From the Editor

Welcome to another full newsletter, whether you are receiving it in the post or by email. You can also access it via our website, together with various photos .

Please remember that it’s time to renew your membership, via the form included.

Also please check if we have your correct email address so we can contact you with late news.

Our AGM is in September and will creep up on us quickly. All office positions will be open for election. It would be really good to involve new folk as we look to the future of our group. Do let us know if you are interested.  You don’t need to live locally as much can be done by email these days.

MargoRead the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, From the Editor

President’s Report

It has been an unusual quarter. I got the last issue out just before I left for a visit to Europe, leaving Wendy to look after the various activities we had planned and got home just in time to work with the committee on our response to the proposed Grampians Peaks Trail. (see my article on the trail, and the response we sent).

Wendy and Noushke put in an application for ‘Communities for Nature’ grant for a fence around the Caladenia audasii site. We are yet to hear the outcome.

January’s severe fire has an ongoing  impact on several of our activities, as well of course on what the Park staff have to do. They are struggling with an enormous workload and very little money to help with all the recovery work. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and capable group here. Our volunteer co-ordinator Katherine Dyson … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, President Report

From the RIC’s Desk

There is plenty of activity occurring around the park at the moment as we move beyond the shortest day of the year and start the climb towards Spring.  The team has been extremely busy undertaking our routine and not so routine tasks, which continues to challenge our resources and our ability to adequately forward plan. In saying this, the achievements of the team is outstanding when you consider what has been thrown our way this year, on the back of many challenging years.

For the Environment & Heritage team, the key interest has been around planning for the next phase of the Grampians Ark program, our landscape scale predatory control program and ensuring we are being really clear and concise about we are hoping to achieve over the next 3 years. We are hopeful that this initiative will be fully funded by DEPI for that period, and therefore we are … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Park Desk

Natural Values Update

One of the really encouraging talks at the Fire Ecology forum was Ryan describing the way partnerships with the museum and with universities are enabling a lot of valuable research into our fauna and flora. Later in the year we are hoping to hear from one of these students, Susannah Hale who is doing her  PhD at Deakin.  Susannah also delivered the Deakin small mammal trapping program a couple of years ago and is now completing a paper that will be submitted for publication summarising the data thus far.  An item for our AGM will be how we can best support this work. Last year we donated money to help with the  travelling costs of two students researching Smokey Mouse, and we will be arranging a time for them to present to us too.  At least one other Friends Group is doing this sort of thing. A FriendsNet article  reports … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter

Activity Report – Zumsteins Tree Planting

IMG_0107 IMG_0104 IMG_0103MAY  27 – Zumsteins Tree Planting

On Tuesday 27th May there was a tree planting at Zumsteins.  FOGGs received a grant last year to do a planting around the kiosk area of McKenzie Falls and the money needed to be spent by 30th May. When the fire went through in February it was decided to relocate the work to the Zumsteins area. This activity was organised by Katherine Dyson who arranged for students from Stawell Secondary College to do the planting with some help from Proo and Wendy. The rain held off for us and we got a few hundred trees planted. They were a nice group of students and also had a biology lesson on how the bush recovers after fire. It is sad we are losing Katherine as she does such a great job with the students.

WendyRead the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

Activity Report – Field Naturalist Survey

JUNE 7 & 8 : Field Naturalist Survey

The aim of the project was to survey  for arboreal mammals, in particular Squirrel Gliders. The group used remote cameras, hair tubes and spotlighting. A few Foggies were able to join them spotlighting near Silverband Falls, but unfortunately saw nothing interesting at all. It was only after I left that they even saw a wallaby!

MargoRead the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

Activity Report – Ecological Burns

JUNE 11 – Ecological Burns

On 11th June we had a presentation by Parks and DEPI staff: Jill Read ‘Fire and environment management officer’, Ryan Duffy ‘Biodiversity and Heritage officer’ from Halls Gap, Glen Rudolph ‘Planning Manager Wimmera District, Land and  Fire’, and  Andrew Govanstone ‘South West Bushfire Risk Landscape Planning’ DEPI. They explained some of the processes and considerations put into planned burns. This is a very large and complex subject and I have tried to give a brief overview of some of the things presented to us.

The Grampians is a fire prone landscape and has a high occurrence of lightning and so most of the species are well adapted to fire. 70% of the vegetation requires fire for regeneration and is fire dependant, 28% is influenced by fire but requires much longer intervals between fires, 1% is fire sensitive and is severely damaged by fire and 1% … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

Volunteer Awards

wendy proo 30 yrOn Friday 23 May Parks Victoria held an event at the Peter Francis Points Arboretum to acknowledge volunteers and present some regional awards. Proo Pyke and Wendy attended and accepted an award on behalf of FOGGs for thirty years of service to the Grampians National Park. Don Carter and Gil Hopkins also received the Kookaburra award in recognition for their thirty years of service on the Grampians National Park Advisory Group.… Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles

Queen’s Birthday Awards

jill readFire and Environment Program Officer Jill Read was recently awarded an Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours. Jill is based at Parks Victoria’s Halls Gap office. Jill Read has been recognised for reforming fire management in the Wimmera, providing benefits for the protection of life and property without compromising the protection of natural and cultural values in parks and forests.

Jill has been with Parks Victoria for 25 years and in that time has developed a new approach to planned burning using her extensive knowledge and experience in fire management and ecological systems. Her success has resulted from her knowledge, passion excellent collaborative skills and ability to harness specialist input.

Jill is the first female in public land and fire management in Victoria to be recognised with this honour. The Australian Fire Service Medal recognises distinguished service by members of Australian fire services and is … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles

Grampians Peak Trail

This is a proposal that has been bubbling along for several years now, but with all the fire and flood recovery stuff happening we have told you very little about it. The Draft Master Plan came out in May and we have responded with our comments as a committee. Some of us have also responded as individuals, as have many others in the community who are passionate about protecting our park, and the Advisory Group is also putting in a response. We hope these will be taken seriously and incorporated in the next draft, where there will again be a chance to comment.  Of course there are also submissions from others with different agendas.

Before I get to our FOGG response, here is an outline of this ambitious proposal. Apologies if it is too long, but I feel it is important for all members to understand what is being proposed. … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Articles