Guarding a thin, green line

Around the world there exists a thin green line. A line upon which environmental custodians stand as one; a thin green line which protects, conserves and nurtures the world’s greatest asset, our environment.

Sadly, too many fall from the thin green line making the ultimate sacrifice, killed in the line of duty defending the natural and cultural values of the conservation estate. This devastating loss was dramatically portrayed when Glen Turner, a NSW Environment Officer, was shot dead near Moree in 2014. Glen went to work one day and never returned home to his family. He was protecting the environment from excessive land clearing.

The upcoming anniversary of his death is a poignant reminder that over the last ten years it’s estimated that more than 1,000 fellow environmental custodians worldwide have been killed, many murdered at the hands of commercial poachers and armed militia. Every day rangers put their lives at risk conserving threatened species from illegal hunters, protecting wild places and battling raging bushfires.

World Ranger Day, observed annually on 31 July, offers an opportunity to commemorate those killed and injured in the line of duty. An opportunity to reflect on those who lives have been lost, to pause to remember their enormous contribution. To honour them,  their families and their colleagues who bravely maintain this thin green line.

World Ranger Day also celebrates rangers’ critical work to protect the world’s natural treasures from the impact of and undue influence brought about by the human hand. It is celebrated by global associations aligned with the International Ranger Federation, The Thin Green Line Foundation and by organisations, schools and individuals who simply support the wonderful work of our worldwide network of rangers.

Here in our beautiful bush capital, we have some wonderful events. A ‘Meet the Ranger’ event at the Cotter Campground and Namadgi Visitor Centre on Sunday 30 July will engage visitors in a range of activities. A World Ranger Day walk to the summit of Mt Ainslie on Monday 31 July will raise much needed funds for colleagues around the globe.

Our rangers will also be out and about visiting local schools to plant the seed of environmental stewardship and to inspire custodianship within the generation that will walk in our footsteps along the road which has no end.

This World Ranger Day as we stand as one with nature’s protectors, pause and reflect on the contribution made by those courageous custodians who maintain the thin green line.

To learn more and make a financial contribution to a worthwhile global initiative, visit Home - The Thin Green Line Foundation

Brett Mac

Brett McNamara - Regional Manager with ACT Parks & Conservation Service

Brett loves our national parks almost as much as the Gang-gang on his uniform. He is prone to using the word 'majestic' when referring to the bush capital. He loves talking. A lot. His favourite animal is the playful Platypus.

Article also appeared in The Chronicle