Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



Wild dog attacks. Farmers ask for more trappers.

Wild dogs are a huge problem in farming areas around the mountains in north east Victoria. They also prey heavily on native fauna. The issue of dog control has risen again recently in Victoria because of claims that there are fewer people employed to control population numbers.

According to a report in The Weekly Times (29/4/15):

“The Victorian Government employs 18 dog trappers, 10 in Gippsland and eight across the North East.

The Victorian Farmers Federation says that five years ago there were 25 trappers for the same area.

But the community engagement officer for the Government’s wild dog program, Barry Davies, said there were now “five or six casual wild dog controllers, two contractors and 25 field services officers who are trained to various deg­rees, some capable of trapping dogs.”

The full article, by journalist Kath Sullivan can be found here. It highlights the impacts on farmers and animals as a result of dog attacks on stock.

There are, of course, a number of ways of dealing with the problem. Trapping and shooting is a traditional method. Is funding for dog-proof fencing an option in key farming areas around the high country national parks? Some farmers use Maremmas (is a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy), while others bait.

There is also some question about whether the government will allocate more resources to employ additional hunters in the state budget, due to be released in early May.



Protecting the Kuark forest

The spectacular old growth forest of Kuark in East Gippsland provides habitat for threatened species such as the Sooty, Masked and Powerful owls, Greater gliders, Long footed potoroos and a rare rainforest type where warm and cool temperate rainforest blend together in an ‘over lap” assemblage.

The state owned logging company VicForests plan on conducting extensive clear fell logging operations in the forest this year and local conservationists are getting organised to halt the proposed destruction.

Victorian conservation group, Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) are stepping up their efforts to protect these forests from logging. The group have launched a citizen science program and public campaign to collect data and publicise the Kuark forest in the far east of Victoria.

Check here for the full story.

High country cattle grazing ban in national parks likely to succeed

In an update to our recent report on the Victorian government introducing legislation to ban cattle grazing in the Alpine and Red Gum national parks, it now seems likely the legislation will pass through the Upper House.

The ALP controls the Lower House but will require at least two additional Upper House votes to have the legislation approved. The Weekly Times is reporting that this is now looking likely:

Many Upper House MPs still expect the Government to succeed despite its minority position.

At least two of the five cross-benchers are expected to join the ALP and Greens and vote the Bill through after it clears the Lower House.

While all minority parties say they are still waiting to see the legislation’s wording, Sex Party MP Fiona Patten said she was likely to support the ban, as was Democratic Labour Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins.


Hands off the Tasmanian World Heritage Area!

In January, The Australian newspaper reported that:

“TASMANIA’S  Liberal government is to take the “wilderness’’ out of the state’s iconic Wilderness World Heritage Area, rezoning it to allow tourism developments, more aircraft and ship access, and even selective logging.

The radical plans, which have provoked outrage from conservationists, are contained in a draft ­revised management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”

The natural and cultural values of this incredible landscape are under threat, but you can write a submission about the management plan.

Friends of the Earth in Melbourne is hosting an information night to let people know what is being planned and how to write a submission.

Please come along and find out what is really going on and how you can help Tassie campaigners to protect this global treasure!

Featuring speaker Robert Campbell (President of the Tasmanian National Parks Association), amazing photography, films, snacks and drinks.

Thursday March 12, at 6.30 pm.

At Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith street, Collingwood.

A Facebook page for the event is available here.


Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum

The following comes from the ABC (journalist is Rosemary Bolger). It chronicles the latest stage in the decades long campaign to have the dam waters above Lake Pedder in south west Tasmania drained so that the original lake and ecosystem can be restored.

Check here for details on the campaign to have the lake restored.

A long-running campaign to drain Lake Pedder and return the natural jewel of Tasmania’s south-west to its former glory is ramping up again.

Despite opposition from a small group of environmentalists, the lake’s still waters were swallowed up in 1972 by a massive inland sea created to supply the Gordon Power Station.

Harnessing the power of the green movement that emerged from the failed campaign, protesters went on to wage one of the biggest environmental fights in Australia to block the damming of the Franklin River.

Continue reading “Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum”

How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?

Mountain Journal has previously highlighted the potential environmental impacts of the Stockman project, which would see a major mine re-opened in the headwaters of the Tambo River.

In the following story, Scott Campbell-Smith outlines the economic cost of the previous mining operation and the risks associated with a major expansion of the mining operation.

The new minister for Energy and Resources will need to make a final decision on this project shortly.

Continue reading “How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?”

Australian Alps Walking Track Projects – volunteer places available

Conservation Volunteers have two Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) projects remaining for the 2014/15 season, with some spaces left on the respective teams.

They are both base camping projects in the Victorian high country:

Bogong High Plains March 1 to 7 2015

Work involves Track definition and surfacing using rubber tiles, and creating drains.

Omeo region March 22 to 28 2015

This will involve a mix of track clearing, brushcutting, drainage installation, and track marking.

If you are interested it will be fantastic to hear from you.

To express interest, please contact Adam via email, on 03 54440777 or on 0427 507 004.



Thank a Resort

This is an interesting initiative from the Climate Reality Project.

It profiles eleven ski resorts in North America who are undertaking meaningful initiatives to reduce their environmental impact as a practical way of reducing their contribution to climate change.

It asks people to send a message to the resorts to acknowledge their efforts and encourage them to do more.

The project says:

The resorts listed below have all taken meaningful action to offset their carbon emissions in some way. We encourage you to send a virtual high-five to as many of them as you can for going above and beyond in the fight against climate change and helping to keep snow on our mountains.

Of course, no Australian resorts would make such a list given their lacklustre efforts. But its always good to get inspiration from elsewhere about what might be possible …


Tasmania plans to open wilderness world heritage area to logging and tourism

In a worrying development, decades worth of environmental campaigning could be lost under plans unveiled by the Tasmanian government to open up the world heritage area to logging and tourism.

Under the rhetoric of supporting Indigenous people, the government has released the draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan Project, while opening up the prospect of major new developments withing the region.

The National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 requires that the draft plan be made publically available to allow for representations to be made.

Your chance to have a say ends on Sunday 22 March 2015.

Continue reading “Tasmania plans to open wilderness world heritage area to logging and tourism”

Adventure Kids Festival, Mt Hotham

24th – 26th January 2015 Australia Day Long Weekend

From Mt Hotham resort management:

We are encouraging children between 4 and 12 years of age to spend more time being active in the outdoors with the Adventure Kids Festival this January here at Hotham.

The Adventure Kids offers children, and their parents, the opportunity to experience outdoor adventure activities in a controlled environment, close to traditional community services (such as transport, amenities, etc), in a very easy family-friendly way. The experience will be memorable and hopefully ignite a desire in them to further explore what our many outdoor and wilderness areas have to offer.

Over the Australia Day Long Weekend, Saturday 24th to Monday 26th January, Mt Hotham will play host to this exciting festival for Adventure Kids!

Camping, Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Fly Fishing, Obstacle Courses, Bush Walking, Abseiling, Bush Art, Damper Cooking, Rock Climbing are some of the activities on offer at the event for kids to get involved in!

Full details and tickets available here.


Blog at | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 182 other followers