,” urged Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“Yesterday the NSW Natural Resources Commission released a draft report[1] that recommends logging and grazing in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas.  Opening state conservation areas to logging and grazing will turn these parks into Clayton’s conservation areas,” Mr Muir said.

“The Premier, Mike Baird and Environment Minister Stokes must rule out logging and grazing in our parks or go down in history as environmental philistines,” said Mr Muir. 

“The legislative proposals by the Natural Resources Commission to further exploit conservation parks are extremely dangerous and damaging to nature conservation.  The Commission has lost the plot”, he said.

“If there are parts of the Pilliga that are degraded it is due to past logging, grazing and mining, not conservation management”, said Mr Muir.

“In the larger scheme of things to propose logging and grazing as a solution to the problems caused by logging and grazing makes no sense.  The political and economic drivers of primary production always cause environmental degradation,” he said.

“The Commission’s proposed adaptive management is just a smoke screen for timber extraction and grazing,” he said.

“The mining in state conservation areas was always a compromise to allow areas with high conservation values and mineral potential to be reserved.  Coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga reserves is demonstrating just what a compromise it can be.  The mining caused damage with toxic spills of produced water and habitat fragmentation”, Mr Muir said. 

“These logging and grazing proposals are political suicide, not a sensible conservation strategy.  The brochures depicting park destruction by the Baird Government will be in every letterbox of every marginal seat in NSW, on every billboard and at every public meeting.  Just don’t do it!,” Mr Muir warned.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)

The NSW Natural Resources Commission (NRC) report is on the NRC website:

[1] Natural Resources Commission, June 2014, draft report, Active and Adaptive Cyprus Management in the Briagalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas. NRC, Sydney.