FORESTS NSW has moved to allay fears that the “cathedral of trees” at the northern entrance to Bermagui is to be logged.
Kevin Petty, planning manager southern region, met with community members last Friday to explain more about the logging due to take place in the forests around the town, specifically at the place about which people have registered their concerns.
The area in question forms what locals and tourists alike say is one of the most beautiful parts of the town and something that should be retained.
Mr Petty said that Forests NSW wanted to maintain the visual aspect while also maintaining the health of the area by “slightly thinning it out”.
“Some of these trees within this area are starting to get dead limbs and are a bit sick,” Mr Petty said.
“The crowns are closing up and some of the limbs are dying.
“We have said and estimated about 10 trees in that area will be taken.”
Mr Petty said there were no trees near the access/walking track in the vicinity which would be removed.
“We are not looking at touching any trees near that track and obviously some are habitat trees so they won’t be touched either.”
According to Mr Petty, logging those trees will improve the health of the forest, thin it out slightly and encourage it to regenerate .
“There are probably 300 trees in this area and the 10 or so we are taking out need to be logged to maintain the health of the forest,” he said.
“Some of them are starting to lock together and the heads dying and if there are dead trees it won’t look anywhere near as good.”
Mr Petty said it was important to involve the community.
“We’ll tell them the trees we want to take out and what we will retain and ask them what they think about it,” he said.
“Then we’ll mark the trees with paint so people can get used to what will happen and see that the vast majority will be left alone.”
Mr Petty said logging would not start until the first few months next year but marking the trees could be done shortly.
He also said the southern side of the road would not be touched.
“We want to maintain the aesthetics,” he said.
“We would like to select and remove some trees for timber production but still maintain the area as that visual entrance so people can walk and drive through it
“I wouldn’t have thought that 10 or a dozen trees should make a difference at all and doing that will maintain the health and wellbeing of this part of the forest.”