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 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, possibly starting in the spring of 2022 once the roads are opened after winter. 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.
Despite a strong community campaign, as of September 2022, the coupes remain on the VicForests Timber Release Plan, meaning they could be scheduled for logging at any moment. We do, however note that the planned logging road through the Alpine National Park has now been removed from the plan.
If you missed our previous trip to visit the Little Dargo, you have another chance to see this special place.
In conjunction with the Treasure family, we are hosting a walk in to the valley over the weekend of November 19 and 20. You are welcome to arrive on the saturday, and the walk will happen on the sunday.
This free trip will offer:
- A shorter ( 2 – 3 hour) walk in to the edge of the Little Dargo headwaters
- A longer (5 – 6 hour) walk into Fred’s Flat on the Little Dargo river
- A chance to hear from Christa Treasure and Ray Anderson about the cultural value of the Little Dargo and surrounding area
- The opportunity to help set up a potential base camp should the government continue with plans to log this precious area and protest becomes necessary
We will also be educating people driving through the area about the threats to the Little Dargo and looking for a team to be out on the Dargo High Plains road to engage with people driving past to explain the threat posed by logging.
The Dargo High Plains is about a 6 hour drive from Melbourne, and accessed via a good 2WD road from either the Great Alpine Road or the township of Dargo.
You will need to be self sufficient in terms of food and camping gear and have suitable gear for the walks (we will circulate a list prior to the trip).
Please rsvp here so we know how many people to expect.