The fires of 2019/20 burnt huge areas of north eastern Victoria. The remaining unburnt forests are more important than ever. One of these areas lies in the headwaters of the Little Dargo River, just south of Mt Hotham. It is a pristine area, without roads, and containing mature forest, much of it dominated by Mountain Gums and Alpine Ash. It is an area of state forest that lies right next to the Alpine National Park.
The state government logging agency, VicForests, intends to log a total of 11 “coupes”, or sections, of mature forest in the upper Little Dargo River. These coupes are located in a series of clusters, where separate sections of bush will be harvested, creating a large zone of cleared land over time. Extensive roading networks will be needed to access the coupes.
There is a growing community campaign to oppose this destruction. In 2022 and 2023, Friends of the Earth, in conjunction with the Treasure family, who have grazed cattle on the Dargo High Plains for generations, have hosted a number of walks to show people the headwaters of the catchment and surrounding area. Over the cup weekend (November 4 – 7) we will be hosting another free guided walk.
The walk itself will happen on the Sunday, November 5.
Details on the walk:
This is a free trip, open to anyone with a moderate level of fitness.
Numbers are limited so you will need to rsvp.
A full gear list and details on where to meet will be sent closer to the event.
Please note that there will be two options for the trip and it will be different to the previous walks:
- a shorter walk, roughly 2 - 3 hours on flat/ undulating terrain, and
- a longer, more strenuous walk which will attempt to reach the Little Dargo from the north side. This will involve pleasant walking on formed tracks followed by offtrack walking down a steep slope. We expect 5 - 6 hours of walking, half of which is of a steep to moderate grade offtrack walking. You will need moderate fitness to be able to do this trip.
You can nominate on the day which walk you want to do.
This is about a 6 hour drive from Melbourne so you will need to come up and camp on the Saturday, or travel from a local community (Bright, Harrietville, Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain) on the Sunday. We can suggest various local options for free camping on Friday and Saturday nights.
Other things happening over the weekend
On the monday (NOV 6) we will offer walking tours of fire affected snow gum communities on the northern end of the Dargo High Plains. If you are interested in our work to see snow gums protected, you are most welcome to join us.