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Tasmanian government intervenes in Mt Wellington cable car debate

This is a huge worry. The cable car that has been proposed for kunanyi/ Mount Wellington, in Hobart, which has been looking ever less likely to proceed, has just received a massive boost. The Tasmanian government has announced that it will will acquire land, and enact new land ownership laws to help clear the way for a cable car development application.

This project would cause major visual scarring to the mountain and many localised ecological impacts. It represents an old fashioned ‘Disneyland’ approach to tourism and is widely opposed by the community in Hobart. You can find background information here.

The following is taken from a news report that appeared in The Sunday Tasmanian newspaper on February 25, 2017. Authors are Patrick Billings and Simeon Thomas-Wilson.

Continue reading “Tasmanian government intervenes in Mt Wellington cable car debate”

Connecting Melbourne and Canberra to the Australian Alps Walking Track

The Australian Alps has hundreds of fantastic trails. The iconic long distance trail is the Australian Alps Walking Track, which stretches from Walhalla, east of Melbourne, almost to Canberra. The AAWT was created in stages, starting with the Victorian Alpine Walking Track, which was developed in the 1970s as part of a larger vision of linking the Australian Alps with a three-state trail. The dream of a long distance track was only fulfilled after years of work and a lot of ‘big picture’ thinking by many people.

Now there are plans to extend the track network all the way to Melbourne and right into Canberra. There are two alternatives for the track from Melbourne, and a proposed route into Canberra, which are outlined below. This well researched proposal identifies gaps in existing tracks and a number of options for connecting up with the existing AAWT.

Continue reading “Connecting Melbourne and Canberra to the Australian Alps Walking Track”

Mountain Journal turns seven

Its that time of year: another circle around the sun, and almost autumn … so its time to think about the year that was.

The annual reflection on MJ is available here.

World telemark day

Saturday September 2, 2017.

This is the annual day for telemark skiers (and any other backcountry inclined skiers and riders) to get together, share some turns, make new friends and generally enjoy getting out in the mountains.

Anyone is welcome to organise an event.

At this point there are plans for gatherings at MT HOTHAM and the SNOWY MOUNTAINS.

Full details will be available here closer to winter.

Help save Basin Creek rainforest

The W-Tree community near the Snowy River in East Gippsland need your help to stop logging of the Basin Creek rainforest complex. This spectacular rainforest area is currently under threat from VicForests logging operations.

The Basin Creek Rainforest Complex is a beautiful matrix of pristine rainforested gullies and old-growth forest that forms a crucial wildlife corridor in an area devastated by clear fell logging. This corridor links the Snowy River National Park with forests further to the West.

Please sign the petition to Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio MP calling on her to protect this stunning place from destructive clear fell logging.

Time to make Mt Stirling part of the Alpine Park

With a review of alpine resorts being carried out by the Victorian government, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) has renewed its campaign to have Mt Stirling incorporated into the Alpine National Park.

There is a small window of time remaining to provide input to the review, supporting the call for the inclusion in the park. The following information from the VNPA explains how to have input into the process.

Continue reading “Time to make Mt Stirling part of the Alpine Park”

Slow recovery after Tasmanian fires

Mountain Journal has published a number of stories on the fires that devastated large areas of Tasmania’s high country in 2016. At the time we suggested that the ecological damage would be very long term because of the nature of the high elevation vegetation.

Sadly, that seems to be the case:

The following comes from a news report by the ABC.

A year on from bushfires in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (WHA), some areas are showing signs of recovery but others are not.

Ecologist Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick said once alpine flora such as pencil pines were burnt, they died.

“They haven’t got any seed stores, so there’s no seed in the soil and there’s very seldom seed in the trees themselves, so if you burn the stands you’ll often get rid of them for a very long time period,” he said.

“It’s those plants that actually make it a world heritage area because they’re really highly significant scientifically as paleo endemics from the cretaceous period.”

The fires wiped out plants more than 1,000 years old.

Researchers will travel to Lake Mackenzie next month to gather data about how the landscape is faring.

 

Australian Alps Walking Track Clearing – Baw Baw National Park

Long weekend in March (2 – 5 March)

Help clean up the Australian Alps Walking Track where it traverses the Baw Baw plateau. There will be a variety of work to undertake, requiring a range of skills and experience, including chainsawing, brush cutting, clearing debris, transporting equipment and fuel, clearing water bars and replacing/adding track markers.
Parks Victoria will supply all food and water, so please provide us with the days you will attend and any special dietary requirements. You will need to bring all your camping gear (tent, sleeping bag and mat etc.).

We will camp at Jeep Flat Track, a short walk from the Mt St Gwinear carpark. Remember, we will be in alpine conditions, so bring appropriate clothing.

Come for a day or stay the entire four days. To help with planning and catering please book by Thursday 16 February.

Contact: Convenor Peter Maffei, Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation, Bushwalking Victoria by email at tracks@bushwalkingvictoria.org.au or phone 0418 149 465

(early) happy New Year

I’m planning to be on my usual mountain, with the usual suspects, to see off the year, hence this slightly early bit of New Year greetings.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. Mountain Journal taps into at least a decent part of the mountain loving community here in Australia, and seems to fill the need for info about – and appreciation of – the mountains we love so much.

Its easy to despair about the state of the world. We will have our hands full in 2017, with lots to do. But in the meantime I hope you’re having a great summer, that you’re out in the hills, and that you have an excellent new year.

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