As fire fighters get on top of the blazes that have been devastating huge ares of the Victorian, NSW and ACT mountains, towns and communities are starting to re-open. Many parks are still closed but towns are increasingly open for business.

One obvious thing we can do is visit these areas and buy up big. The economic impacts of the fires on tourism in local towns is enormous (and estimated to be well over $1B already)

The impacts on the natural and cultural values of the mountains are also huge. We are trying to track ecological impacts (details here) and post about cultural impacts where we can.

For instance, the Kosi Huts Association reports that: 

“At least 10 of the mountain huts dotted around the national park have been destroyed, including Delany’s Hut, Sawyers Rest House, Wolgals Lodge, Matthew’s Cottage, Brooks Hut, Pattinson’s House, Round Mountain Hut, O’Briens Hut and Four Mile Hut.“

It is likely that there will be re-building efforts for many of these huts.

There will also be lots of ecological restoration and track work happening that will require lots of good will and volunteer effort.

Please let us know what’s going on.

If you’re planning any recovery efforts (or are aware of any) that require volunteer support or input, then please email details to me and I will include here. Thanks.

The picture above comes from Andrew Stanger. The NSW Nordic Ski Club is building nesting boxes for animals that need hollows.

Volunteer opportunities

Conservation Volunteers program

The Australian Federal Government announced an initial $50 million investment in supporting the recovery of wildlife and habitats devastated in the current bushfire crisis.

With $25 million assigned to an emergency intervention fund for immediate, critical wildlife and habitat survival interventions, a further $25 million has been made available to support wildlife rescue, zoos, Natural Resource Management Groups, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia.

Conservation Volunteers Australia has been selected to coordinate the national environmental volunteering response to the bushfire crisis. From our experience in other disaster responses, we know that large numbers of people will contribute their time and skills to help with recovery over the many weeks, months and years ahead.

You can register to be involved in their efforts here.


NSW Nordic Ski Club [JAN 26 – 27]

The NSW Nordic Ski Club habitat box construction working bee will happen at Hartley Vale in the Blue Mountains, NSW, 7.30am, Sunday 26 – 5pm, Monday 27 January 2020.

The boxes made will assist wildlife recover after the devastating fires that went through this area.

Message Nordic Ski Club – Backcountry and Cross Country Skiing for full details and to register.

A big thanks to those people and businesses that have made donations for materials. You’re awesome.


Track clearing weekend, East Tyers track/AAWT area near the start of the AAWT in the Erica/ Walhalla/ Mt.Baw Baw area [JAN 25 – 27]

Organised by Parks Vic. and Bushwalking Vic

Project Leader/Contact:  Joe van Beek


Phone: 0411 749 799

Where to meet: please contact the organiser to register

Duration: Given the distances involved is it anticipated that everyone will drive up on Friday. Initial meeting and safety briefing will be at the campsite 8:30 am, The plan is to work the Saturday and Sunday and finish and pack-up mid-day on Monday.

Skills needed: Jobs include chainsawing, brush cutting, hedge trimmers, general lopping and clearing of debris.

Transport: Own transport. Suitable for 2WD vehicles. 

Accommodation: We will be camping. We’ll provide: Protective safety gear, helmets etc.

Parks Victoria will provide a BBQ, salad, bread etc. for Saturday night dinner.

Please bring: You will need to be self-sufficient for camping and all other meals. It is recommended you bring your own water although river water is available. You will need a day pack for your lunch, water, snacks, clothing for Alpine conditions etc.

Scope of work: Chain sawing, brush clearance, general lopping and raking.

Meeting time: Saturday 25th January at 8:30 am

Finish time: Monday 27th January at mid-day



Food hubs for wildlife in East Gippsland

If you have land impacted by fire and need to feed wildlife, we can direct you to free food for wildlife and instructions on the best way to feed them.

Details here.


Other Fundraisers


Snow Aid Australia is hosting a huge auction from February 9 – 21. Funds generated with go to Red Cross, WIRES, Wildlife Victoria and South Coast Wildlife Rescue.

Details here.