The recent storms and damage to State forests have meant we have closed large areas to forest users, particularly on the mid-north and north coast of NSW. These closures are to protect forest visitors from dangerous roads and forests, as well as protect forest infrastructure from further damage.
Please take the time to read the below information in response to common enquiries we are getting.
Q: Can I visit a camping area, picnic site this long weekend or during the school holidays?
A: Sites are closed in forests of the mid-north coast and north coast with the exception of Sealy Lookout and Coopernook Forest Headquarters. Staff are still assessing roads where safe to do so, however, early inspections have revealed that access to some visitor sites is not safe due to landslips and springs which are still flowing, making road batters unsafe for vehicle passage.
The sites themselves are very wet and we do not want continued damage to occur with the usual large crowds we have at Easter time.
Q: When will closed sites reopen?
A: We cannot answer that question as the severe weather affected such a large area, there are kilometres of roads to assess across the region.
The general forest closure to forests from Taree north is still in place. Our upper catchments suffered significant road slips similar to the Oxley Highway, while lower forests closer to the coast have washed out pipes, bridges and significant damage to the road surfaces.
Q: I have a license for recreational hunting in State Forests. Can I hunt in a forest closed due to flood damage?
A: If a forest is closed, it is closed to all recreational activities including recreational hunting.
Closures are enacted to ensure the safety of all visitors. The Game Licencing Unit (GLU) will update and advise licenced recreational hunters as forests reopen and become available for this activity. For current closures, please check the Forestry Corporations website or contact the GLU for more information.
Accessing Private Property
Q: I am isolated due to road damage on a forest road that I use to access my property.
A: Sorry for your situation. If you are in a life threatening situation call 000. If you are in need of food other services, call SES 132 500.
Forestry Corporation has a multitude of roads to repair, and we are still currently assessing damage. Forestry Corporation does not qualify for disaster funding or funding from Resilience NSW.
One thing which you can do is to report the issue of your access to the SES or your local council which may assist in getting repair work done under such funding if initiated by either of these government agencies.
Q: I have apiary/grazing/recreation or other lease, and need to access to check the site and ascertain damage. Can I access the site?
A: Please contact your Forestry Corporation representative to discuss your particular issue. If you are unaware of who this is, send your query and details to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are special circumstances and exemptions to the closure which may be granted depending upon the location of your permit.
Q: Can I collect firewood?
A: No, forests are closed. As conditions dry out, closures can be lifted on forest roads that have not suffered damage, but in the meantime these areas need to be avoided.