When I sat down to write a submission to the Wingham Forestry Management Area Environmental Impact Statement in 1992, little did I imagine that 23 years later I would still be waging a battle of words in an effort to see the magnificent forests of north-east NSW protected from destruction.

In those 23 years I have seen way too many magical places destroyed by logging. I have seen areas frequented by Koalas cleared and burnt and forests that were once home to mysterious creatures like Greater Gliders gone for woodchips.

But as someone who travelled the steep learning curve of submission writer to activist, a Jill of all trades from giving presentations to blockading, from talking to politicians and bureaucrats to navigating computer mapping programs, I have also seen the benefits of getting involved. I know that by taking action I had a role in seeing some of our precious forests protected in National Parks that are now jewels among our regional tourism attractions.

I have talked myself blue hoping to see some form of low impact logging in our public State forests. I have expounded theories to senior executives of Boral Timber and numerous foresters over the years. But in 2015 I concede that there is no way the current logging industry can continue that will not destroy environmental assets that are critical to the future of this region.

As I have raised this view with people all around NSW in the last few months the response has been an overwhelming YES. The public lands need to be managed for the long-term public good. Letting our forests grow old is key in our efforts to slow the impacts of climate change in this region.

So here we go again. Together we can ensure that Koalas and Gliders survive into the future. Our great-grandchildren might get to see forests of huge trees like in fairy stories and the rivers might continue to flow cool and clear.

Everyone has something to give to this most important project. It won't happen without our collective effort. Add your grain of sand and you too will be able to look back in another 23 years time and know that your efforts were part of the wave that made the future liveable.

Susie Russell

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  • Deborah Lilly
    commented 2017-03-05 21:57:20 +1100
    Thanks Susie for the work you do, and for sharing your experiences. I’ve just spent a weekend with the Nimbin Bushwalkers Club in Toonumbar National Park in the Richmond Ranges, and feel blessed to have had that opportunity to experience this remnant of Gondwanaland. I want to help preserve our precious places, biodiversity hotspots and wondrously lush rainforests; they are extraordinary! Cheers.
  • damian jones
    commented 2016-04-22 10:07:04 +1000
    What a total load of bull …, Its hard to see any logging coupes on the mnc, we have lots of forest, also ,ots of cleared farmland for methane producing cattle. Logging selectively removes treees, being an arborist I doubt many if any animals are killed. Its a minute percentage of the forest altered, its nothing to them. I grew up and live in a forest logged up until the 60’s. You would think its old growth, I care and rescue wildlife, so i understand wildlife to a degree. You’re 30 years too late, forestry has learnt not to be greedy anymore, terania creek was a turning point. Farming, roads, ferals, pets and fires are wildlifes threat, not logging. Why not concentrate on ending logging for paper, rather than lying to the public cause you hate loggers and have a personal agenda.