Many of Queensland’s native state forests are havens for wildlife, diverse ecosystems and nature-based recreation.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, one of these special natural places amongst increasing urbanisation is ‘Ferny Forest’ - a 130 hectare portion within the Beerwah State Forest.
But right now, this increasingly rare refuge in nature with its incredible conservation and habitat values for threatened species such as greater gliders, koalas, glossy black cockatoos and acid frogs and other wildlife is under threat from imminent logging.
Beerwah State Forest as a whole contains 4561 hectares, of which just under 600ha is remnant vegetation. While this northern section (Lot 1 AP22457) of the forest is relatively small at 130ha, it contains medium regional ecosystem values, with very high values for koala habitat and for climate refugia. Sitting between Ewen Maddock Dam & the Steve Irwin Way, it would make an important and timely addition to the adjoining Mooloolah River National Park.
Even within the context of the SEQ Forest Agreement which will see the welcome and necessary transition of high-value state forests to the conservation estate by 31 December 2024, to lose the significant conservation and cultural values of this forest now when biodiversity is in crisis and we’re in a state of climate emergency would be devastating.
The rampant, unsustainable urbanisation of the Sunshine Coast makes it more urgent than ever to conserve biodiversity, protect threatened species, sequester carbon and connect with nature. Despite the requirement to adhere to the QPWS Code of Practice , logging a significant portion of this remarkable forest would still have a huge impact on endangered wildlife through disturbance, modification and loss of habitat and foraging areas.
Habitat for threatened species and connection with nature is a much greater legacy than a short-term 'wood' take!
Ferny Forest’s 130ha is part of the 70,000ha of high-value native forest we know needs protection in the SEQ Planning Region