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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Kosciuszko National Park

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.

Continue reading “Kosciuszko National Park turns 75”

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.

Continue reading “Feral horse numbers ‘skyrocketing’ in Kosciuszko National Park”

“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””

Climate change pushes the Mountain Pygmy Possum closer to extinction

The Mountain Pygmypossum, Burramys parvus, is Australia’s only hibernating marsupial.

It is a small, mouse-sized nocturnal marsupial found in dense alpine rock screes and boulder fields, mainly in southern Victoria and around Mount Kosciuszko. The species is currently restricted to three isolated mountain regions:  Mount Blue Cow in Kosciusko National Park in New South Wales, Mount Bogong and Mount Higginbotham/ Mt Loch in the Bogong High Plains in Victoria, and Mount Buller in Victoria.

The biggest threats to the remaining mountain pygmy possum populations include:

Now, recent research underscores the fact that climate change may be posing a major threat to the viability of the species by decimating the moths which act as a major food source for the possum.

The Guardian reports that the Bogong Moth which migrate in their billions to alpine areas have crashed, which is putting extra pressure on the endangered mountain pygmy possum.

Continue reading “Climate change pushes the Mountain Pygmy Possum closer to extinction”

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.

Continue reading “NSW’s inaction on horses causing problems in ACT”

‘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.

Continue reading “‘Save Kosci’ walk finishes at Mt Kosciuszko”

Save Kosci walk underway

Over a hundred people joined the Save Kosci full distance walkers on the morning of Saturday 3rd November as they left The Domain in central Sydney.  The walk intends to highlight the negative impacts of wild horses on the alpine environment of the Snowy Mountains. The walkers have just completed their 3rd day and reached Liverpool, with a group of 14. Morale is high and the walkers are getting sympathetic reactions from people they meet along the way.

They are on schedule, so far, to reach the summit of Kosciuszko around 7 to 9 December. If you drive past them in their bright yellow safety vests, give them a friendly toot.  Continue reading “Save Kosci walk underway”

‘Save Kosci’ walkers to start their 560 km journey

On the 3rd November, a group of bushwalkers will start a 35 day walk from Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, to highlight the damage being caused by feral horses.

If you live in Sydney, please consider attending the ‘send off’ as they leave for Kosci.

Saturday Nov 3 at 9am.

Continue reading “‘Save Kosci’ walkers to start their 560 km journey”

Something craggy and life priorities

Antony von Chrismar describes a mission to the Main Range with long time friend Lach to ride big lines on the western face. “The stoke was high … a rare treat it was to slay such perfect stable powder on a complex Aussie mountain face.”

Continue reading “Something craggy and life priorities”

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