logging in The Blue Tier State Forest, Tasmania, 2007
Image: © Graeme Batterbury
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
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
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
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.
Rosenhek, Rainforest Information Centre, Lismore