south west gullies of Mt Hotham
south west gullies of Mt Hotham

Wow. Year four of the mountain journal. I love doing this early autumn reflection on the past year, but always feel a bit shocked that it has come around so soon. Thankfully the fires were not as bad this summer as the previous year, although the Tamboritha complex did give some serious worries for a while there. What stands out for me was the long and brutal heatwaves that we endured over summer after a fairly mediocre winter that saw various wash-outs of the entire snow base in Victoria mid season.

As we cycle into the cooler seasons and get some perspective on the year, what is apparent to me is the growing number of serious land management issues confronting the mountains, from the woefully badly managed proposal from the Victorian government to re-introduce cattle grazing into the Victorian alpine park, opening some parks to prospecting, on-going struggles against logging, and plans to allow private development in national parks. The pro development, anti environment, climate change denying troglodytes that currently run Canberra and Victoria are happily dismantling the work of decades to build some basic environmental protections. Tony Abbott is more brash than the Victorian Liberals (announcing, for instance, this week that there are too many national parks) but both state and federal Coalition parties have done a hand brake turn and are racing back to the 1950s when it comes to environmental issues as fast as they can.

You can find the rest of the post here.