Thirty years ago Fiona McCrossin left her job in the city to help protect the future of native forests.
The year was 1989, and Ms McCrossin was one of many conservationists who came to the Tantawangalo area looking to make a difference.
They worked alongside local campaigners, who in November of that year travelled to Parliament House in Sydney, where some, including fifth-generation Bega Valley resident Eugene Collins and councillor Rowland Breckwoldt, lobbied politicians while sitting on horseback.
It was a time of "Greens Cost Jobs" bumper stickers, and with one of Australia's last great native forests under pressure, Mr Collins told the Canberra Times "one side hates the greenies and one side hates loggers".
"The South East was one of the last areas to be opened up for logging, and it was for woodchipping so we had to work out how much was being chipped," Ms McCrossin said.
She is now in her 60s, and teaching science to teenagers at the prestigious Sydney Girls High School, while also helping map the spread of microplastics in our oceans though the Australian Microplastic Assessment Project.
"Initially there was a focus on a koala habitat, then we needed a network of national parks. It was a beautiful, beautiful time of my life. I will never forget it," she said.
In the month's leading up to Ms McCrossin's "life-changing" treechange experience, the Canberra Times reported on concerns from the World Wildlife Fund that both the rare powerful and sooty owls could be at risk if logging was to take place in Tantawangalo, Coolangubra and Egan Peaks areas.
McCrossin, who says she still has boxes of old maps of the Tantawangalo area at home, was working with the Wildlife Society and said she could not believe logging continues in the region three decades after she first set foot in the forests.
"It was a hard battle, and I personally don't feel there's any reason to keep logging these areas," she said.
"I understand that in regional areas people need work, but we need to maximise what's best for the whole community."
A photograph of her taken at the time by a newspaper shows her alongside economist Dr John Formby, who is said to have worked in marketing for Nestle in the 1960s before moving into environmental work and buying a farm on the edge of Tantawangalo State Forest. Like many he worked for years without pay in the forests campaigning.
Not long after Ms McCrossin arrived in the forest, a federally funded survey by the Tantawangalo Catchment Protection Association spotted a koala in an area scheduled to be logged.
Survey coordinator Chris Allen, who would later become the Office of Environment and Heritage's threatened species officer, said a female koala had been seen in the area in the months prior to the start of the survey.
Last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced native timber logging will be phased out in the state by 2030, with the industry required to make the transition to plantation timber.
"This industry is going through a transition. It means it's not good enough for us to merely cross our fingers and hope for the best. We need a plan to support workers and support jobs. With a 30-year plan for transition, we're providing much-needed certainty for workers and their families," Mr Andrews said.
Late last year, the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) issued Forestry Corporation formal warning letters following an investigation into a range of alleged non-compliances during operations in the Tantawangalo forest between 2015 and 2017.
In July this year, the EPA said they had undertaken multiple inspections in compartment 2407 of the Tantawangalo State Forest after receiving reports of alleged non-compliant activity by Forestry Corporation.
"The EPA assesses the compliance of these operations with rules set by the NSW government that aim to ensure native forests in NSW continue to provide valuable habitat for threatened plants and animals, and a sustainable timber supply for NSW," an EPA spokesperson said.
"In November 2018 the NSW Government set new rules, the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval, for how forestry operations must be conducted at state forests. This includes new definitions for rocky outcrops and cliffs. The EPA is currently working with the Forestry Corporation of NSW to ensure the correct implementation of these new rules.
"Forestry Corporation of NSW is aware of the legal and regulatory frameworks and the EPA expects them to work within these frameworks, or regulatory action could be taken."
A spokesperson for Forestry Corporation of NSW said the compartment will be "continually harvested and regrown in perpetuity".
They said the recent "thinning operation" would promote "future sawlog growth" in the forest.
"This is a particularly low-intensity operation, meaning only a small number of trees are disturbed in order to encourage better growth of the remaining forest," the spokesperson said.
"Forestry operations in NSW are tightly regulated and there are robust measures in place to protect native flora and fauna.
"We spend many months before every operation carrying out detailed planning, which includes detailed ecological surveys, and set aside large areas are set aside for protection and conservation of native flora and fauna and forest biodiversity.
"We also set aside additional exclusion zones for any threatened species in line with prescriptions developed by expert scientific panels based on evidence of what is needed to sustain species.
"We are committed to operating within the rules that apply to native forest harvesting. Our operations are regularly audited and certified to the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forestry."
Ms McCrossin said native forest campaigning took its toll on many people who put their lives to one side to do what she said felt morally right, even though the justice system seemed to be against them.
"It is sad the areas around the park are still being logged," Ms McCrossin said.
"I think a number of people were deeply effected by the campaign. I know I never recovered from the first time I saw a logging coupe. I couldn't deal with it.
"We were working against the law in many instances, yet as a scientist and a mother I thought this was fundamentally the right thing to do.
"The legacy is absolutely incredible."