Conservation groups are urging a rethink on native forest logging.
Conservation groups are urging a rethink on native forest logging. Marsha Neville

Should logging be suspended after the recent bushfires?

AFTER a horror start to the fire season in NSW, conservations groups have called for a suspension of logging.

A number of organisations want native forest logging suspended and reviewed after bushfires destroyed more than 160,000 hectares of prime forest wildlife habitat in a matter of weeks.

NSW National Parks Association, the North East Forest Alliance and the Nature Conservation Council have also urged the government to abandon plans to open up thousands of hectares of protected old growth forest to logging.

"Logging unburnt forest after such devastating fires wipes out habitat refuges that animals need to survive and piles pressure on wildlife populations,” NCC chief executive Chris Gambian said.

"The combined pressure of wildlife and logging are pushing koalas and other forest animals to the brink.”

"These extreme conditions require an urgent response, which is why we are calling on the NSW Government to suspend native forest logging operations and to urgently review the future of native forest logging in NSW.”

CEO of the National Parks Association Gary Dunnett said the multiple pressures native forests faced through drought, the climate change and intensifying fire regimes should "prompt the government to protect our remaining forests rather than cut them down”.

This month a NSW Government plan to remap old-growth forests was put on hold by the Natural Resources Commission.

The moves would potentially open up old growth forests on the North Coast to logging, something president of the North East Forest Alliance Dailan Pugh said was "reckless”.

"Converting old-growth forest to re-growth through logging dries out the forest and increases the fire risk. The logging debris also fuels more intense fires,” he said.

"Old-growth forests are the most resilient to fire and it is reckless for the NSW Government to consider opening protected areas to logging.”