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rivers

Tasmania + summer = water adventures

I prefer my water frozen. But rivers are still pretty cool … and as spring and summer comes into focus, so does water related adventure.

And Tasmania has it all: tarns, huge lakes and dams, impressive rivers, incredible coastal inlets and harbors like Port Davey on the west coast.

Here’s a few obvious thoughts about the options on offer if you’re looking for an adventure:

Continue reading “Tasmania + summer = water adventures”

Fears over Snowy River’s health without independent monitor

The Snowy Mountains scheme, built between 1949 and 1974, diverts the water of the Snowy River and some of its tributaries, much of which originally flowed southeast onto the river flats of East Gippsland, inland to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers irrigation areas. This has caused the health of the Snowy to decline dramatically.

Following long running campaigns, the Snowy Water Inquiry was established in January 1998. The Inquiry recommended an increase to 15% of natural flows. In 2000, Victoria and NSW agreed to a long-term target of 28%, requiring A$375 million of investment to offset losses to inland irrigators. It has been hoped that this increase in flow will help the health of the river system improve.

However there have been ongoing fears that the flows are not being properly managed in a way that will maximise environmental benefits. In 2013, the NSW Government abolished the Snowy’s scientific monitor and a replacement body, announced in 2014, has not yet been established. As pointed out recently by ecologists, without an independent monitor, there is a risk that the health of the river will go backwards.

Continue reading “Fears over Snowy River’s health without independent monitor”

The Snowy River Extreme Race

The Snowy River Extreme Race is a whitewater event held on the iconic Snowy River in Kosciuszko National Park. The Event takes place on the October long weekend and consists of two races; an Expert race, and an Intermediate race. Both races take place on the stretch of whitewater between Munyang power station and Island Bend campground.

The 2017 race will be held this Sunday the 1st of October.

Expert Race:

The Expert race is a pairs time trial on a Class III- IV stretch of whitewater. The Expert race starts below the can-opener rapid and finishes at the rafters track. The expert race is approximately 2km.

Intermediate Race:

The intermediate race is a pairs time trial on a grade III stretch of whitewater. The Intermediate race starts at the rafters track and finishes at the flying fox cable. The intermediate race is approximately 1.7km.

Packraft and Inflatable Kayak Race:

This race is a pairs time trial race using whitewater appropriate packrafts or Inflatable kayaks. The race will take place on the same section as the Intermediate race.

You can find out more and register here.

Aerial spraying of herbicides in the Ovens Valley

Information session

Bright aerial spraying.

This forum will be an opportunity for residents to hear about the impacts of aerial spraying of the herbicides Clopyralid, Glyphosate and Metsulfuron Methyl in the plantations around Bright and surrounding townships.

Saturday May 16, 4.30pm

Bright Elderly Citizens Club, Cobden street, Bright.

Guest speaker: Anthony Amis, Friends of the Earth.

For further information, please check the Bright Community aerial spraying concerns facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/811651055586061/

Background information available here.

How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?

Mountain Journal has previously highlighted the potential environmental impacts of the Stockman project, which would see a major mine re-opened in the headwaters of the Tambo River.

In the following story, Scott Campbell-Smith outlines the economic cost of the previous mining operation and the risks associated with a major expansion of the mining operation.

The new minister for Energy and Resources will need to make a final decision on this project shortly.

Continue reading “How much will the Stockman mine cost Victorian tax payers?”

who – or what – is to blame for declining trout population?

In the following piece from The Weekly Times anglers accuse the environmental policies of the Victorian government for “ruining the state’s trout fishing areas in the high country”.

According to the Times,

“Anglers say the past season was disastrous in terms of lost brown and rainbow trout populations, and fear famous trout rivers are now years from recovery. “It was the worst trout fly fishing season in living memory,” Greenwells Fly Fishing Club at Albury president Des Walters said.

Many blame the widespread removal of non-native willows and poplars on public land under government environmental policy as the chief cause.

Continue reading “who – or what – is to blame for declining trout population?”

Australian backcountry film festival – Spring 2014

For the past four years, the backcountry film festival has been attracting good numbers of people and is showing in more locations.

It seems like it might be time to have our own festival – with films made in Australia.

At previous Melbourne shows, we have added a film about skiing and boarding on The Bluff, and this year saw OFF GRID, a new effort on Mt Bogong from SoO Airtime.

The plan is to hold an Australian backcountry film festival in late spring 2014 with only local content. There are some fantastic film makers out there, and we hope to be able to showcase some of these.

We are seeking expressions of interest from film makers who would like to submit films.

Any human and gravity powered backcountry adventure would be welcome: walking, skiing, boarding, MTBing, paddling, climbing, …

As this is an entirely volunteer effort, with no budget, we are not able to offer payment for showing the films.

Films can be in two length categories. We hope to show an hours worth of short films (3 to 7 minutes) then up to 2 longer films (30 – 40 minutes).

At this point we are looking at doing a Melbourne showing, with the ability to offer the festival to other places once its packaged up.

If you’re keen, please get in touch: cam.walker@foe.org.au

And get out there and getting filming!

Introducing The Watershed

6a00d8341d07fd53ef01a3fd06febb970b-500wiAs we wait patiently for cooler weather and serious snow falls, you may enjoy this one. Its the pilot issue of a newsprint publication.

The previous one focused on all things snow and was called The Drift.

The Watershed is a collaborative newsprint publication between The Usual (‘The Usual is a creative team with a penchant for the outdoors’) and Patagonia to celebrate the joy of simple fly fishing, healthy rivers, dam busting, and sustainably sourced food.

The Watershed features Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia fly fishing ambassador April Vokey, DamNation producer Matt Stoecker, director Travis Rummel, 1% for the Planet co-founder Craig Mathews, dam buster Katie Lee. With contributions by Malcolm Johnson, Jeremy Koreski, Paul Greenberg, Jeanine Pesce, Keith Malloy, Trevor Gordon, Stefan Knecht, Jim Mangan, and others.

Pick up your  Spring/Summer 2014 copy at select Patagonia stores worldwide.

You can read it here.

Three Rivers

 

Image: Brainsick Productions
Image: Brainsick Productions

Brainsick Productions have released a lovely 6 minute meditation on whitewater paddling in Australia called Three Rivers.

It reflects on the early descents of the Franklin, where paddling parties weren’t really sure of what awaited them down river, then shifts to the Mitta Mitta, which flows from Victoria’s high country, and finishes on the Herbert River in Queensland.

You can find it here.

Brainsick is Australian grassroots production company creating ‘meaningful media about outdoor environments in an attempt to build positive relationships with nature.’

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