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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Alpine national park

Backcountry 2020 – what’s the go?

With ski resorts announcing their plans for the season (and resorts having considerable control over access to many backcountry skiing and riding access points) we now have a sense of what winter will look like.

The key message is that if you’re planning to access backcountry via a resort you need to organise entry before you go. But there are many options outside resort areas.

Continue reading “Backcountry 2020 – what’s the go?”

Parks closed during COVID-19 shutdown

WED April 8: As part of the shutdown to help ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the numbers of C-19 infections, a large number of areas in the High Country are being closed over Easter and beyond.

Government advice continues to be ‘If you can stay home, you must stay home’, meaning no travel for holidays, camping, etc.

VICTORIA

In Eastern Victoria
• Alpine National Park
• Baw Baw National Park
• Howqua Hills Historic Area
• Mount Buffalo National Park

Are all closed from midnight on April 8 ‘until further notice’. Further details here.

NSW

NPWS has closed all campgrounds, camping, on-park accommodation venues and visitor centres in Kosciuszko National Park until further notice.

This includes ‘wild and backcountry camping’ in all national parks.

In line with government restrictions on non-essential travel, the following iconic attractions in Kosciuszko National Park are closed for Easter:

  • The summit of Mount Kosciuszko
  • Thredbo Valley track
  • Kosciuszko Lookout
  • Cootapatamba Lookout

Further information here.

ACT

All visitor facilities within the ACT Parks and Conservation Service managed estate have been closed until further notice in response to a temporary shut-down of non-essential services across the ACT.

To stop the spread of COVID-19, the following facilities are closed to maintain social distancing measures:

  • Tidbinbilla Visitor Information Centre
  • Namadgi Visitor Information Centre
  • Woods Reserve
  • All ACT public campgrounds
  • All playgrounds managed by ACT Parks and Conservation Service

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will also be closed, along with Namadgi National Park, which remains closed due to safety reasons following the Orroral Valley bushfire

All other parks and reserves across the ACT will remain open providing the community access to nature for recreation, health and wellbeing. Park visitors must observe social distancing whilst visiting parks and reserves. This means keeping 1.5 metres from others, avoiding large groups of people, avoiding peak usage periods and practicing good hygiene always.

Further details here.

TASMANIA

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has closed all national parks and reserves to public recreational use.

The closure of parks and reserves was in line with Tasmanian and Federal government measures to discourage the community from undertaking non-essential travel during this time. These closures include Wellington Park.

This includes:

  • National Parks
  • State Reserves
  • Nature Reserves
  • Game Reserves
  • Conservation Areas
  • Nature Recreation Areas
  • Regional Reserves
  • Historic sites.

All activities including day or overnight walks, mountain biking, hunting, other recreational activities and camping are now closed to the public until further notice.

Further information.

 

 

The Tabletop Fire, three months on

As fire seasons get longer and more intense, the impacts on the mountains that we love are already obvious. The forests get younger as wave after wave of fire kills the older trees and sometimes come so frequently they also kill off the new generations of seedlings.

Wildfire has devastated large swathes of snow gum habitat in the last few decades, with significant fires in the Victorian High Country in 1998, 2002/3, 2006/7 and 2013. Over 90% of the Victorian distribution of snow gums has been burned at least once since 2003. Each of the large fires of the last 15 years has overlapped to some extent, leaving thousands of hectares of snow gums burned by wildfire twice, and sometimes three times.

The take home message from research into snow gum forest is that if we want to have a hope of keeping remaining old forests, we need to exclude fire from them wherever possible.

I thought I would check out some forests that were burnt this summer. The news is a mix of good and bad.

Continue reading “The Tabletop Fire, three months on”

Call out for volunteers – Hawkweed eradication program

This summer, Parks Victoria (PV) will continue its volunteer program which is working on eradicating the invasive Hawkweed from the Bogong High Plains.

Hawkweeds are a highly invasive pest plant species which could cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early.

The volunteer courses run out of Falls Creek over the summer in week long blocks. Details are below.

Continue reading “Call out for volunteers – Hawkweed eradication program”

High Plains Festival

Falls Creek Cross Country are excited to announce the first High Plains Festival!

It will happen over the weekend of August 31/ September 1, operating from the Centre at Windy Corner in Falls Creek resort.

LEARN NEW SKILLS – TOUR – MAKE TURNS

Continue reading “High Plains Festival”

VIC fires burn more than 100,000 ha.

It’s been a hard summer for fires, both in Tasmania and the mainland mountains. In Victoria, more than 100,000 hectares were burnt in the high country, making it another season of ‘mega fire’ (these large fires are growing in frequency under the influence of climate change).

Here’s a quick look at the major areas that were burnt:

Continue reading “VIC fires burn more than 100,000 ha.”

Logging in the Stirling Alpine Link?

A new logging coupe (the ‘Bus Loop’ coupe) is about to be logged near Mt Stirling. The trees are a mixture of (very old) snowgums, and alpine ash, only some of which is suitable for making sawlogs.

This coupe exists within the area proposed for inclusion in the Stirling Alpine Link (SAL).

Continue reading “Logging in the Stirling Alpine Link?”

Registrations for this summer’s Hawkweed survey program in VIC Alps are now open

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.

Continue reading “Registrations for this summer’s Hawkweed survey program in VIC Alps are now open”

Taungurung sign Native Title deal with VIC government

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.

Continue reading “Taungurung sign Native Title deal with VIC government”

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