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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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feral species

ACT government to consider declaring feral horses a pest

Wild horse populations are a problem right across the Alps. While there are plans to reduce numbers in Victoria, the NSW government has opted for a bizarre position that believes that ‘the cultural significance of brumbies needed to be recognised’, and hence culling in alpine national parks has been reduced. As a result, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has not undertaken any feral horse control in alpine areas for more than 18 months. This has meant that the large existing wild horse population continues to grow, and continues to adversely impact on alpine ecosystems.

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Underfrog – a documentary about horses in Kosciuszko National Park

Feral horses damage alpine wetlands, stomp fragile waterways and threaten native wildlife and yet the NSW Government created a law last year giving feral horses heritage protection in Kosciuszko National Park, overriding the legal protection provided to the native plants and animals of the national park.

Reclaim Kosci and the ANU environment collective are hosting the ACT premier of the Underfrog documentary in a night about the feral horses issue in Kosciuszko National Park.

This Saturday May 11, in Canberra.

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Kosciuszko National Park turns 75

On April 18, Kosciuszko National Park will turn 75. We have to be grateful to the community members who argued for the creation of this park, and the government of the day who created it. Cattle were previously allowed to graze on the Main Range, the ‘roof of Australia’, and the damage has taken many decades to heal.

Sadly, seven decades on, the park faces threats from climate change and invasive species like wild horses. This release from Reclaim Kosci outlines the ongoing threat posed by feral horses.

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Feral horse numbers ‘skyrocketing’ in Kosciuszko National Park

The long debate over feral horses in alpine areas was derailed by a decision taken by the NSW government to protect rather than limit wild horse populations in Kosciuszko National Park. It was clear that this would lead to greater environmental damage in precious alpine areas.  Now Freedom of Information documents show that horse numbers have ‘risen dramatically’ since all horse control was halted in the park 20 months ago.

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“Reining in feral horse numbers should be top of Matt Kean’s to-do list”

The re-election of a conservative government in New South Wales sends a worrying signal to people who are concerned about climate change and the environment. They have already announced that the Office of Environment and Heritage will cease to be a ‘stand-alone independent body’ and environment issues will be absorbed into a new planning and industry department, while heritage will be moved into premier and cabinet. The Nature Conservation Council responded to this move by saying the government has ‘been at war with nature and environmental protection since it came to power in 2011’.

Reclaim Kosci, an advocacy group which is campaigning to ensure the Kosciuszko National Park is protected through tackling the number of feral horses running rampant in the park, says this issue should be the number one priority for the new energy and environment minister, Matt Kean.

Continue reading ““Reining in feral horse numbers should be top of Matt Kean’s to-do list””

NSW’s inaction on horses causing problems in ACT

Have you ever lived next to a bad neighbour who doesn’t care how their actions impacts on you? If so, then you probably know how Victoria and the ACT feel about NSW’s unwillingness to control the herds of wild horses that range in the Snowy Mountains.

The enormous environmental impacts of wild horses are widely documented. In spite of this, the NSW government has aligned itself with the ‘brumby lobby’, which wants to keep wild horses in the Kosciuszko national park for ‘cultural reasons’. They have legislated to protect the horses from culling. Given that there is no fence between the mountains in NSW and adjoining states, this negligence is impacting Victoria and the ACT.

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‘Save Kosci’ walk finishes at Mt Kosciuszko

More than 600 people joined sections of the 36 day walk from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko which aimed to raise awareness about the negative impacts of feral horses in the Kosciuszko national park. The walk finished on December 9. The five people who did the whole walk from Sydney were joined on the final day by 178 people, walking from Jindabyne, Thredbo or with the main group from Charlotte Pass.

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‘Save Kosci’ walk to finish next weekend

Since November 3, a group has been walking the 560 km from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses. The walk is nearing its end! Join the walkers on the final day – 9th December (or the 8th depending on weather forecast) – from Charlottes Pass or Thredbo to celebrate the end of the walk and add your voice to the call to reclaim Kosci from feral horses.

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‘Hooves off our Alps.’ Public forum in Melbourne

NSW wants to protect its feral horses. Why Victorians should be worried?

You’re invited to this free forum hosted by the Invasive Species Council in Melbourne, on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Continue reading “‘Hooves off our Alps.’ Public forum in Melbourne”

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