Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Ben Bullen State Forest a very high conservation priority - NSW Government Report

Lithgow Environment Group
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Nature Conservation Council of NSW

The Colong Foundation has obtained a report[1] from the Office of Environment and Heritage that identifies the Ben Bullen State Forest as a very high priority area for conservation. The report was released to the Colong Foundation last week.

“The report examines the conservation values of the western side of the Blue Mountains.  It finds that the woodlands of the Ben Bullen State Forest and their flora and fauna are a very high priority area for biodiversity conservation,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“This study confirms the findings of previous studies by the national herbarium.[2]

“Conducting open-cut mining in the Ben Bullen State Forest is unacceptable.  This is the only place were grassy tableland woodlands of very high conservation importance surround platey pagodas of international significance[3].  Destruction of this landscape would be an abuse our nation’s heritage.

“Ben Bullen State Forest has done its fair share to support our lifestyle.  All the coal accessible by underground methods has been removed from under it.  To destroy by open-cut mining this unique and outstanding conservation area, Ben Bullen State Forest, for the last scraps of poor quality coal would be uncivilised behaviour.

“There are alternatives to open-cut mining in the Gardens of Stone region.  The region’s underground coal mines can continue to keep the power plants at Lithgow running for another 20 years, just as they have done in previous decades.

“The cheapest coal, when you consider the environment and the community is the underground coal, not the poor quality open-cut coal in the precious Gardens of Stone region.  This new report proves that open-cut mining in this area comes at a very high and totally unacceptable price.”

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)

 

[1] Office of Environment and Heritage, May 2014, Capertee Subregional Assessment – Identifying priority areas for biodiversity conservation and investment in the Capertee subregion and Newnes Plateau – Technical Report 2014/0622. Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Planning and Environment, Sydney.

[2] Benson, D.H. and Keith, D.A., 1990 The natural vegetation of the Wallerawang 1:100,00- map sheet, Cunninghamia, Vol 2(2), National Herbarium, Sydney.

[3] Washington, H.G. and Wray, R.A.L., 2011, the Geoheritage and Geomorphology of the Sandstone Pagodas of the North-western Blue Mountains Region (NSW), Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW, Vol 132, Sydney.