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Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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activism

A new year, time for new campaign issues?

We still have a long hot dry summer ahead of us. And fires that threaten the mountains that we love so much. But we are also moving towards New Years Eve, when people often make their plans for the coming year.

For me a big part of my planning for the year is to lock in my backcountry trips (here’s my favourite 3 backcountry adventures). Obviously it’s good to have a long think about life, the universe and everything. And then there is activism. 

Sadly, on the activist front there will be lots to do in 2020. Here’s a few ideas on where you may want to put your shoulder to the wheel.

Continue reading “A new year, time for new campaign issues?”

Finding the Good News in the grim reality

We’re facing heatwaves, drought and mega fires. Fire season started early right along the eastern seaboard and while the mountains have largely been spared so far, its going to be a long summer.

The updated Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook which has just been released shows that extended area of Gippsland and the mountains of North East Victoria are forecast to experience above-normal bushfire potential over the summer.

Global leaders (including our own federal government) have comprehensively failed to agree on how to tackle climate change during the recent UN negotiations in Spain. Horse numbers are sky rocketing in the Snowy Mountains because the NSW government is in thrall to political forces who refuse to accept the ecological costs of having large feral horse populations in alpine and sub alpine environments.

The list could easily go on. When you look at the state of the world, it’s hard not to get depressed. So here is some outdoors related ‘end of year’ good news for you.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, and fire free, summer.

Continue reading “Finding the Good News in the grim reality”

Old Growth ‘verification’ threatens forest protection

In November, the Victorian government announced that logging native forests will end in 2030. The government also committed to state-wide protections for 90,000ha of old growth forests, and 96,000ha of new protected areas, 48,500 of which are in East Gippsland. An action statement for the threatened Greater Glider was also finally released.

An ongoing issue has been the question of how and when the Old Growth would be protected. The state government has now provided details on how this will occur, and this has confirmed fears by environmental groups that protection will be watered down through the methodology that will be used.

East Gippsland based activist group Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) has issued a call for members of the public to engage in the process around Old Growth modelling. 

Continue reading “Old Growth ‘verification’ threatens forest protection”

#ClimateImpactVic map launched

Act on Climate Victoria, the climate change campaign at Friends of the Earth Victoria, has launched an interactive map which shows details of climate change impacts on local communities, businesses and landscapes across the state.

It notes that snow cover has declined across the Alps since the 1950s. You can submit your observations of climate change impacts for inclusion in the map.

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What does the VIC government’s promise to protect Old Growth mean for the High Country?

Public conversation about the recent announcement of an end to logging of old growth forests in Victoria has so far focused on the implications for East Gippsland, where large areas of ‘Modeled Old Growth (MOG)’ is expected to be protected, and the Central Highlands, where there will be very little protection. Given this announcement covers forests right across the east of the state, what does it mean for the High Country?

The short answer, at this stage, is ‘we don’t really know’. While the government map that has been circulated shows considerable areas of MOG throughout the foothills and valleys of the High Country, and even what looks like older Snow Gum Woodlands, we are yet to get the details on what the protection of these areas will look like.

Continue reading “What does the VIC government’s promise to protect Old Growth mean for the High Country?”

‘Climate Cycle to Canberra’ to cross the Alps twice

The Climate Cycle to Canberra is an unsupported, adventurous, ‘non-charity’ bike ride from Melbourne to Canberra in aid of emergency climate action in Australia.

Unlike a standard charity ride, riders ask supporters for pledges of ‘action’ rather than money. These actions are aimed at moving us towards our political goals.

The riders say: ‘we want to create the conditions in which an effective, society-wide response to the climate crisis is possible. The first step is to get our politicians to declare a climate emergency’.

The main ride will be departing from Federation Square in Melbourne at 9am on Saturday the 23rd of November.

Continue reading “‘Climate Cycle to Canberra’ to cross the Alps twice”

Reclaim Malbena

As the long campaign to protect World Heritage Areas from commercial development continues (and in the aftermath of the Federal Court case against the planned ‘helicopter tourism’ development proposed for Lake Malbena on Tasmania’s Central Plateau), a trip has now been planned to visit the site threatened by this proposal.

The Fishers and Walkers Against Helicopter Access Tasmania and the Wilderness Society have organised the camp, which will happen over the weekend of December 7 and 8.

Continue reading “Reclaim Malbena”

Backlash forces International Ski Federation to adopt pro-climate position

You might remember when the president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Gian Franco Kasper went on-the-record in February, denying human-caused climate change and the science that supports it? Many in the snow sports community were suitably outraged, and Protect Our Winters (POW) started a letter writing campaign to ensure that FIS adopted a position consistent with mainstream climate science.

Following the campaign, FIS announced this week that it had joined the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework and made it part of its sustainability policy.

POW reports that ‘after seven months and more than 9,000 letters sent to FIS from the outdoor community, check out what we’ve accomplished together––it’s encouraging news and shows what the outdoor community is capable of’.

Continue reading “Backlash forces International Ski Federation to adopt pro-climate position”

How the outdoor industry supported #ClimateStrike

In the last few days, millions of people from around the world marched to demand serious action on climate change. While the climate strikes were initiated and led by students, people from all walks of life joined in. From First Nations people to unionists, a huge cross section of society were out and on the streets. Girls in Afghanistan, school students in Uganda, small rural communities and more than 2,600 businesses in Australia alone.

As we know, climate change poses an existential threat to wild landscapes across the planet. So how did the outdoor community, and the businesses that rely on a healthy outdoor environment support the strike?

For me, a local standout was the climate strike event organised at Mt Hotham in the Victorian Alps. While ski resorts in Australia have been slow to act on emissions, change is slowly coming and this community-led initiative gives me hope.

What else happened?

Continue reading “How the outdoor industry supported #ClimateStrike”

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