Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


Namadgi National Park

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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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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Australian Alps Book: Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks

By Deirdre Slattery, published December 2015

The following comes from the Australian Alps website.

This new updated version of the original book published in 1998 is a must for students, agency staff, alpine history buffs, adventurers, naturalists and anyone one who has a love and passion for the Australian Alps. 

A fascinating guide to Kosciuszko, Alpine and Namadgi National Parks, it introduces the reader to Australia’s highest mountains, their climate, geology and soils, plants and animals and their human history. It traces the long-running conflicts between successive users of the mountains and explores the difficulties in managing the land for nature conservation. Published by CSIRO, copies of the book may be attained via the web-link at

A review of the book can be found here.

review: A Night on a Mountain in Namadgi National Park

Whenever I fly from Melbourne to Canberra I try and get a window seat facing south, to get whatever glimpses I can of the High Country. The descent takes you over the wonderfully rocky, domed ridges of the Brindabella Ranges, scattered with frost hollows and ratty looking snow gum fringed ridgelines.

I haven’t been up into those mountains for years, but it’s on my perennial ‘to go’ list. Coming from the south I find the Main Range of the Snowies is normally sufficiently distracting that I don’t get any further north.

In the modern world of evolving media, the concept of ebooks has become popular. These can be books on specialised themes made by regular people, which are available in a print per purchase format, allowing an idea for a book to make it onto paper without the costs and commitment of producing a large print run.

A Night on a Mountain in Namadgi National Park is produced by Barrie Ridgway and available via Blurb, one of the online book companies. When you order it, a copy is printed and mailed.

The author says “this book is a textual and photographic portrayal of the beauty, vastness, peace and preciousness of wilderness in general and a unique Australian wilderness in particular. It is my portrayal of the need to preserve wilderness in its own right for the survival of all life on this planet Earth”.

It is a set of visually gorgeous photos taken as the author and his friends climb a peak in Namadgi Park to watch the sun set and spend the evening on the mountain. It reminds me of the ‘mountain viewing rituals’ described by deep ecological thinker Dolores laChapelle.

The book is primarily full colour photos, with some minimal commentary about the journey up the mountain and a plea to protect wilderness. It is a worthy addition to our literature about the Australian Alps, largely letting the landscape speak for itself, albeit through the eyes (lens) of someone with a great affinity for the place.

You can buy it via the Blurb website. Although this is expensive, it is a glorious book of 98 pp, with lots of gorgeous full colour pics at all scales, from the micro to the landscape level. The Softcover version comes in at about $50.

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