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Tag: National Parks (RSS -RSS 2)

How Aborigines Made Australia: Bill Gammage

A new book, The Biggest Estate on Earth, by historian Bill Gammage explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people. According to the publisher’s website: “Early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy [...]


A Note from the Daintree

Hello Jennifer, Tourism in the Daintree Rainforest is continuing to decline, partly because of the relative value of the Australian dollar. Recent upturns in the global economy have been met with a proportionate recovery in other parts of Australia, but the far north seems to have suffered the double whammy of natural disasters which have [...]

Exotic Disease Threatens Australian Eucalyptus

Exotic diseases represent a significant threat to Australia’s unique fauna and flora. Dramatic declines in frog numbers in the 1970s were initially blamed on habitat destruction associated with logging.  It was not until twenty years later that the disease Chytridiomycosis caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was positively identified and is now officially recognized [...]

Britain’s Forests for Sale

In Australia the general trend is for governments to lock-up more and more forest often through the conversion of land managed as forest reserve into national park.   The conversion of land into national park is often accompanied by a reduction in the level of active management of the area. Australia has vast areas of both [...]

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

ONE of the best Christmas presents I received this year is a film by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan entitled ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea’ – as twelve episodes contained in a case of five DVDs. So far I’ve watched episodes one to four which begin with John Muir’s campaign to protect Yosemite in the [...]

Dawn, North Keppel Island, Central Queensland

APOLOGIES for not posting so much over the last week:   I have been driving north along the east coast of Australia and this morning I woke up to this magnificent view across to North Keppel Island.  It’s a National Park Island within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Do Tourists Degrade National Parks?

The Sierra Club believes that national parks and areas like my own cannot be effectively defended if they do not build up a constituency of political support by allowing more and more visitors to enjoy them. In other words, we need to degrade our treasures in order to promote their preservation. This is a pernicious [...]

No ‘Happy New Year’ for Koalas in the Central Murray Valley

THE Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has waited until New Year’s Eve to announce the end of timber harvesting and grazing in 83,000 hectares of red gum forest in the Central Murray Valley in north western Victoria, Australia. The creation of new national parks was a 2006 election promise to secure inner-city votes but is based on [...]

Cattle Still in the Barmah Forest

ON Monday, the first day of summer here in Australia, residents of the little town of Barmah in northwestern Victoria, drove cattle into their forest in defiance of a government ban.  The Department of Sustainability and Environment has threatened legal action, but so far the cattle are still there. The forest has historically been grazed and the Barmah locals [...]

Campaigning for National Parks is Against Australian’s Bush Ethos: Part 1, Buying Back Tooralee

THERE has been much written about Australia’s national character emerging from a bush ethos: the idea that a specifically Australian outlook emerged first amongst workers in the Australian outback.  Banjo Paterson, perhaps more than any other writer, created and defined this cultural heritage.  His story about the shearer and his sheep (the jumbuck) remains our most [...]