The unique natural and cultural values of the Australian Alps are among the most significant in the world. The high catchments of the Alps supply some of our most important rivers and irrigation areas. The alpine landscape is rare, beautiful and features prominently in the cultural life of Australia.
While the environment of the high Alps is harsh, it is also extraordinarily fragile. The Alps have a history of considerable disturbance since European settlement. Mining, grazing, hydro-electricity schemes, ski resort development and bushfires have impacted soils, watercourses, wetlands and biodiversity. Degrading processes such as weed invasion, bog desiccation and soil erosion continue to operate.
Many sites remain degraded and unsightly. With increasing visitation, ongoing development pressures and climate change, new disturbances are inevitable. The managers of the alpine national parks carry a responsibility to rehabilitate sites affected by these past and new disturbances.