FOR decades forestry has deeply divided the Tasmanian community, greenies versus loggers.
Now the agreement struck between environmentalists and industry that has brought an end to the war within reach, has started a new conflict within the Greens that is threatening to tear the party and the broader environmental movement apart.
While Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim and three of his four state colleagues opted to support the controversial deal, he was drowned out by the party's national leader Christine Milne who vehemently opposed it.
Ms Milne, reflecting the party's hardcore base, condemned the deal as ``dead'' with almost no chance of protecting forests while Mr McKim, adopting the pragmatic approach, maintained it was the best way forward.
The wounds caused by the very public split on a core issue for the party remain and this weekend will highlight them again as both leaders state their cases to the party membership at its annual state conference in Hobart - the first since the deal was struck and passed by the Tasmanian Parliament.
Coming two weeks after the party's primary vote in its home state was slashed in half at the federal election and six months out from a state election, the stakes are high.
Such a severe split is unprecedented for the relatively young political party.
Whether the episode is remembered as the first stage of crippling disunity or the sign of a maturing party will depend on how it's managed.
Associate Professor Kate Crowley, head of the school of government at the University of Tasmania, said it was difficult to predict how the party would recover, but it was far from terminal.
``If we were in Europe we would be more used to seeing Greens fighting within themselves.''
Political motivations are behind the polar opposite stances, she believes.
``They're playing to different audiences.''
She says the split is also a symptom of the state Greens being in a stable minority government.
``It is new territory for the party. They're not just hammering away speaking to their base and offering a utopian dream, they're actually caught in the day-to-day tussle.''
Lining up behind the state Greens is the mainstream groups, the Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania, while in Ms Milne's corner is the powerful Bob Brown, and anti-logging activists.
The Wilderness Society's Vica Bayley says Ms Milne is out of step with the majority of Tasmanian environmentalists.
``Nine out of 10 people basically say to me `It's a s--t sandwich but you have to give it a go'.''
However, Huon Valley Environment Centre's Jenny Weber disputes that and believes Ms Milne's position is about ``staying true to the forests''.
There are two things that offer the potential to begin to mend the rift in the environment movement that is mirrored within the Greens.
The expansion of the World Heritage area earlier this year was cause for universal celebration among environmentalists and most acknowledge it would not have been possible without the forestry agreement in place.
At the same time, the threat posed by the new federal Coalition government that has threatened to repeal the listing and the likely election of the Liberals at state election presents a common enemy that is likely to mobilise the Greens' base.
In their opposition to the Liberals' stance on the environment, the pragmatists and the hardliners within the movement are at least united.
Whether there's room for the pragmatic and hardline approach within the one party in the longer term is yet to be seen.