(Addressed to Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and Environment Minister George Heyman, and copied to the Local.)
We have written to you earlier in favour of expanding the rather small Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park from 140ha to 2,000ha to protect red and blue listed plant communities and increase recreational opportunities for a growing regional population.
This forest is our last and only chance to preserve a significant low elevation natural forest ecosystem on the lower Sunshine Coast; everything else has been developed or converted to tree farms. As you must be aware, currently there are less than three per cent of low elevation forests on the Sunshine Coast protected from the chainsaw, significantly less than the 20-30 per cent protected forest we should have.
We need this Elphinstone park extension to retain our connection to nature, to preserve our quality of life here, and for the generations that come after us. The only sizeable parks we currently have on the Sunshine Coast are three mountaintop parks, not accessible for year-round use nor are they close to where we live, work and play.
We understand that a few days ago logging of this precious forest has started. We ask you to intervene and stop its destruction and work to convert this forest to the park expansion. This park expansion would require less than one per cent of the Sunshine Coast Forest District’s timber supply area, thus very little timber supply will be given up but in return this will provide a great long-term benefit for residents and visitors alike.
We had the pleasure to walk the Clack Creek forest over the Christmas holiday with our son, his wife and their daughter. Are you really willing to deprive the next generation – as well as all following generations growing up – of being able to enjoy this forest?
Hermann and Susanne