The community proposed ‘Great Forest National Park’ in Victoria’s Central Highlands is home to the world’s tallest flowering tree – the Mountain Ash – as well as one of Australia’s most endangered species – the Leadbeater’s Possum. Yet it’s at risk of logging.


American mountaineer, Rick Ridgeway, recently spent time in the Great Forest National Park as a guest of Patagonia. He’s shared his musings after visiting this special, yet threatened place.

‘From my recent visit, standing at the base of these giants of the earth will be a treasured memory as well as an inspiration to stand in solidarity with the groups working on the ground to save the giant trees by safeguarding the intact ecosystem they need not only to survive, but to thrive through this century and into the next.’ – Rick Ridgeway

‘But I remind them—and myself—that those visitors, especially the young ones, are the next cadre of wilderness defenders.’ – Rick Ridgeway

‘There is no better incubator for outdoor activism than the outdoors.’ – Rick Ridgeway

‘We human beings are facing a predicament unique in our species history: too many of us using too much of our planet’s finite resources. The consequence of these two things are two inter-rated crises, climate and extinction.’ – Rick Ridgeway

‘Those two crises can only be solved if we save what remains of our planet’s wild places, and restore many degraded places, so the biodiversity of nature can do its job sequestering carbon.’ – Rick Ridgeway

‘If you’re an enthusiast of the outdoors, you need to be an activist to protect the outdoors, because otherwise you’re just a self-involved hypocrite.’ – Rick Ridgeway

Photography by @jarrahlynch