Victorian government stops Alpine grazing trial

In the latest development in the decades long saga over cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park, the new Victorian government has confirmed it has stopped the grazing trial established by the previous Coalition government.

For background on this issue check here.

The following comes from Rob Harris at The Weekly Times.

Continue reading Victorian government stops Alpine grazing trial

Victorian Government to scrap alpine cattle grazing trial

It’s heartening to see that the new Environment Minister, Lisa Neville, has moved so quickly on the Alpine grazing issue. The following comes from the ABC.

The Victorian Government says it will remove cattle from the Alpine National Park, despite continued lobbying from the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association.

Continue reading Victorian Government to scrap alpine cattle grazing trial

Dismantling ski lifts as the world warms up

The following is yet another story about the impacts of climate change on snow and ski resorts. The evidence of direct economic impacts continues to grow and while some resorts are heeding the call, a large number continue to ignore the issue.

Source: SBS News.

Global warming is likely to disrupt European ski resorts and cause more landslides and forest fires, affecting the agricultural sector and local economy.

With temperatures rising faster in the Alps than the rest of the world, alpine countries are working together to adapt to climate change and hope to set an example.

Continue reading Dismantling ski lifts as the world warms up

In Memoriam, Mike Moore

MG-cover-156-350hIn late summer 2010, I was stuck in the doldrums of endless heat and lack of rain, and winter seemed like it was light years away. I’d sought some shelter from the oven like air outdoors, and retreated to the coolest, darkest room in the house. I sought refuge in a cold beer and one of my favourite magazines, Mountain Gazette.

The Gazette was a lovely journal, described by its founder as being “generally about the mountains” that was produced in Colorado. It was often rambling and lateral, and seemed to cover everything from drinking and drugs to outdoor adventures, to politics in the ‘mountain states’, to musings on mountain culture. Leadville is not Miami (thankfully).

It got me thinking. I love the mountains here in south eastern Australia. And I love the culture that’s developing, growing from the thousands of people who are drawn to the hills to ski or board, to walk or paddle, to work and live. Not just the glossy consumer lifestyles of the rich and banal, but the real lives of people putting their roots down in a place that they love.

And so Mountain Journal was born. It never made it into print form. The logistics and costs were too great, and my time too limited. But it’s clearly filling some need for some people, and here we are four years later.

I just found out that Mike Moore, the founder of Mountain Gazette, passed away earlier this month. MG has long been a place of inspiration for me and I felt sad to hear of his passing. The Gazette itself transformed into an on-line journal several years ago and still publishes excellent writings and observations about mountain life. The following are some excerts from a reflection on Mike’s time as editor of the Gazette, by George Sibley.

Continue reading In Memoriam, Mike Moore

Victorian Government’s alpine cattle grazing policy heads to court

The following comes from The Weekly Times, and is written by Rob Harris.

THE “lawfulness” of the Victorian Government’s alpine cattle grazing policy will be challenged in the Supreme Court today.

The Victorian National Parks Association, represented by Environmental Justice Australia, is attempting to test the validity of the cattle grazing trial under Victoria’s National Parks Act.

The Wonnangatta Valley, in the Alpine National Park, was the site of a three-year cattle grazing trial which began in April this year.

The former federal Labor Government had blocked an original attempt to return Victoria’s mountain cattlemen to the high country when the Ted Baillieu’s Coalition came to power in 2010.

Cattle would return to the site in January 2015 if the Coalition wins the Victorian election on Saturday.

“The prime purpose of national parks is for conservation, not cow paddocks,” VNPA spokesman Phil Ingamells said today.

He said in recent weeks the VNPA had commissioned an expert ecological assessment of the Wonnangatta Valley, the site of the Coalition’s proposed three-year cattle grazing trial.

“They have been irresponsible in locating their cattle grazing trial in the remote and beautiful Wonnangatta Valley,” Mr Ingamells said.

He said the Coalition had “grabbed at least $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money for this so-called scientific trial” which he said was “primarily designed to buy votes in East Gippsland”.

“The grazing trial won’t give us any new information. Comprehensive research already shows that cattle have greatly damaged the Alpine National Park, and that grazing doesn’t significantly reduce fire risk in the high country.”

Running Wild’s 2014/2015 running program

Running Wild is “a series of spectacular runs in some of Victoria’s best national parks. Our motto is great runs – great places – great people. We do not run “races” as such, we are about the running experience, enjoying the country, experiencing what nature has to offer – weather, terrain and your ability to push yourself and get to know your body and your limits, and the social experience.

That is what running and wild running is all about, however if you want to run fast and race, that’s fine too”.

Their summer season starts in early February. There are a range of mountain runs, including the Lake Mountain Alpine Marathon, the Delatite Dash and the Razorback Run.

The Dinner Plain Mountain Running Festival is a new for the 2014/15 season.

Check here for full details.

Great Forest National Park. It’s Time.

A playground for Melbourne

Decided this election?

More than 30 environment, conservation, recreation, scientific and citizen science groups representing tens of thousands of Victorians have called on all political parties and candidates in the lead-up to the November 2014 Victorian election to clearly commit to the creation of a new Great Forest National Park in the Central Highlands.

Just 60 kilometres east of Melbourne grow some of the tallest trees on Earth. Their high canopies are home to wildlife such as gliders, owls and the tiny Leadbeater’s Possum.

Continue reading Great Forest National Park. It’s Time.

Mt Wellington cable car one step closer?

There is a proposal for a cable car on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart. The Wellington Park Management Trust or WPMT have recently approved the extension to the Pinnacle Specific Area (the area open to development on top of the mountain). The Tasmanian Planning Commission is currently reviewing the Wellington Park Management Trust’s decision to extend the Pinnacle Specific Area, and the next option open to the community is to ask the Tasmanian Planning Commission to hold public hearings regarding this decision.

Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) doesn’t believe the WPMT have adequately considered the representations made to them regarding the extension of the Pinnacle Specific Area, and has written to the TPC and the Hobart City Council asking them to hold public hearings. ROCC is asking concerned people to also contact the Tasmanian Planning Commission and urge them to hold public hearings. Numbers really matter and we need all the people who really care to stand up and be counted.

Continue reading Mt Wellington cable car one step closer?

Parks Victoria volunteer track ranger program

For people with solid outdoor experience who want to share their love of wild nature with others, this is a great opportunity.

Parks Victoria is calling for volunteer track rangers who can be available to stay in key areas in the Alpine National Park on peak weekends, to be available to support people who are out walking.

The Track Ranger Program was established in 2005 and has volunteers hiking and camping at popular walking trails and campsites in the Victorian Alps during peak periods. Track Rangers will spend time hiking the trails of Mount Bogong, Mount Feathertop or the Bogong High Plains over 3 to 5 days. The program runs over the new year period, Labour Day weekend and Easter.

You will receive support and training from Parks Victoria.

Check below for a full description of the role.

Continue reading Parks Victoria volunteer track ranger program

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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