Tree sitting in the South East Forests in
the late 80’s was largely a symbolic affair for which the chief ‘crime’
was trespass in a prohibited area. Sitters were less likely to get
arrested than those doing support on the ground, where the name of the
game was ‘cops and loggers’. Ron was arrested several times. Following
his six-day sit in Nullica State Forest he was very recognizable to the
cops, who nabbed him when he let his guard down next time they saw him,
despite that he was outside the prohibited zone.
A lot has changed in our forests since Henry Kendall, published his
Leaves From Australian Forests, in 1869. Ron’s verse might not convey
quite the romantic imagery of poet-forester Kendall, for Ron is a
forester of an altogether different kind – a feral forester, yet his
lively style lets readers feel they are in on the action, and offers
insights into some of the psychological pressures of confrontation in
Those who know him know that Ron has some rough edges; characters like
Ron don’t like taking backward steps, and when a group of them are
pulling at the same time they don’t always pull in the same direction.
There is a price to pay for our convictions, as I know Ron, and so many
of us, learnt in the South East Forests.
So this little book of light-hearted rhymes is Ron’s side of the story.
He has worked with the tools available, using basic meter and rhyme to
charming effect. Ron tells it like he saw it, with tributes to his
fellow activists and homage to the forest under siege he gave his all to
protect. It is in this spirit that I recommend “Leaves From An
Australian Forest Protest” to everyone who wants a better future of our
native forest heritage.
March 2014 Books may be purchased at
or from the author Ron
Fletcher A sample of Ron's