We know that climate change is already impacting on the Australian Alps. Declining snow pack, hotter summers, and longer fire seasons are just some of the impacts we are seeing. This brings many challenges to land managers, and is changing the mountain landscapes we know and love.

Additionally, local economies rely on the beautiful natural surroundings of the Alps, which attract skiers, riders and others from around the state and the country. Declining environments will impact on the numbers of visitors and hence local economies.

This short seminar will delve into the issue of fire, and how we need to respond to longer and more intense seasons in the Victorian mountains.

If you can’t attend the event, it will be livestreamed via the event facebook page.

melissa+clarkeThe forum will start at 2pm, and finish by 4.30pm.

MC: Melissa Clarke, ABC politics and environment reporter.

Melissa has written extensively about threats to snow gum communities.


PhilZylstraDr Phil Zylstra, Adjunct Associate Professor, Curtin University. Phil will speak about the impacts of fire on snow gums and alpine ash: what are the threats, and how do we need to respond to more frequent fire. Snow gum communities are at risk as climate change drives a feedback loop of accelerating fire frequency and severity. As the mountains warm, fires become more frequent; but snow gum communities are twice as likely to burn in the decades after fire compared to older stands, so the landscape becomes more flammable at the same time as the climate gives it more fire. Philip will discuss the mechanisms that drive this, and what it means for how we interact with the high country.

PeterPeter Jacobs, President, Upper Ovens Valley Landcare Group will discuss the fact that fires in this area are becoming more frequent and the concerns that landcare has about impacts on biodiversity in the alps.  As an example, the 2013 Harrietville fire burnt some areas of alpine ash for the third time in 10 years depleting seed bearing trees and putting the forests at risk. The Victorian government subsequently undertook the first large scale post fire reseeding program in a national park to help alpine ash communities regenerate, which was again undertaken following the 2020 fires . Peter will discuss the implications of this and other interventions as a response to the impact of climate change on biodiversity.

Craig+HoreCraig Hore from Parks Victoria will discuss how climate change is impacting on the Alpine National Park and how land managers are responding firefighter will discuss the implications for how we should manage fire in the alpine areas to allow snow gum and alpine ash communities to recover from recent fires.

Screen Shot 2022-08-27 at 10.52.27 amAaron Kennedy, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Director Forest Fire Operations, Hume Region.

Aaron will present an overview of the significant impact of large scale fires on communities and the environment in north east Victoria during the past 20 years and the challenges confronting land and fire management agencies moving forward.

20200104_134633~2A firefighter will discuss the implications for how we should manage fire in the alpine areas to allow snow gum and alpine ash communities to recover from recent fires.

Presented by Friends of the Earth and Upper Ovens Valley Landcare Group.

This event is being held as part of the speakers program of the Victorian backcountry festival (September 2, 3 and 4 at the Mt Hotham resort).

Please register

This is a free event. Because of limited seating, we are asking people to pre register. This will be a covid safe event. Masks and sanitiser will be available and we encourage all participants to be mindful of social distancing. Drinks and food are available for purchase at the venue.


September 02, 2022 at 2:00pm – 5pm


The General
1 Great Alpine Rd
Hotham Heights, VIC 3741