High country cattle grazing ban in national parks likely to succeed

In an update to our recent report on the Victorian government introducing legislation to ban cattle grazing in the Alpine and Red Gum national parks, it now seems likely the legislation will pass through the Upper House.

The ALP controls the Lower House but will require at least two additional Upper House votes to have the legislation approved. The Weekly Times is reporting that this is now looking likely:

Many Upper House MPs still expect the Government to succeed despite its minority position.

At least two of the five cross-benchers are expected to join the ALP and Greens and vote the Bill through after it clears the Lower House.

While all minority parties say they are still waiting to see the legislation’s wording, Sex Party MP Fiona Patten said she was likely to support the ban, as was Democratic Labour Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins.

 

Alpine grazing banned

In perhaps the final act of the long running alpine grazing saga, the Victorian government has introduced legislation into Parliament banning grazing in the Alpine National Park, as well as in the River Red Gum national parks.

The introduction of the National Parks Amendment (Prohibiting Cattle Grazing) Bill 2015 will amend the National Parks Act 1975 to prohibit cattle grazing for any purpose in these national parks.

Continue reading Alpine grazing banned

Climate change likely to be responsible for eucalypt dieback in south-east NSW

It is widely known that climate change has resulted in prolonged infestations of mountain pine beetle in the mountain states of North America, which has destroyed wide areas of lodgepole pine forest. Previously, cold spells had killed off bark beetles which are now attacking the forests.

The following story from the ABC suggests that climate change may be having a similar impact on the Monaro Tablelands of south eastern NSW.

Journalist: Joshua Becker.

Climate change likely to be responsible for eucalypt dieback in south-east NSW: ANU PhD candidate Catherine Ross

For more than a decade it has been a mystery as to what is causing eucalypt trees to die on the Monaro in south-east, New South Wales.

The dieback is centred around Berridale near Cooma NSW and it spans more than 2000 square kilometres – an area larger than the ACT.

Continue reading Climate change likely to be responsible for eucalypt dieback in south-east NSW

Hands off the Tasmanian World Heritage Area!

In January, The Australian newspaper reported that:

“TASMANIA’S  Liberal government is to take the “wilderness’’ out of the state’s iconic Wilderness World Heritage Area, rezoning it to allow tourism developments, more aircraft and ship access, and even selective logging.

The radical plans, which have provoked outrage from conservationists, are contained in a draft ­revised management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”

The natural and cultural values of this incredible landscape are under threat, but you can write a submission about the management plan.

Friends of the Earth in Melbourne is hosting an information night to let people know what is being planned and how to write a submission.

Please come along and find out what is really going on and how you can help Tassie campaigners to protect this global treasure!

Featuring speaker Robert Campbell (President of the Tasmanian National Parks Association), amazing photography, films, snacks and drinks.

Thursday March 12, at 6.30 pm.

At Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith street, Collingwood.

A Facebook page for the event is available here.

 

Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum

The following comes from the ABC (journalist is Rosemary Bolger). It chronicles the latest stage in the decades long campaign to have the dam waters above Lake Pedder in south west Tasmania drained so that the original lake and ecosystem can be restored.

Check here for details on the campaign to have the lake restored.

A long-running campaign to drain Lake Pedder and return the natural jewel of Tasmania’s south-west to its former glory is ramping up again.

Despite opposition from a small group of environmentalists, the lake’s still waters were swallowed up in 1972 by a massive inland sea created to supply the Gordon Power Station.

Harnessing the power of the green movement that emerged from the failed campaign, protesters went on to wage one of the biggest environmental fights in Australia to block the damming of the Franklin River.

Continue reading Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum

Bike Buller MTB Festival

The following comes from Mt Buller resort management:

Mountain bikers are getting set for the biggest event on Mt Buller’s busy calendar, the Bike Buller MTB Festival Presented by Orbea on March 7-9. Taking place over the Victorian Labour Day long weekend on Mt Buller’s world-class trails, the Bike Buller MTB Festival will see riders enjoy a jam-packed three days of mountain biking and festival fun at the popular Picnic in the Park food, wine and music festival at Mirimbah Park.

The festival is an ‘all mountain’ event, held across Mt Buller’s world-class cross-country, endurance and downhill trails, and suitable for riders of all abilities and disciplines. Run by event management company Rapid Ascent, the team behind the Giant Odyssey, Salomon Trail Running Series, Surf Coast Century and a number of other iconic adventure events, the 2015 Bike Buller MTB Festival presented by Orbea has a massive 14-event schedule with a diverse range of mountain bike races, kids’ events and even a trail running component.

Full details here.

And if you’re up on Mt Stirling, make sure you drop in to the Epicenter for a coffee or some food and support this great mountain business.

How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?

Mountain Journal has previously highlighted the potential environmental impacts of the Stockman project, which would see a major mine re-opened in the headwaters of the Tambo River.

In the following story, Scott Campbell-Smith outlines the economic cost of the previous mining operation and the risks associated with a major expansion of the mining operation.

The new minister for Energy and Resources will need to make a final decision on this project shortly.

Continue reading How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?

Australian Alps Walking Track Projects – volunteer places available

Conservation Volunteers have two Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) projects remaining for the 2014/15 season, with some spaces left on the respective teams.

They are both base camping projects in the Victorian high country:

Bogong High Plains March 1 to 7 2015

Work involves Track definition and surfacing using rubber tiles, and creating drains.

Omeo region March 22 to 28 2015

This will involve a mix of track clearing, brushcutting, drainage installation, and track marking.

If you are interested it will be fantastic to hear from you.

To express interest, please contact Adam via email, on 03 54440777 or on 0427 507 004.

asmolak@conservationvolunteers.com.au

 

 

Tours of Mount Buffalo Chalet

The following comes from Parks Victoria:

It’s your last chance to tour the Mount Buffalo Chalet prior to the commencement of refurbishment works. Free one hour tours will be held on Saturday 21 February. Tours will run on the hour from 10am to 3pm and bookings are essential as tickets are limited. Book online here.

Accessibility: there are numerous steps up into and throughout the chalet as part of the tour.

 

Thank a Resort

This is an interesting initiative from the Climate Reality Project.

It profiles eleven ski resorts in North America who are undertaking meaningful initiatives to reduce their environmental impact as a practical way of reducing their contribution to climate change.

It asks people to send a message to the resorts to acknowledge their efforts and encourage them to do more.

The project says:

The resorts listed below have all taken meaningful action to offset their carbon emissions in some way. We encourage you to send a virtual high-five to as many of them as you can for going above and beyond in the fight against climate change and helping to keep snow on our mountains.

Of course, no Australian resorts would make such a list given their lacklustre efforts. But its always good to get inspiration from elsewhere about what might be possible …

 

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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