Logging & Over Clearing

Our forests are facing ecological collapse due to industrial logging and over clearing.

The Clarence Environment Centre has a long history of opposition to state forest logging practices, dating back to the “forest wars” of the 1980s- 1990s. 

In 2021, the Environment Centre has investigated, and reported irregularities at logging operations at Conglomerate and Bom Bom state forests, as well as one notable private native forestry operation.

We continue to lobby and campaign for an end to logging in state forests, a branch of the timber industry that has consistently lost millions of dollars annually for the past two decades.

The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) which had headed up the earlier Forest Wars, has continued the battle with ongoing forest audits over the past 12 years, but despite small fines and occasional stop work orders, the regulator has been completely ineffective. 

Logging rates have increased owing to over commitments to supply timber, and laws have been relaxed to allow heavier logging to occur as a consequence.

Back in 2005 it became obvious that Forests NSW (now Forestry Corporation) was not complying with the regulations agreed upon in the Integrated Forests Operations Approval or their Threatened Species Licence. As a result, the Clarence Environment Centre began undertaking compliance audits of logging operations and reported major breaches in Clouds Creek, Ellis, Glenugie State Forests and beyond.

Illegally Logged 500 yo trees - Grange State Forest NSW

Illegal logging at Grange State Forest

In 2010, due to industry incompetence, an old-growth lowland rain forest (which is listed as an endangered ecological community) had been illegally logged at Grange State Forest having been erroneously mapped as Scribbly Gum Forest – a species that doesn’t naturally occur there. No less than six ecological staff put their names to the flora and fauna report and harvest plans, yet not one noted the mapping error. Clearly this was a deliberate act, yet a $15,000 slap on the wrist was all that happened.

Everyone from the ecologists to the timber mill would have known that those giant logs had been illegally sourced, but again, nobody reported it.

Illegal Logging at Double Duke State Forest

Later, at Double Duke State Forest, the CEC reported the illegal logging of endangered subtropical coastal floodplain forest which almost made it to court with the North East Forest Alliance NEFA joining us in the battle. However, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided to pull out on the day of the hearing.