Hawkweed is a highly invasive pest plant species which could cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. For several years there has been an annual volunteer program held on the Bogong High Plains. Volunteer recruitment for the 2018/2019 season of the Falls Creek Hawkweed Eradication Program Volunteer Surveys is now open.
Victoria has signed the largest native title claim in the state’s history, recognising the Taungurung as traditional owners in across large sections of northern and north eastern Victoria and awarding a settlement of more than $33m. The agreement covers sections of the high country and Alpine National Park, including Mt Buller, Mt Cobbler and the Buffalo Plateau.
The Gunaikurnai and Taungurung Traditional Owner groups have connection to the Victorian Alps over thousands of generations, and in recent years they have been reasserting that connection.
Recently they have sought support form the Victorian government’s Right People for Country program to help clarify the boundaries between their respective countries. The Right People for Country Program supports Traditional Owners groups in the process of making agreements:
- between groups – about boundaries and extent of Country
- within groups
In general terms in this part of the Alps, Gunaikurnai country is in the catchments south of the Great Dividing Range while Taungurung country is on the north side of the divide. This process allowed the groups to clarify the boundaries for a section of the divide between Warburton and Mt Hotham.
Additionally, Taungurung and Gunaikurnai agreed to seek shared joint management of the Alpine National Park, valuing this as an opportunity for both groups to have increased involvement and greater influence over the management of Country.
Parks Victoria have announced that sections of the Alpine National Park in north east Victoria will be closed between October 8 and 26 to allow for aerial hunting of deer.
It will include the entire Feathertop/ Razorback ridge from Diamantina hut and extending north of the Feathertop summit, and areas to the north west of Dead Timber Hill, into the Cobungra River valley, almost as far as Derrick hut. Check the attached map for full details.
Trail heads will be sign posted if the areas are closed.
The Andrews government has released a long-term plan to protect the Alpine National Park in Victoria from the threat of feral horses.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio launched the Protection of the Alpine National Park – Feral Horse Strategic Plan 2018-2021 this week, which aims to radically reduce wild horse numbers in the park. In announcing the plan, Minister D’Ambrosio said “feral horses cannot be allowed to run rampant in the Alpine national park – their hard hooves damage the precious environment and destroy the habitats of threatened species.”
Mountain Journal reported recently that Parks Victoria had released its final Master Plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing: a five day serviced hiking opportunity in the Alpine National Park. In the state budget for 2018/19, there was an allocation of funds to help make the project a reality.
The proposal has been widely criticised because it will help open up previously undeveloped areas near Mt Feathertop and allow private development within the Alpine National Park.
Several years ago, Tourism Victoria suggested that Victoria needed four ‘iconic walks’ in order to help ensure the state became a bushwalking destination. One of these was the ‘Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing’.
After a great deal of work, the final masterplan for the walk has been released by Parks Victoria.
Feral horses pose a threat to and damage the environmental values of the Victorian alps, including areas of the Bogong High Plains. This impact has been well documented in the past.
To address this threat, Parks Victoria has for some time undertaken a trapping program to reduce the number of horses, and hence the damage they have on sensitive alpine flora and fauna.
A new report has been released based on assessments of impacts on a number of locations across the Bogong High Plains in north eastern Victoria, and how these impacts have changed over the last decade.
This is a great program: Parks Victoria (PV) Track Rangers are volunteers who walk and camp along popular tracks during peak holidays in order to provide a presence in key visitation areas and providing hikers with up-to-date park information.
If you have good experience in remote area walking plus appropriate skills and the right personality, it’s a great opportunity to be out in some fantastic country and contribute in a positive way to the management of some of the state’s best parks.
It involves a 4 to 6 day commitment. Full details below.