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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Tasmania

Details of Dove Lake development revealed.

There has been a long process which will see a major development in the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lakes St Clair national park in Tasmania. The state government has now released the Dove Lake Viewing Shelter Development Proposal and Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for public comment.

This is the first release of plans for the shelter which is planned for Dove Lake. Other key components of the proposal are a redevelopment of the tourist ‘gateway’ facilities to the north and the building of a gondola/ cable car between the new tourist centre and Dove Lake (the cable car component of the plan got the green light in May when former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $30 million for the project). The DPEIS will be on display for six weeks. According to the government, “feedback from the community will help refine the Development Approval that will be submitted to the Kentish Council. Once all approvals have been obtained, the construction works will be tendered late this year”.

Continue reading “Details of Dove Lake development revealed.”

Controversial Walls of Jerusalem camp approved by federal environment department

The new federal environment minister, Melissa Price, has approved a controversial proposal to allow ‘helicopter tourism’ and a small commercial operation inside the Walls of Jerusalem national park in Central Tasmania.

Having a new federal environment minister is an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button on particular issues that come under the minister’s jurisdiction. The decision to approve this application can only be seen as a disappointing early move from the new government under PM Scott Morrison.

The minister’s department considered ‘that the proposal is not likely to have significant impacts on any nationally protected environmental matters’. However the proposal includes plans for 120 helicopter flights a year on to Halls Island inside the park.

The final stage in the approvals process rests with the Central Highlands Council.

Continue reading “Controversial Walls of Jerusalem camp approved by federal environment department”

‘Assisted migration’ for species under threat from climate change?

As temperatures rise and the world’s climate rapidly changes, many plants and animals may not be able to relocate fast enough on their own, and habitats and species could be lost. In Australia warmer temperatures are expected to increase the length and severity of bushfire seasons, which will also cause changes in the distribution of many mountain species.

For instance, increased fire frequency may lead to the loss of alpine ash forests, unless there is human intervention.

Continue reading “‘Assisted migration’ for species under threat from climate change?”

Another threat to Mt Wellington/ kunanyi

The long campaign against the plan by Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart has entered another serious stage.

After being refused land by Carlton and United Breweries, the developer now wants to clear a 2.5 km road through a public reserve. According to local group Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC), the area is home to a number of threatened species and the proposed road would also ‘obliterate the hugely popular Tip Top Track’. They are calling for people to oppose this new proposal.

Continue reading “Another threat to Mt Wellington/ kunanyi”

Does wild nature create activists?

The primary purpose of this website is to celebrate the mountains of south eastern Australia and Tasmania. This includes getting out and enjoying them – walking, skiing, riding, climbing, paddling, or simply just taking it easy. I have a deep belief that getting people out into wild nature makes them more likely to feel engaged in protecting wild ecosystems.

There has been some interesting conversations of late about whether this assumption is actually correct.

Continue reading “Does wild nature create activists?”

Mt Wellington/ kunanyi cable car developer looking at a ‘Plan B’

There has been a long running campaign by a developer to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart. The ‘vision’ experienced a major setback in June this year when Carlton United Breweries (CUB) ruled out selling or leasing land next to the Cascade Brewery to the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) for the base station of the cable car.

Now there are news reports that MWCC is seeking permission to use land owned by Hobart City Council near to the brewery site.

Continue reading “Mt Wellington/ kunanyi cable car developer looking at a ‘Plan B’”

‘Ecosystem collapse’ threatens Alpine Ash and Pencil Pines

The news is really scary at present. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Climate change has helped melt nearly a fifth of Colombia’s mountaintop glacier cover in just seven years
  • As a record-breaking heat wave scorches Sweden, dozens of wildfires are raging in parts of the country. At least 11 fires within the Arctic Circle. As one researcher put it: “This is definitely the worst year in recent times for forest fires,”
  • Meanwhile many places in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest temperatures ever recorded.

Closer to home, research recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change describes a series of ‘sudden and catastrophic ecosystem shifts’ that have occurred recently across Australia. These changes, caused by the combined stress of gradual climate change and extreme weather events, are overwhelming ecosystems’ natural resilience.

While coverage of this research has tended to focus on the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, other examples – about Gondwanic forests in Tasmania and Alpine Ash forests in the Australian Alps – should be a wake up call for people concerned about mountain environments.

Continue reading “‘Ecosystem collapse’ threatens Alpine Ash and Pencil Pines”

Help stop planned ‘helicopter tourism’ in the Walls of Jerusalem

Tasmania is blessed with beautiful and intact landscapes and an impressive network of national parks. However, World Heritage Areas and national parks have long been targeted by developers who want to establish commercial tourist operations in a number of places (check here for a current list of proposed developments). One of these proposals would see helicopter tourism inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in central Tasmania at Halls Island in Lake Malbena.

You have a chance to say NO to this development.

Continue reading “Help stop planned ‘helicopter tourism’ in the Walls of Jerusalem”

CUB rules out providing land to cable car on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi

The long running campaign to stop the development of a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart just had a fantastic victory. The owners of the Cascade Brewery, whose land is needed for the project to be viable in it’s current form, have ruled out selling or leasing land to the proponent.

Continue reading “CUB rules out providing land to cable car on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi”

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