Dr Lara Stevens has been a leader in a team that has brought Plumwood Mountin - the property of preeminent environmental philosopher Dr Val Plumwood's (1939-2008) - under the protection of the State Heritage Register of NSW. The decision was finalised as of 24 February 2023.
Plumwood Mountain holds exceptional environmental and cultural significance as the long-term home, workplace and inspiration of Dr Plumwood. Its outstanding natural and cultural features are inter-related and unique. They include an imposing old-growth Gondwana temperate rainforest and a secluded off-grid stone dwelling co-built by Dr Plumwood in the early 1970s. The stone house still contains her vast library, furniture and personal artefacts and functions as a living museum that testifies to her extraordinary life and intellectual legacy. Combined, these features make it a compelling place to visit, and a vital educational and research hub for scholars, writers and creatives associated with the environmental humanities and sciences.
Plumwood Mountain also holds distinctive historical significance because of the key role that Dr Plumwood played in the development of the Australian environmental movement. She was a central figure in the early 1970’s campaign to save the NSW south-east forests, one of the first in a series of campaigns that culminated in the statutory protection of many of Australia’s outstanding wilderness areas. Her ground-breaking eco-philosophies were also foundational in the establishment of the Australian environmental humanities. This interdisciplinary field of study has become increasingly relevant in the face of intensifying climate and ecological crises and is now internationally established.
The Plumwood listing is, both historically and today, one of the few State Heritage listings to be centred around a woman's property in acknowledgement of her pioneering philosophical work and activism. For those interested to learn more about Plumwood Mountain or curious about the artist/scientist/writer/academic retreat and research hub located there, see the link below: