With drums and banners and plenty of passion, more than 500 people of all ages gathered in Bellingen on Saturday to protest plans to log compartments that abut the headwaters of the Kalang River.
They danced and chanted their way from the Market Park up the main street to gather at the old Foster's garage site at the top of town (now known as People of Coffee).
There they listened to Bellingen Shire mayor Dominic King and ecologist Mark Graham talk about the importance of protecting the forest, whose diverse ecosystem contains endangered species and rich biodiversity.
We all need to do at least something - every revolution starts with one personAnna Frame, Bellingen
Cr King said the action was part of a much larger movement that was seeing people take action all over the world.
"Our young people have shown us the way - we cannot sit and wait while the environment is destroyed," Cr King said.
"The Kalang might be a little river but gee it is powerful. There is a rich diversity of plants and animals in that forest and we need it to be saved.
"This community has spoken loudly - I am meeting the minister (for the environment) on October 31 and I will grovel if I have to.
"This protest shows that we want something different here - it is not about money, it is about family ... it is about making sure we have a future."
Watch this video of the march by Peter Hardinge:
Ecologist Mark Graham said the top of the Kalang was a place to protect because water security depended on it.
"We need those forests because they give us water and water is life," Mark said.
"We have put together a reserve proposal to protect these headwaters and that will be put to the minister for the environment ... there are not many forestry jobs in the shire, this area can be protected.
He said the Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, who was also the NSW Minister for Water, was in crisis mode with statewide water issues.
"But here we have the potential for water security - we want this forest cared for so we can have water."
Forests NSW - response will be published online tomorrow.