Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



Forest protests continue to ramp up in Victoria and NSW

For the last few months there have been sustained, decentralised protests happening against logging operations in Victoria. Check here for some notes on previous actions. It has continued today (June 29) with protests in the Black Range, Toolangi, Lakes Entrance Mt Disappointment and the Pyrenees State Forest, with a symbolic connection to protests being held in NSW.

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Black Lives Matter and the outdoor community

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis has triggered global protests. From religious groups to trade unions, students to Indigenous people, there has been an outpouring of anger and solidarity. Tens of thousands of people have marched in Australia and street protests continue each day in the USA.

Many in the outdoors community and many outdoor brands in the USA have also expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Here are a few examples.

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Burning season in the Central Highlands

As post logging burns darken the sky across eastern Victoria, a growing number of community groups are mobilising to oppose the practise of the burns.

Post logging fires are different to fuel reduction burns. Post logging fires are meant to remove all the debris left behind from logging – the unwanted trees, the heads and branches, and the understory vegetation. Generally the waste is pushed into piles and burnt.

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Back in early March (that seems like two years ago) Protect Our Winters (POW) launched #CrushItForClimate which asked people who love the outdoors to support POW’s efforts to ‘educate, organize and advocate on climate change’.

The idea was to get outdoors and do what you love, while also supporting POW’s work. Since then, more than 400,000 people have been inspired to embark on a climate advocacy journey while scaling and achieving their goals, even as the Coronavirus lockins started.

If you check the Instagram account there are wonderful images of people running, climbing, skiing, riding, and paddling in incredible landscapes. But now its starting to transition into indoor pursuits. It’s definitely worth a look for some couch bound inspiration.

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Mountain Journal highlights – March 2020

This summer it was all about fires. Then, as the mountains started to open up and the weather cooled down, along came the Coronavirus, and things are locked down again.

Here is the monthly summary of key stories that have been featured on Mountain Journal. Enjoy.

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Logging threatens Leadbeater’s Possum habitat

Industrial scale clear-fell logging is NOW taking place in the Snobs Creek Valley.  The Central Highlands are the most heavily logged area in Australia.  The highly biodiverse ecosystem of mountain and alpine ash in the Rubicon State Forest has been virtually logged-out.

Lead beaters possum and Greater Gliders are widespread through the Snobs Valley. In one night 30 Greater Gliders were found in one of the proposed Vicforests logging coupes. These animals are listed as threatened species under the federal EPBC Act.

The three coupes currently being logged at Snobs are:  Shackle, Snobs 13 and Snobs 14 and other sensitive coupes are also being logged at Torbreck and Bull fight (see map).

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Interview: Vicki Adams

Vicki recently helped establish Outdoors People for Climate Action, which aims to engage people who work in or love the outdoors with the Climate Movement. This will help to mobilise a group of people with strong connections to wild and natural places, and connect them with the movement which is working to protect these areas from the long term impacts of climate change.

Vicki has decided to devote 2020 to climate action. As part of our series of interviews with people with connections to the mountains and outdoors, Vicki shared some thoughts on her work and connections to place.

The interview is available here.

SOCIAL MEDIA ACTION: Support science-based Emissions Reduction Targets in Vic!

We all know that unchecked climate change poses an existential threat to the wild places we know and love.

This is a global problem, and requires a co-ordinated global solution. But all states, governments and communities also need to play their part. And we have a huge opportunity to see Victoria leap forward and start the transition away from it’s current reliance on fossil fuels.

This is a simple (and hopefully, creative) action that only takes a few minutes to do.

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Outdoors People for Climate Action

Outdoors People for Climate Action is a new group that was launched on the 1stof March 2020 following what was, for many outdoors people, a climatically confronting summer.

The launch also followed a period of growing climate change concern and action in Australia and around the world, marked by protests, actions, mass engagement, media coverage, and some major climate wins. Because the only thing lacking in addressing the climate crisis globally is political will – it’s now widely recognized that climate activism is essential to achieve a safe climate future.

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