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Kosciuszko National Park

Post fire recovery in Kosciuszko National Park

Since the fires of last summer there has been a lot of conservation recovery and rehabilitation work carried out in and around Kosciuszko National Park. Recently the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) hosted an update on the work that has been done, through a forum called Conservation in Action, which was held in Tumut.

As we know, a lot of Kosciuszko National Park was heavily impacted by the fires. Dan Nicholls, from the NPWS gave an outline of some of the work carried out since then, which includes:

Continue reading “Post fire recovery in Kosciuszko National Park”

Subalpine forests struggle to recover after 2019-20 bushfires

The Bushfire Recovery Project, led by five scientists, is tracking forest regrowth in NSW and Victoria after last summer’s fires, using data gathered by citizen scientists.

Their report has found that while low elevation forests on the NSW south coast appear to be recovering well, forests in some subalpine areas ‘near Mount Kosciuszko and in Victoria’s East Gippsland region are struggling to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires’.

This is consistent with everything we already know about the impact of climate driven fire seasons on the higher elevation Alpine Ash forests and Snow Gum woodlands.

Continue reading “Subalpine forests struggle to recover after 2019-20 bushfires”

A new year. The old threats continue.

Well, we’re on the other side of New Year. Phew. I hope that you’re enjoying some good mountain time over summer and getting a recharge. There’s lots to do this year.

There are a range of environmental issues that have been bubbling away over the last year, and each of them have campaigns which could use some extra support if you have the time or resources. Here’s a sample of what’s going on. 

Continue reading “A new year. The old threats continue.”

Public Seminar – Snow-gum dieback and forest decline

Many people know the story of the Pine beetle which has been devastating huge areas of forest across North America because of climate change. There is a similar scenario emerging in Australia’s mountain forests, although it is much less known.

Snow gums are experiencing dieback in Kosciuszko National Park, largely because of the impacts of the native longicorn (or ‘longhorn’) beetle. These beetles prefer to lay their eggs on moisture-stressed trees and, in warmer weather, the longicorn beetle can hatch and grow up to 75% faster.

On December 10, Dr Matthew Brookhouse, Project leader of the SOSnowgum program, will deliver a public online seminar on snow-gum dieback. The seminar will focus on recognition of dieback, the research being done into dieback, and a citizen-science program that is providing information on the spread of dieback.

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Namadgi feral horse plan released

Wild horses pose a major threat to the Australian High Country. One of the dilemmas faced by land managers is that horse populations can cross borders to recolonise ecosystems if populations are removed in one state. Cross border collaboration between Victoria, NSW and the ACT is a key part of dealing with the problem.

The ACT Government has sent a strong message to its NSW and Victorian counterparts with the release of the Feral Horse Management Plan for Namadgi national park, which was devastated in last summer’s fires.

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Main Range backcountry conditions report 22/8

It’s wonderful to have all this fresh snow. With the national parks and resorts in Victoria closed, this is relevant for people from NSW and the ACT who are heading to the mountains this weekend.

If you are heading into the backcountry, be aware that there will be some tough weather and snow conditions.

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‘Deputy premier’s attack on NSW parks service condemned’

As the long debate over management of wild horse populations continues, the NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has launched an extraordinary attack on the state’s National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW environment minister Matt Kean.

Campaign group Reclaim Kosci has condemned the comments and says that there is a risk that the public debate could be reduced to a ‘slanging match on talkback radio’ rather than a mature, policy focused conversation.

Continue reading “‘Deputy premier’s attack on NSW parks service condemned’”

Legal challenge against Snowy 2.0 ?

The proposal to build Snowy Hydro 2.0 to strengthen capacity for energy storage seemed like a good idea at first. But as the details of the project emerged, especially the likely direct physical footprint of the project, more and more people and groups started to oppose it. (Background stories on the issue are available here).

After the release of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) the NSW National Parks Association said that the plan ‘proposes a completely unacceptable level of damage to Kosciusko National Park’.

However the federal government continues to pursue the proposal.

In response, it has been announced that the National Parks Association of NSW and ex-Energy Australia chair Ted Woodley are considering a legal challenge to the project, which they say will push back the transition to renewable energy and destroy thousands of hectares of national park.

Continue reading “Legal challenge against Snowy 2.0 ?”

The North Face presents: Western Faces

Western Faces is a new film featuring a fantastic line-up about a trip to ski and explore the western faces of the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains.

“Australian mountaineer Tim Macartney-snape, freeskier Anna Segal and Freeride World Tour rookie Michaela Davis-Meehan, are set to explore some of the steepest faces in their backyard. With New Zealand freeskiers Fraser McDougall and Hank Bilous along for the ride, they’re slogging deep into the backcountry to find freeride terrain that will have their Kiwi-counterparts do a double-take”.

The digital launch will happen on Thursday July 16.

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Court clears way for Kosciuszko post-bushfire horse removal

A hearing is taking place this morning, Thursday 9 July, in the NSW Land and Environment Court regarding the management of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

Continue reading “Court clears way for Kosciuszko post-bushfire horse removal”

‘FOI reveals feral horse numbers exploding faster than ever in Kosciuszko’

Wild horses, along with other feral species, have inflicted enormous damage on the alpine and sub alpine environments of the Australian Alps for decades.

There has been a long campaign to have numbers of horses reduced, which has been resisted by people who claim the horses have a ‘cultural’ claim to be in the mountains.

However, the current NSW government has continually failed to act to protect the NSW High Country, by refusing to support horse removal programs. (In a surprise move, the NSW environment minister, Matt Kean, recently announced that ‘about’ 4,000 feral horses will be removed from Kosciuszko national park as ‘part of an emergency response to protect the alpine ecosystem after large areas were devastated by bushfires’).

One of the key points used by opponents of horse removal is the claim that numbers of horses are inflated by proponents of removal. This has been a dominant argument used by pro brumby groups in both NSW and Victoria. Conservation group Reclaim Kosci has just released information received through a Freedom of Information request, which shows the size – and growth – of the horse population in the Northern Snowies.

The following information is taken from the Reclaim Kosci media release on the issue.

Continue reading “‘FOI reveals feral horse numbers exploding faster than ever in Kosciuszko’”

Snowy 2.0 just doesn’t stack up

Earlier this year, it was announced that the next stage of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 expansion had been given the green light, with approval for construction of the project’s ‘Segment Factory’.

Work has now started on the facility: Snowy Hydro has already started clearing native bushland for the construction site at Lobs Hole in the heart of Kosciuszko National Park. The image above (from the NSW NPA) shows work at the Lobs Hole site.

The following is a summary from the NSW National Parks association about why they oppose the Snowy 2.0 development.

Continue reading “Snowy 2.0 just doesn’t stack up”

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