Margaret River’s Nannas for Native Forests say they have secured a place at the table overseeing the WA’s transition from old-growth logging — though it’s a bloke that will represent them. Local campaigner Ray Swarts will take up honorary nannahood after a recent meeting with Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie in which the conservation-minded matriarchs voiced concerns about the review of WA’s Forest Management Plan. Swarts, who featured in the documentary The Cry of the Forests, will represent Margaret River concerns in one of the focus groups helping shape the review. Spokeswoman Peta Goodwin told the Times the group wanted a change in thinking from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ commercial focus. The review, which is open for public consultation now, comes after the WA Government last year caught the Greens and forestry workers by surprise in announcing an impending ban on old-growth logging across the South West. “The new FMP is to be about managing forests for conservation not timber production,” Ms Goodwin said. “This requires new thinking. “We don’t see any acceptance so far in DBCA that the native forest industry is unsustainable and that it has been largely responsible for the decline of most of our native forests.” The nannas believed DBCA was ill-placed to oversee the new management plan. “This is like giving fossil-fuel companies the job of decarbonising the world,” she said. “This new plan requires a holistic, scientific approach that is independent of political, bureaucratic and industry influence.” Conservationists wanted a reduction in thinning practices which affected forest habitat, scaling back of infrastructure like roads and clearings used in logging, and more diversity in replanting efforts. Ms Kelsbie told the Times she and Margaret River-based Labor MLC Jackie Jarvis regularly met with local groups to hear their concerns. “The nannas are obviously passionate about the future of our forests and have been active in their advocacy for their protection,” Ms Kelsbie said. “I am proud to say the McGowan Labor Government is doing (that) through the historic decision to end commercial-scale logging of our South West native forests, which will preserve at least an additional 400,000ha of karri, jarrah and wandoo forests. “The approach to forest management activities will continue to be canvassed through the development of FMP 2024-2033,” she said. “There will be opportunities for Noongar people, stakeholders and the public to be consulted, with those who wish to be involved and updated on the progress of the plan invited to complete an online form to register as a stakeholder.” Ms Goodwin said operational practices which damaged forests should be reviewed as part of the FMP to help forests regenerate in coming decades. Former Shire president Pam Townshend, who has been working with the Margaret River Regional Environment Centre, urged concerned residents to make a submission on the review via the DBCA website.