Rainbow Dreaming  

Ruth Rosenhek

Clear-fell logging in The Blue Tier State Forest, Tasmania, 2007
Image: © Graeme Batterbury

Rainforest Information Centre

In 1996, I was haunted by daily encounters with timid deer that sought refuge in the backyard where I lived in Southern Maine in the USA. They were desperate to find a safe place to hide away from encroaching developments and the rifles that echoed throughout the autumn hunting season. I gave notice at my job and started looking for a way to help protect forests and to somehow participate in easing the mass extinction spasm that has been unleashed in just about every biological niche all across this precious Earth.

A short time later, I met John Seed at a deep ecology conference and immediately thereafter I joined him here in the Northern Rivers to carry out the work of the Rainforest Information Centre. RIC is an all-volunteer non-profit environmental conservation organization established just after the well-known protests held at Terania Creek.

I immersed myself in efforts to protect forests both here in Australia and worldwide.

Most notable was our success in northern New South Wales to preserve 65,000 hectares of remaining old growth forests, previously scheduled for logging. To achieve this ‘what-had-seemed-impossible’ outcome required a huge concerted effort by many people over the course of many years.

Of current concern is the ongoing unabated slaughter of Tasmania’s glorious temperate forests. Even with the threats of global warming now at the top of the agenda, Australia continues to log ancient majesties as if there was no tomorrow.

RIC has expanded its scope and we currently support grassroots efforts worldwide to plant trees, develop energy saving technologies and to develop income-generating schemes that will ease the burden on surrounding natural areas.

There are many rewards at this level of the work and I feel grateful to be able to spend my time planting a few seeds of hope here and there and to spend my time here on the Earth towards a prayer for future generations.

Ruth Rosenhek, Rainforest Information Centre, Lismore

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