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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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national parks

Keep It Wild

Australians have campaigned for decades to protect our remaining wild ecosystems. From the Franklin River to the Daintree, Arnhem Land to the Alps to south west WA, many hundreds of campaigns have seen the creation of an incredible conservation estate. But as the saying goes, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Now we must be ready to defend these wild places, which once seemed safely preserved, from a range of new threats. The obvious one is climate change. But there is also a more localised and immediate threat: there are many plans to open up reserves to logging, commercial tourism and mining.

These proposals are being resisted locally wherever they arise. But unless you’re a part of a local group it can be hard to know about what threats are arising and where.

Keep It Wild is a great initiative which seeks to bring together the various threats to the conservation estate to help people to get active.

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Emerald Link film launched

The idea of the Emerald Link – a park that would connect the coastline of far East Gippsland with the mountains in the Errinundra Plateau – has been around for a while now. This week a film on the vision was launched.

You can watch the film here >>https://www.emeraldlink.com.au/

You can get involved and active to make the Emerald Link a reality. Join us at this information night on August 15th in Melbourne. Info here https://www.facebook.com/events/1749030375132344/

Emerald Link film to be launched

East Gippsland is the only place on mainland Australia with continuous forests from the alps to the sea.

The vision to see the Emerald Link created seeks to protect this precious landscape and biodiversity and create a viable economic future based on nature tourism.

Last year, Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) shot a stunning film about the proposal. Produced by award winning cinematographer David Franjic from Colour Chorus. The Emerald Link film captures the wild beauty of East Gippsland’s forests and the stories of the people who love it. It is being launched on July 7.

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state budget allocation to Falls to Hotham Crossing

Mountain Journal reported recently that Parks Victoria had released its final Master Plan for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing: a five day serviced hiking opportunity in the Alpine National Park. In the state budget for 2018/19, there was an allocation of funds to help make the project a reality.

The proposal has been widely criticised because it will help open up previously undeveloped areas near Mt Feathertop and allow private development within the Alpine National Park.

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The environment and the Tasmanian election

The Tasmanian election is largely being fought on ‘bread and butter’ issues like health, jobs and education. Gambling and the future of pokies is also a significant issue. But around the edges of debate there are some interesting promises and policy commitments around the natural environment.

While environment debate during elections tends to focus on forestry issues, this time, the future of existing national parks and reserves has been more dominant. With Tasmania looking to develop new tourism opportunities, especially in the realm of nature-based tourism, the park system is seen as the next frontier by the state government, which has been pursuing private development with national parks.

The following covers some of the debate and policy being announced about the natural environment in Tasmania. The election will be held on March 3. It does not seek to cover broader energy or climate issues.

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The campaign for East Gippsland’s Emerald Link.

A new campaign has been launched to create a continuous park from the coastline of East Gippsland to the mountains, which will be called the Emerald Link.

Continue reading “The campaign for East Gippsland’s Emerald Link.”

Myrtle Rust – an emerging threat to plant communities

People who have walked in Tasmania are probably familiar with the threat posed by Phytophthora, a fungus that attacks the roots of susceptible plants, in many cases killing the plants. In some native plant communities, epidemic disease can develop causing the death of large numbers of plants.

The fungus is now well established in many areas of moorland, heathland and dry eucalypt forest in Tasmania.

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NSW Parks Service staff: a threatened species?

We need national parks. Primarily they exist to protect wild nature. But many of them provide wonderful opportunities for outdoor pursuits, recreation, relaxation and solitude.

But national parks need staff. To manage the land, control weeds and invasive species of animals, manage for fire, provide interpretation and education, look after visitors and park infrastructure like tracks and other facilities.

Sadly in NSW, the state government is carrying out a major ‘restructure’ of the Parks Service which, according to the Public Service Association (the public sector union representing Parks employees) “will cuts jobs and push hundreds and hundreds of years of experience out the door.”

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Outdoor brands get active to protect wild places

If you enjoy the outdoors – riding, walking, climbing, paddling, skiing – then it makes sense to protect wild places. The most obvious way to do this is to join or support groups working to protect the areas you love. And if you love winter, then its logical to support initiatives to slow climate change.

As individuals we have some power. When we join our efforts with others through working in organisations we increase our influence. When it comes to protecting the environment, another potentially powerful force is business. The outdoor and snow industries in Australia generate billions of dollars of income and employ tens of thousands of people. Yet they are largely missing in action when it comes to protecting the environment.

In some other countries, these industries are stepping up and putting their shoulders to the wheel: with some interesting outcomes.

Continue reading “Outdoor brands get active to protect wild places”

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