Following a three year trial period, the FMC youth scholarships have been revamped and are back for 2014. Because of low demand, there are no skills scholarships on offer this year; instead the money has been put back into the pool to expand the number of expedition awards on offer. FMC is also pleased to announce expansion of eligibility to individual supporters. To find out more about the awards, upcoming closing dates, past winners, and to download application forms and criteria, go to the Scholarships Page.
FMC Club Photo Competition
Entries are now being received for the 2014 Photo Competition where once again worthwhile prizes are offered. The categories are the same as previous years, Above the Bushline, Below the Bushline, Hut & Camp Life, Historic, Native Flora & Fauna and Outdoor Landscapes. Visit the Photo Competition webpage for full entry details. Entries close on 16 April 2014.
Bumper stickers and bracelets are now available to help spread awareness for this campaign. They are available by contacting savefiordland.co.nz for a gold coin donation.
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FMC rejects the Haast-Hollyford Road proposal
FMC has written to all Southland and Westland District Councillors, urging them to oppose any development of a Haast-Hollyford Road.
The proposed route FMC has seen would encroach on Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, including the Olivine Wilderness Area. The road is a major threat to these special remote places, and any development would severely degrade the environmental and wilderness values of the Cascade-Pyke area.
Map credit Westland District Council (click to enlarge).
Prosecutions for illegal helicopter landings on public conservation land
DoC recently led a successful prosecution against a helicopter pilot who made illegal landings in the Remote Experience Zone of the Kaimanawa Ranges. FMC is heartened by this action, and particularly by the comments of Judge Chris McGuire who recognised the huge pressure on wilderness areas globally. FMC has congratulated the Department on its stand in protecting the values of this unique area of public conservation land.
Federated Mountain Clubs commits to fight Routeburn tunnel and Snowdon-Mavora monorail
FMC today pledged $15,000 to the Save Fiordland campaign, which is preparing to take legal action should the Minister of Conservation grant concessions for either the Milford Dart tunnel, or Fiordland Experience monorail concession applications.
FMC President Robin McNeill said that it was critical that the Save Fiordland campaign succeeded and urged all New Zealanders to also donate as over $100,000 may be needed to take a judicial review.
FMC president Robin McNeill handing over a cheque to Daphne Taylor, chair of Save Fiordland, and Southland District Mayor, Frana Cardno.
Donations can be made via the Save Fiordland website, www.savefiordland.org.nz.
Shelter from the Storm
Shelter from the Storm, The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts details the remarkable history of our huts and profiles over 90 huts in individual chapters. Written by Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint, the 364-page hardback book will be released in early October by Craig Potton Publishing. In several essays, covering farm, mining, deer-culling, tramping club, science, memorial, DOC, Lands and Survey, tourism and climbing huts, the authors explain the development of our backcountry hut network, one of the most extensive and diverse in the world. The FMC Mountain and Forest Trust supported publication of this book with a substantial $5,000 grant to offset the high production costs.
For a sneak preview of the book, go to the Shelter from the Storm Facebook page.
The book is available from FMC Books for $63.99 (which includes the FMC Book discount of 20%). See the last page of the November Bulletin. Normal retail price is $79.99.
To coincide with this book launch, Craig Potton Publishing are also offering another book to FMC members at a discounted price – $39.99. Stag Spooner: Wild man from the bush – the story of a New Zealand hunter/artist by Chris Maclean. This can also be ordered through the above order form.
Safety in the Mountains
Clubs and member schools can buy this booklet through our Mail Order FormThis booklet has been extensively rewritten to celebrate the original edition of 1937! It is in full colour, waterproofing and compact A5 size. It is an excellent booklet to give to any new member. UPDATE: SITM was recently reviewed in the NZ Deerstalkers Magazine – read the review here.
FMC Supports River Fording Research
FMC supported veteran tramper and climber Brian Wilkins to trial a new method of river fording using modern, lightweight polypropylene ropes. Brian also waded through back-country literature into the vexed matter of fording (see the November 2011 FMC Bulletin). His full report is available here.
History of Huts
Hut enthusiast Bill Keir has recently been researching historic hut books, and collated his finding into an inventory, available as a pdf document here. In the introduction, Bill writes: ‘Back-country hut log books are valuable historical records. Several New Zealand archives hold significant collections of them, but archiving has been haphazard. Many are missing or lost through casual practices or accidental destruction. Sometimes the set of those of a particular hut is spread around separate archives. This inventory is intended to present the available information in a form that is useful to researchers.
FMC Travel Club
2014 trip dossiers are available to inspire you. Nepal – an Everest Base Camp Trek in April 2014 visit the Travel Club pagetoday…
Kea Conservation Trust
At the 80th Conference it was announced that FMC would be supporting the work of this trust. For more details go to theKea Conservation Trust page.
2014 Annual Report, Accounts and Budget
These will be mailed to clubs and available on the website nearer to the 2014 AGM.
Latest Club Newsletter
This is on the Club Secretaries page.
Executive Meeting Minutes
The minutes of Executive meetings are available here.