Volunteers repairing World Heritage Area tracks

Our recent working bees on the Lake Skinner Track have been so popular that our volunteers are now setting up their own Wildcare group to take on the long term maintenance of this and other tracks in the Snowy Range.

The Snowy Range became part of the Southwest National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 2013. But walking tracks accessing this spectacular wild place are eroded, muddy and in need of repair, and we are working with Parks and Wildlife to fix them. Track work by our track crew and volunteers to date has used local materials and traditional techniques such as building cordwood and split log planking to minimise walker impacts along boggy sections.

The next working bee on Saturday 27 Nov 2015  will also be the inaugural meeting of the new Wildcare group for this track. Once again, legendary track worker Snapper John Hughes will be on hand to teach aesthetic track building methods.

For more information on this working bee and Wildcare group, contact Annette Dean on 0418 403031 or Annette.Dean@et.org.au. This  project is supported by Environment Tasmania through funding from the Australian Government.

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New Wildcare group for Western Tiers

The inaugural meeting for a new Wildcare group for the Western Tiers will be on 22 Nov 2015. 17 volunteers have been working with Environment Tasmania on track repairs at Higgs Track and have now completed 100m of  track work from the car park to the foot bridge. Volunteers have been provided with training to learn about stone work, gravelling, and drainage. But it is not just about learning new track work skills. One volunteer summed up the last working bee by saying "track work is good for the soul".

The next working bee on Sunday 22 Nov 2015 will also be the first official meeting for volunteers to  become an official Wildcare group for this track. The group will take on the long term maintenance of Higgs Track, as well as working with PWS to identify other walking track and weed management projects in the Western Tiers.

For more information on this working bee and or on joining this Wildcare group, contact Annette Dean on 0418 403031 or Annette.Dean@et.org.au. This  project is supported by Environment Tasmania through funding from the Australian Government.

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Vale Louise Crossley

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It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Dr Louise Crossley.

Dr Crossley was a colleague, leader and mentor to many in the conservation movement, including our ET team - past and present - and a trailblazer and role-model for women around the world.

Louise was the second ever female Leader of an Australian Antarctic Station. She was a tireless and passionate forest campaigner, Chair of Spirit of Bruny, and a leading contributor to Tasmania’s historic forest peace process.

The ET team would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Dr Crossley's bequest to Environment Tasmania. Louise has donated money in her will that will help safeguard her conservation legacy on our beautiful island.

Thank you Louise Crossley - rest in peace.

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Track work completed at Halls Falls

Halls_Falls_by_Rob_Blakers.jpgVolunteers from Friends of Blue Tier and Green Army have now finished much needed track work at Halls Falls, a popular walking track in the Blue Tier. Our track crew have worked with volunteers to build stone steps and stone walling.  The project is supported by Environment Tasmania through funding from the Australian Government. (Image by Rob Blakers)

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Marine Exhibition Tours Tas

Our Tasmanian marine exhibition, Nowhere Else on Earth, is touring the state.

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The Future of Fishing is on the Line

Over twenty businesses and groups call for phasing out recreational gillnets. 

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One million pine wildlings removed from Skyline Tier and still counting..

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If you think you are having a hard day at the office, spare a thought for our restoration crew at Skyline Tier, who have just finished removing pine wildings from more than 250 hectares of former pine plantation, to restore the area back to native forest. The project employed a regular team of six, as well as an additional twelve short term employees and many volunteers.

Dan Donaldson, Crew Leader, estimates that the project has removed more than a million pine wildlings. The crew also removed Spanish heath, gorse, blackberries, blue butterfly-bush, pampas grass and other weeds, as well as truck-loads of dumped rubbish and green waste.

In a dense area, 100 pines could be removed in ten minutes, mainly by pulling out by hand, with larger wildlings lopped and painted with roundup. So at sites where smaller pine trees were abundant and the crew were using mainly using loppers, the crew would remove around 2000 wildlings each per day.

Pines were treated at a much slower rate at other sites. For example, in the thickest undergrowth or when the crew were falling trees with chainsaws it would be more like a few hundred each, but usually well over a thousand each per day with loppers and bowsaws. The smallest wildings could be hand-pulled and the team were able to remove a thousand of them in an hour in some places.

‘It was hard manual work, but the hardest thing was to disband the team when there is still so much to do up there,’ said Dan.

A work place overlooking our East Coast beaches may sound pretty idyllic, but one of the biggest occupational hazards was extreme heat. ‘It gets fairly hot in summer and we made sure to started work at 7am to avoid the heat,’ said Dan, ‘but it really is a beautiful place to work.  There are five wedge-tail eagles living in the area and we would often see two or more of them close by. One of the team encountered a very rare Giant Velvet Worm in her first week.’

‘The best thing about the job overall was that it shows how successful ecological restoration can be on a landscape scale.’

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Our next working bee will be at Higgs Track on 19 Sept 2015

Want to learn how to build and repair walking tracks?  Come and learn from our highly skilled trackies about techniques such as stone work and gravelling, and join the group that will be taking on the maintenance of this track. Higgs Track is located in the Western Tiers and is one of the many tracks that we are repairing as part of our Community Forest Walks grant from the Aus Government.  To RSVP or for more information contact our office  on 62815100 or email Annette.dean@et.org.au.

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Senate Inquiry hears of poor fish farm regulation

Environment Tasmania, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and community group Tasmanian Aquaculture Reform Alliance have today urged the Senate Committee conducting the Inquiry into the regulation of the fish farm industry in Tasmania to take immediate action to prevent further environmental and social harm from poorly regulated fish farming operations in Tasmania.

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Help us restore a logged coupe in the World Heritage Area

Myrtle_seedling_location_Counsel_10B.jpgWant to help restore a logged coupe back to tall eucalypt forest? Come and join our field day on Sunday 24 May.

When: Meet in Hobart 9am for car-pooling, return 5pm
Where: Lower Florentine Valley near Wayatinah
What: Transplant local myrtle and leatherwood seedlings to the coupe

Bring gardening gloves, lunch, and clothes for extreme wet and cold weather (the site is over 600 m elevation). We'll provide morning tea and hot and cold drinks, as well as all tools and equipment.

Numbers are limited! Please RSVP by Wednesday 20 May to Christine.Corbett@et.org.au or ph 0447 299 334. Let us know whether you can provide a 4WD for car pooling.

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