Twelve state forests in the areas of the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast, Hawkesbury, Hunter and as far as the north coast will have sections of land rezoned as reserves.
OVER 20,000 HECTARES of NSW State Forest land will become koala reserves as the NSW Government moves to appease environmental groups demanding protection for the state’s reported declining koala population.
Twelve state forests in the areas of the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast, Hawkesbury, Hunter and as far as the north coast will have sections of land rezoned as reserves under the strategy.
Trailbike riders should not be concerned as, according to information provide to ADB by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the reserves will not reduce legal recreational usage rights in affected state forests. The OEH told ADB: “Existing recreational use activities will still be permitted on open public roads and trails with appropriate licensing and registration (where applicable).” This includes trailbike riding, four-wheel driving and other recreational actives that use state forest and national parks, according to the OEH.
State forests and national parks listed in the strategy documents include Mount Lindesay, Oakes, Carrai, Mount Boss, Barrington Tops, Corrabare, Watagans, Olney, Comleroy, Jellore, Meryla and Belanglo. Timber harvesting will not be permitted in the koala reserves, which is good for trailbikes riders whose trails have been vanishing rapidly due to the logging of native bush.
The three-year program is in direct response to a 2016 report into the decline of the Australian icon and will come at a cost of $44.7 million, including $20 million to acquire land and $24.7 million to implement strategy actions.