From the Editor

Greetings from the still so very dry Grampians. And fire ravaged too. The January fires on the Victoria Range burnt almost a quarter of the Park; the March fires in the Dadswell Bridge area were successfully extinguished while still small but  had the potential to cause severe damage to a quite different ecosystem.  Our Park staff have had a torrid time, and now face months of hard work. We offer them our sympathy and our thanks.

It has of course also impacted on our FOGG activities. We were going to talk with Park staff about our activity programme, but that is now postponed until April 24.

Your committee has also found it hard to get together, with distractions from births (lovely) and illness (horrid).

Have you thought whether you could be on our committee? We make use of email quite a bit, so you don’t have to live locally. We … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, From the Editor

President’s Report

Our plans this year have been somewhat disrupted by the large fire, which burnt approximately 25% of the Grampians National Park in the beautiful Victoria Range on the western side. This now means 75 % of the Grampians National Park has been burnt in the last seven years. If the requirement to control burn 5% of the park annually regardless of what other burns have occurred is going to be implemented again this year, then I believe this will be of great concern to members, as soon there will be very little long-time unburnt habitat left in the park.

It was excellent to catch up with so many members at the Ian Mc.Cann reserve  for Clean Up Australia Day. Much of the rubbish that was collected had been dumped in the reserve quite a number of years ago so hopefully the reserve will remain clean with no repeat of this … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, President Report

Book Review: Hamilton Region Nature Guide

At the recent most interesting Eel Festival at Lake Bolac I got talking with the representative of the Brolga Recovery Group, and the nearby representative of the Hamilton Field Naturalists. They have published a “Hamilton Region Nature Guide” and I highly recommend it. It is of course centred on Hamilton, but it covers the area from Harrow in the north to Heywood in the south, from Dergholm in the west to Lake Bolac in the west. Naturally it deals only with the southern end of the National Park, but what I found most useful is the information on the Black Range  and the various wetlands and grasslands in and around the Park. The maps are clear and the birdlists extensive. Well done Hamilton Field Nats!

Address: PO Box 591. Hamilton 3300.

Email: Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Book Review

History: Nature in the Serra Range

In our last issue we published Audas’s description of a Spring excursion on the flat land near Halls Gap. We continue his story on the next morning as they set out for a 2 day walk. Please note that the botanical names are sometimes hard to decipher. The library who have made this available on the web has used character recognition software to get into a text document and it has not always coped with Latin vocabulary. And of course some plant names have changed as well.

By J. W. AUDAS, F.L.S., F.R.M.S., Assistant, National Herbarium, Melbourne.

Read before the Field Naturalist’s Club of Victoria, 15th Jan., 1919.

Provisioned with food for a couple of days, we made an early start on Sunday morning (3 November) for that portion of the Serra Range lying to the south-west of Hall’s Gap. The first stage of the journey was via the Stony … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Grampians Gariwerd History

History: Founding of the Grampians National Park

The latest Parkwatch, the magazine of the Victorian National Parks Association had an article by Evelyn Feller on the founding of the Grampians National Park as part of their celebration of 60 years of activity.

Grampians National Park – A Victorian Icon

As part of VNPA’s 60th anniversary, Evelyn Feller looks back at the long campaign for a Grampians National Park.

One of the earliest appeals for a Grampians National Park was in a 1912 Argus editorial in response to a deliberately lit fire in the Victoria Valley north of Dunkeld. The editor urged protection for the area before the opportunity was lost. “These things are often neglected or overlooked during the infancy of a country: and then there comes a time, after the land has been alienated, when a lost opportunity is lamented.”

In 1937 the Ararat Shire president Councillor Alex McDonald endorsed a national park to further … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Grampians Gariwerd History

Natural Values News

The Natural Values team are busy looking at the impact of the fire, so we don’t have an article from Ryan. What we do know is that the remote camera work continues to be very useful. It is revealing that cats are an increasing threat to the small critters, and staff and experts are looking the best ways to deal with this. Cinnamon fungus is another problem that has returned after the 2 wet years.

The results of the Museum of Victoria Bioscan  are coming through a little at a time. There are two excellent videos up on Youtube and more to come. The first was a general report, the second focussed on moths of the Grampians:

In other news, the student studying the diet of deer has just completed her PhD, and we are hoping we can have her talk about her results at a … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

Advisory Group Report

The group was planning to meet in February but had to cancel due to the fires. The next meeting will be in April.… Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter

Grampians Wildflower Show


The wildflower show committee met early in March to discuss the future of the show.  We had much fun in October celebrating our 75th show and decided that now is an appropriate time to rethink the show, and we will take a year off to do so. Several of our key workers want to retire, and we need to rethink how we do the show. We may have a few activities during that traditional first week of October, but no show in the hall. This way we can make a clear break with our traditional way of doing the show.

We would like to thank the FOGG members from further afield who have contributed so much in the recent years. Without your help the show would have folded before this.

We are … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Grampians Wildflower Show

Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Up March

Sunday 3rd March – a fine day for collecting the disposed excess of our overflowing society.

12 Foggies met at the Ian McCann Reserve. This was named after the late Ian, an honorary life member of FOGGS, a chief instigator in the Declaration of the Grampians National Park, and a vocal conscience for Stawell’s environment.

The Reserve itself was a disused block of land on the Pomonal (Lake Fyans Tourist) Road just beyond the town limit. Despite being dug over by miners in the early days of Pleasant Creek, and used as a general rubbish dump by lazy Stawellites, the block still holds a wealth of native vegetation and spring wildflowers. It is a great asset for the people of this area.

With plastic garbage bags the intrepid twelve meandered into the scrub, collecting small rubbish (bricks, bottles, piping and tin cans) and two bicycles, and feeling derogatory towards … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter, Activity Report

Letter to the Editor: Fire Aftermath

Looking south from Reid’s lookout I see the vast burn on the Victoria Range ends in a brown line where it meets the green of the Victoria Valley. This is a role reversal from only a few years ago when the Victoria Range was an island of hopeful green rising from the brown/black devastation of that same valley. At the time, 7years ago, I remember hoping against hope that the Victoria Range would survive as an unburned repository of Grampians ecology.  Now that is has burned through so extensively I wonder how much recovery work will happen in that part of the park. The part that is far more seldom visited by tourists. A part not so vital to the local, state and national economy. A part thus more easily forgotten by the powers that be.

As that is my favourite part, and the area I most often visit from … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Autumn Newsletter