International Mountain Day 2015

December 11 is designated by the UN as International Mountain Day. Here’s a few facts from the UN: “Covering around 22 percent of the earth’s land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. They not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 915 million mountain people around the world,…

Vale Ern Mainka

Many people will know the work of Ern Mainka. His photography was hugely popular amongst nature enthusiasts, and I must have seen his images in hundreds of places over the years. Apart from capturing our wild places so well, Ern played a significant role in raising awareness about the many threats posed to these places.…

Islands in the sky

I live in the Box Ironbark country of Central Victoria. We don’t have any mountains here, just nice rolling landscapes of hill and valley, and occasional plains. We do have some nice hills, that are just high enough to be different to the surrounding plains. The standout is Lanjanuc (Mt Alexander). It rises about 350…

The High Country of the Mind

The places we love are the ‘mountains of the mind’. The places we imagine and day-dream about. The places we escape to. Each of us has our special place. Some of us have many. Some just like to keep moving, and the mountain of the mind is the next unclimbed range. What makes our places…

More fires – less snow gums

Snow gums are the quintessential alpine tree on mainland Australia, generally growing at heights between 1,300 and 1,800 metres asl. Forests and woodlands of Eucalyptus pauciflora can look quite uniform from a distance, but up close they have such character. But wildfire has been devastating large swathes of snow gum habitat, with significant fires in the…

alpine grazing back on the agenda?

Shortly after the election of the Coalition to power, the Mountain Cattleman’s Association of Victoria (September 17, 2013) issued a call for the new Federal government to overturn the current ban on grazing in the Alpine Park in Victoria. In response, a spokesperson for Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the federal government would “look at…