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Bogong High Plains walking tracks
Australian Alps Walking Track

ENVIRONMENT

At Falls Creek the mountains, clean air and pristine environment are our greatest assets. Resort Management is committed to protecting the alpine region's unique biodiversity and ensuring the natural environment is as beautiful as it is today for generations to come.

The resort’s environment policy aims to deliver a vibrant and sustainable village offering memorable alpine experiences underpinned by environmental stewardship and leadership in best-practice environmental management.

Falls Creek is proud of its environmental programs which reduce our impact the environment locally and beyond the resort boundary.  For more information on any of our programs please email [email protected]

FALLS CREEK ENVIRONMENT

Falls Creek Alpine Resort is situated on the Bogong High Plains, surrounded by National and State Park. The resort covers approximately 1553 ha of land ranging in elevation from 1,210m to 1,830m at the highest point on Mt McKay.

Falls Creek supports a diverse range of alpine flora and fauna. This includes many rare and threatened species including the Mountain Pygmy Possum, Broad-tooth Rat, Alpine She-oak Skink, Guthega Skink, Alpine Bog Skink, Alpine Water Skink, Tussock Skink and two species of stonefly.

The resort is also home to a wide range of alpine and subalpine vegetation communities. In Victoria Ecological Vegetation Classes are used as a convenient method of describing a collection of floristic communities across a biogeographic range. Falls Creek represents 13 of the 16 ecological vegetation classes described for Victorian alpine environments. These include important threatened ecological communities such as Alpine Sphagnum Bog & Associated Fens, Alpine Snowpatch Community and the Caltha introloba (Psychrophila introloba) Herbland Community.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

The Falls Creek Environmental Management Plan (2017) is a strategic document that guides environmental management objectives and activities for the resort. The document is divided into five areas of focus including Biodiversity, Water, Waste and Resource Use, Landuse and Development, and Energy and Climate Change.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH

A wide range of important research projects in Falls Creek and across the broader Bogong High plains are helping to improve our understanding and care of the Australian alps.

This short film shares some of the science and beauty of Alpine peatlands.

Alpine peatlands are vitally important ecosystems which purify water, regulate water flow, store carbon and provide habitat for rare and threatened species. Cutting-edge technology is being used to increase our knowledge of these systems and global climate change.

BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT

In 2012 the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board released the Falls Creek Alpine Resort Biodiversity Management Strategy (BMS). The BMS provides both an operational, integrated management system for the protection of biodiversity in the resort and a strategic platform that allows the Board to manage the ecological values in the most efficient and appropriate manner. It identifies and quantifies the ecological values within the resort then evaluates management actions against man-made and natural risks. This enables Resort Management to efficiently use resources to maximise the ecological outcomes.

Introduced plants – Introduced plants (weeds) can have a significant impact in the alpine environment. Many of the resort’s weeds were initially introduced as garden plants or to help stabilise modified ski slopes, unaware of the impact they would have on our native flora and fauna. Today only locally indigenous species are permitted to be planted in the resort, and Resort Management implement annual weed control programs to protect our native ecosystems.

Hawkweed – Hawkweed has the potential to have a devastating impact on the Victorian Alps. This environmental weed produces biochemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants and can completely out-complete native flora. Two species of Hawkweed (Orange and King Devil) occur in the resort and Parks Victoria manages a sophisticated search and treatment program every summer with support from Resort Management. You may notice orange markers around the village that are used as part of this monitoring program.

Pest Animals- Like much of Australia Falls Creek is home to introduced pest animals that do not belong in the alpine ecosystem and present a threat to our native flora and fauna including foxes, feral cats, deer, rabbits and hares. Resort Management implement programs to monitor and control pest animals to reduce their impact on our native species.

Animals in Lodges – During winter ski lodges and other buildings provide warmth and food and can be very attractive to our small native mammals. These native animals are protected and can be difficult to distinguish from introduced mice and rats. You can help avoid unwanted visitors in your building by ensuring scraps and crumbs are cleaned away, food is stored in containers and any holes or gaps that may be allowing building access are blocked up. For advice on methods to safely relocate unwanted mammals please contact Resort Management.

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LIVING BIN INITIATIVE

Falls Creek has been collecting and recycling food waste since 2011 as part of the Living Bin initiative. Organic waste in landfill produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas at it decomposes. Collecting and reprocessing our green waste into compost provides a useful product and greatly reduces our greenhouse gas footprint.

Look for the green ‘Living Bin’ in your accommodation and separate your food waste (left overs, cooked or uncooked foods, meat, vegetables, shells, peels, paper plates and coffee grids….anything that was once living!). On average the program diverts 40 tonnes of food waste from land fill each year.

The program is a collaborative effort with Mt Hotham, Mt Buller, the Alpine Shire, North East Regional Waste Management Group and 4Site Australia and was awarded the Victorian Sustainable Communities Award in 2011 and a prestigious Premier's Sustainability Award in 2012.

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PROTECT OUR WINTERS

Falls Creek proudly supports the Protect Our Winters campaign which aims to mobilize the outdoor sport community to take positive action on climate change. The effects of climate change could dramatically impact the alpine region’s unique biodiversity. Resort Management commits to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and supporting our community to do the same.  Some small actions you can take in resort and at home include;

  • Reduce transport energy. Car pool to Falls Creek and walk around the village as much as you can.
  • Turn off lights and appliances at the power point when not in use.
  • Insulate your house or lodge. Turn down the thermostat and use draught stoppers.
  • Invest in high star-rating, energy efficient appliances, and wash clothes in cold water.
  • Purchase greenhouse friendly products and purchase local to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting products.
  • Support renewable energy sources. Switch to Green Power with your electricity provider
Falls Creek, Resort Management

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Resort Management works actively with the community to ensure we use resources wisely and maximise our recovery of recyclable waste.

What can you do to assist?

  • Remember to bring your reusable coffee cup and reusable shopping bags with you to Falls Creek, just like you do at home.
  • Use the plastic bags provided by Falls Creek Resort Management to separate your waste. General waste (landfill) is disposed of into black plastic bags, recyclables into clear plastic bags and food waste into either separate clear or ‘living bin’ branded bags. Please contact 4SITE on 0427411415 if you require re-supply of bags.
  • Double knot your waste bags, fold flat any cardboard and dispose of in the designated rubbish sheds within the village.
  • Dispose of your litter responsibly and help protect our unique environment. Falls Creek is situated at the top of the water catchment and water from our streams feed the Murray River and eventually travel all the way to South Australia!