From the Editor – September 2013

David Thompson - Opening of Red Gum Walk, 1993

David Thompson – Opening of Red Gum Walk, 1993

First of all: the sad news. Our long term member and ex-president David Thompson has died from complications after a battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed. Our park has lost one of its most passionate and zealous advocates.  There will be tributes and memories from several of us in this issue.

One issue that was close to David’s heart was opposition to private development within National Parks. He led our successful campaign back in 1996 against a resort on Lake Wartook, and now we are facing similar issues again. FOGGS have been writing letters to newspapers since late last year, signed petitions and will be making a submission to the ecotourism enquiry. But that’s not enough. If every member of FOGGS wrote an individual letter to their local member of Parliament it would be ever so much stronger. You … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, From the Editor

President’s Piece

David Thompson - Fungo Frolic, 2004 (with Dave Munro and Alison White)

David Thompson – Fungo Frolic, 2004
(with Dave Munro and Alison White)

I was deeply saddened by the recent death of David Thompson. David was an enthusiastic worker for the establishment of the Grampians National Park and has been a very active member of FOGGs from its inception. For many years he was our president.

He took on many battles to ensure that the importance of National Parks to the protection of the natural environment was always respected. He led a campaign against private development in the park under the Kennett government, and I’m sure it was with great sadness that he found recently this battle needs to be won all over again.

He was a tireless campaigner for the environment and never missed an opportunity to write letters or be interviewed on the radio in support of a cause. All  of us who care about the current threats to … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, President Report

Lobbying Continues

Unfortunately, as Proo and I have said above, there’s a real need at present for us to lobby politicians at all levels to protect our park from various threats, and not just our park here but the world wide environment.

The committee have endorsed letters, and signed petitions on the two pressing local issues of burning regimes and commercial development. We have encouraged you before, and now again, to write your own letters, and to donate to the VNPA’s campaign. We have protested about the cuts in biodiversity staff.

Who knows what further cuts will be mooted at both state and federal levels in the next year, as governments seem to have decided that climate change is too hard, and protection of natural values too expensive? It is depressing, but we mustn’t give up.… Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, From the Editor

David Thompson Tribute

David Thompson

We wish to pay tribute to David’s passionate commitment and contribution to FOGGs, of which he and Judith have been members for nearly 30 years, although this was only one of many conservation groups he was dynamically involved in during this period.

David saw FOGG as an active player in the Park’s management; he was instrumental in giving a local voice to the bureaucracy beyond our Park staff, both as a supporter and, at times, opponent of directions he considered inappropriate from his strong environmentalist position.

After the incorporation of FOGG, David became our first president, a position he held for eight years.  He was our one and only ‘political’ President and a formidable adversary.  Over this time he was involved in many projects to protect the Park from exclusive group use and privatisation.  In addition, he gave his wholehearted support to positive developments such as the Red Gum Walk, … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, From the Editor

News From The Advisory Group And The Round Table

The AG met in July, and the Round Table in August.

AG meeting. We heard updates on the flood and fire recoveries. All work on the flood recovery should be finished by the end of August. The walking track crew, who have done such a good job, finished at the end of the financial year. This work was relatively well-funded, in contrast to the fire recovery work, which received no extra funding. They have some insurance money for built assets, and some for rehabilitation of fire lines and damaged roads, but almost nothing for the cultural heritage surveys needed, and other important work.

We also had an update on the staff situation. PV is still cutting staff state wide. Long term ranger here, Geoff Pitt has decided to take one of the redundancy offers and will finish up in August. We thanked him for his work and wish him well … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, Meeting Report

Park Report – Dave Roberts, Ranger in Charge

A wet July and August in the Grampians has restored good flows to our creeks, rivers and wetlands and recharging an otherwise dry system.

Up until this time, park staffs were engaged in trial winter burning operations in the Wannon River heath, an area of the park long unburnt and known to house significant small mammal populations including Long Nose Potoroos & Southern Brown Bandicoots.  The objective of this experimental burning is to introduce fire at small scales into this landscape over a long period of time to help protect the old growth river frontage vegetation from large scale intense fire impacts. The results achieved to date have been mixed which is exactly what we need, some hot, some cool. Prior to the burn we undertook both fauna and flora monitoring to ensure we could assess and interpret the outcomes. It has been interesting to note the amount of diggings … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Articles, From Parks Victoria

Nature In The Serra Range

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.)

[In our March edition we left the botanising group on the top of Mt Rosea on the first day of their two day trip in early November.]

As the country began to dip towards the Victoria Valley a fine patch of Melaleuca squamea in full bloom was met with, and in the gullies below Bauera sessiliflora was a magnificent sight. Grevillea rosmarinifolia, with its pretty rose-coloured blooms, and Trymalium Daltonii were also growing in the gullies ; the latter is a very early blooming shrub, and is at its best in July. The four Brachylomas native to Victoria were also found growing in this locality ; they were B. ericoides, B. daphnoides, B. ciliatum, and B. depressum. Following the creek which flows towards the Victoria Valley, we passed large … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Grampians Gariwerd History, Nature Notes

Historic Orchid Planting

The Orchid Planters

The Orchid Planters

It was a delight to see an article in the Stawell Times news of July 12, recognising the work of three octogenarian members of the Stawell Field Naturalists (and FOGG members). They were taking part in a history making project, the reintroduction of the threatened Brilliant Sun-orchid (Thelymitra mackibbinii), of which only 30 exist in the world, to an area near Stawell where there are just a few left. It’s a project of the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, led by Dr. Noushka Reiter through the Horsham laboratory. After research into propagation and the mycorrhizal associations necessary (ie fungi in the soil), plus good rains in 2009-2011, some of the plants flowered. Then they were able to be hand pollinated and now new plants have been put back into the forest. There was a lovely photo of Lesley, Thelma and Win rejoicing after so many years of monitoring … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter

McKenzie Falls Garden Project

After the floods FOGGs had been asked if we could help plant up a small area near the kiosk at McKenzie Falls. In December last year we put in a grant application to the Healthy Parks Healthy People Grants for Community Groups. We asked for $2800 and in May this year received word we had been successful in obtaining $425 so we will be modifying our original plans a bit and intend to plant the area next autumn. The plant out will be advertised in future newsletters.… Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report, Articles

Ryan’s Talk On The Bioscan

Wendy Bedggood

On 4th July Ryan gave a talk on some of the results from Museum Victoria Bioscan which was carried out last November. The talk was held during the school holidays in the hope we would get more people along. This worked well as we had 27 attendees and ¾ were visitors to the park or non member locals. The bioscan was done in the Grampians because it was an opportunity to do a rapid fauna survey as well as collecting an oral history of the area.

A team from Museum Victoria spent 14 days in the park recording, photographing and collecting data. A lot of work had been done back in the 1970’s but with the changing landscape and climate there was a need to do a snapshot of where things are at today.

Herpatologists set up reptile traps and took DNA samples from trapped animals. They … Read the rest

Posted in 2013 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report, Articles