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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Kosciuszko National Park

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.

Continue reading “The North Face presents: Western Faces”

Feral horse management hearing in NSW Land and Environment Court

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 “Feral horse management hearing in NSW Land and Environment Court”

‘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”

Poll shows Eden-Monaro voters want action on feral horses

A new poll of Eden-Monaro voters released today has found that most people want feral horses removed from Kosciuszko National Park, where horse numbers have tripled in the past five years.

Ahead of the July 4 by-election, an independent poll asked 643 Eden-Monaro voters what should be done about feral horses, which are devastating Kosciuszko National Park’s unique plants and animals and destroying its once pristine waterways.

Continue reading “Poll shows Eden-Monaro voters want action on feral horses”

Environmental issues in the Eden Monaro byelection

The long debate over how to handle populations of wild horses in the Australian Alps continues. While Victoria waits for the outcome to an appeal to a Supreme Court case about Park Victoria’s plan to start culling horses, the issue has come into sharp focus in NSW because of the byelection in the Eden Monaro electorate. The group Reclaim Kosci, which is campaigning to have horses removed from the Kosciuszko National Park has said “If candidates for the Eden-Monaro by-election want to prove they care for the environment, they need to call for action to protect the electorate’s iconic Kosciuszko National Park.”

“Tourism, jobs, catchments, Indigenous heritage, motorist and camper safety, and wildlife are under serious threat.”
Continue reading “Environmental issues in the Eden Monaro byelection”

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?”

Barilaro calls for horse removal from Kosciuszko National Park to stop

Wild horses, along with other feral species, have inflicted enormous damage on the alpine and sub alpine environments of the Snowy Mountains 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. In a significant development, in February 2020, NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean announced emergency post-bushfire measures aimed at reducing horse numbers in three areas in northern Kosciuszko that are being damaged by horses – Boggy/Kiandra, Nungar and Cooleman plains.

This was done with the support from NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. However, now Mr Barilaro has reneged in his support for bushfire emergency horse removal measures, calling for horse removal from Kosciuszko National Park to stop.

Continue reading “Barilaro calls for horse removal from Kosciuszko National Park to stop”

Approval of Snowy 2.0 EIS sets ‘appalling precedent’

The Snowy Hydro 2.0 expansion started as a good idea. As the scale of the physical impact of the project became more obvious during the approvals process, environmental groups started to oppose it. 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’.

It has now received planning approval from the NSW state government, despite ongoing objections over the project’s environmental impacts.

Continue reading “Approval of Snowy 2.0 EIS sets ‘appalling precedent’”

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