Fighting Over the Forests

By Ian Watson

For the past decade, environmental politics in Australia has been dominated by conflicts between timber workers and conservationists. Terania Creek, on the north coast of New South Wales, was the scene of one of the earliest and most bitter confrontations. The acrimony aroused and the gulf which separated the protagonists persists to this day.

Is such conflict inevitable? Can common ground be found between these two warring camps?

In seeking answers to such questions, Ian Watson draws on the words of over 50 conservationists, timber workers and foresters--ordinary people caught up in a dramatic environmental struggle. Fighting Over the Forests offers insights which illuminate many of the current forest controversies and seeks to advance the debate on this enduring dilemma.

Overview, original edition (1990)

Originally published in 1990, but out of print for several decades, Fighting Over the Forests is now available as an electronic publication. It is available in two forms, both as PDF files:

  1. an A4 publication, suitable for printing or reading on a computer screen;
  2. an eReader publication, suitable for reading on iPads/tablets and eReaders (such as Kindles).

Both PDF files are about 10MB in size. The eReader version can be read on an iPad/tablet by simply opening it. To view it on your Kindle you need to follow the instructions: here.

Download the A4 publication

Download the eReader publication



Chapter 1: Historical background

Chapter 2: Working in the timber industry

Chapter 3: Working-class culture

Chapter 4: Timberworkers, nature and history

Chapter 5: The rainforest conservationists

Chapter 6: Economy and ecology

Chapter 7: Common ground?

Appendix: Culture and ideology