In Australia's New South Wales, a group of animals is at risk of losing their home with a new logging program soon to start. Local community and campaign groups are calling for the logging to be stopped. The Mumbulla State Forest in the Bega Valley, 340 kilometers south of Sydney, is considered sacred land to the local Aboriginal people. It's also home to the last recovering population of koalas on the New South Wales southern coast.
But the state government is planning to implement a new logging program in the area. Some members of the community say this could mean the end for the forest's koala colony.
Prue Acton, Resident, Bega Valley shire, said, "Well if you just log very close to where the koala are, obviously they have no chance of recovery. There are no corridors, there's no protection against fire, there's nowhere for them to go. There's nowhere for the population to actually expand."
Forests New South Wales, which manages the program on behalf of the state government, says they will try to reduce the likelihood of having an impact on the animals.
Ian Barnes, Forests New South Wales, said, "We're hoping that by starting in the west, we'll minimize any chance at all that we'll encounter koala there."
But with campaigners having failed to halt the plans by lobbying Environment and Forestry Ministers, 40 environmental groups have now written to the Premier of New South Wales Kristina Keneally calling for the logging to be stopped.
With logging set to start within weeks, people have vowed to continue the fight to safeguard the koalas' habitat.