From the Editor

Editor - CockatooWelcome to the winter newsletter, whether you are receiving it in the post or by email. Remember that you can also access  previous newsletters 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.

Editor - FungiThis issue is missing a report from our Ranger in Charge, Dave Roberts, who is just so busy at the moment filling in for Graham Parkes who has not yet been replaced. But  we do have a report from our meeting with him in May and will be having a further meeting in July. In the meantime we are not short of interesting articles, both about our own Park and wider issues that affect it.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, From the Editor

President’s Report

We have succeeded again in having activities more or less every month, and in working together where possible with other local groups caring for our environment. I get newsletters from Trust for Nature, Project Platypus ( my local Landcare Group) and the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA), and  it is good to see how much other groups are doing to preserve biodiversity in our region. Private owners of land can often work quickly and effectively to achieve outcomes that Park managers must envy.

FOGGS are members of the Victorian National Parks Association and as such the committee gets a copy of the quarterly magazine covering the whole state. There are often articles on subjects that have relevance to us here, such as deer, cats, landscape changes. I would strongly recommend that you consider joining the VNPA as individuals, not just for the excellent magazine but also to support our parks. … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, President Report

Naural Values Update

Outstanding native mammal research in the Grampians wins award

A team of researchers from Deakin University has been recognised on World Environment Day for their outstanding research investigating the effects of fire and climatic changes on native mammals in the Grampians National Park.

The Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award recognises outstanding contributions to fostering excellence in applied science for the benefit of park management.

Parks Victoria Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson said: “This long-term research and monitoring project is greatly improving our understanding about how native mammals respond to major climatic changes and fires in the Grampians landscape. The research is directly helping to guide how we manage the park to help protect native mammals in this region.”

The project began in 2008, to investigate how small mammals re-colonised after the bushfires that affected the park in 2006. It then evolved into an ongoing program and each year since, … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Natural Values

A Quick Update On The Orchid Conservation Program

FOGG members may remember that we have been supporting the work of Dr Noushke Reiter in the  conservation of  orchid species, including some of our threatened local ones. I asked Noushka to give us an update on the move to Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

orchid lab 2 orchid lab 1As you are aware the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Australian Network for Plant Conservation joined hands to raise funds to fit out an Orchid Conservation Centre at the Botanic Gardens. The response was overwhelming thank you to all  who contributed, both individuals and organisations. On Christmas Eve boxes were unpacked and now 6 months later we have a fully functioning laboratory and nursery full of threatened orchids grown from seed with their mycorrhizal fungi being prepared for re-introduction back to their native environment. We have six regular volunteers in the laboratory including Wendy Bedggood who still manages to make it into the lab from Horsham.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Natural Values

Fungi Day (24 May2015)

Wendy Bedggood

fungi posterfungi geoff layAs this was a joint event with Laharum Landcare group quite a crowd turned up, which was good. The day originally had been planned to have a presentation and some field walks, however with practically no rain since last year fungi are few and far between in the Northern Grampians bush this year, the walks did not proceed. However Geoff Lay the guest speaker was staying with the Pykes and they went hunting in the morning and managed to find a nice collection to display.

fungi day wendy, geoff fungi craftGeoff gave a very good presentation describing the different types of fungi, Saprotrophic (living on dead material), Parasitic (living on organisms) and Symbiotic (where there is an association between the fungi and the living organism which benefits both). He also showed what to look for when trying to identify fungi. Fungi are neither plant nor animal and are in a kingdom of their … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Articles

Red Gum Walk – Two-yearly clean-up (13 June 2015)

Leigh Douglas.

red gum walk-fisher2015 Fogg Redgum Walk (32)There wasn’t a lot to do! The track is in remarkably good condition, which is heartening. It was a lovely sunny day and very enjoyable to be out in it.

2015 Fogg Redgum Walk (9) 2015 Fogg Redgum Walk (7)Nine of us cut back overhanging tea tree, and bracken around seats and signs, and raked and cleared some debris, but most of the track was clear, apart from one tree fallen across the track – but Rodney’s chainsaw could not be used as the licence needs to be registered with Parks. Ranger Tammy Schoo came out and filled us in on recent O H &S requirements (lots of paperwork, lucky Wendy was there), so we were very conscious of regulations! Thank you Tammy.

Ryan sent out via Tammy a map of proposed photo-surveillance points for Sallow Wattle infestation, which led to discussion and volunteering; a start to our project of helping to monitor this invasive plant.

 … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Articles

Photo point mapping of Sallow Wattle

At the meeting on 4/5/2015 meeting, Ryan outlined the background for FOGGs volunteering to keep a pictorial record of Sallow Wattle at 20-30 spots in the Park. We would mark each spot with a star picket and it would be a matter of going back to the same spot twice a year and taking a photo at a time that suits the individual volunteer. We have the map with the spots to be monitored and if a few people could volunteer to be responsible for a couple of spots this should spread the load.  People could choose close to where they live or a spot they like to visit and Wendy will collate the results. If you would like to be involved, please contact Wendy.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report, Articles

Grampians Peak Trail

You may remember that last year’s Winter newsletter had a long report on what was planned for this long distance walk and the FOGG response to the draft proposal. (We supported the trail in principle but were strongly against any building of lodges. All of this is still available on our webpage ). Since then work has continued, and funding announced for the complete trail. ($29 million including $19 million from the state and $10 million from the federal government). On 29 May the Premier came to Halls Gap to officially open Stage 1.

Stage One: Halls Gap to Borough Huts (3 days/2 nights)

This is a three day/two night loop walk from Halls Gap to Borough Huts covering a total of 19 kilometres for the return trip. The track leaves Halls Gap on the southern side of Stony Creek, past Venus baths towards Wonderland Carpark, which it bypasses, heads … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, From Parks Victoria

Round Table Report (23rd June 2015)

The roundtable meeting held on 23 June was not our usual meeting format but instead a workshop with roundtable members and members of the Grampians Advisory Group. In February the Victorian Government asked the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to conduct a review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land. In conducting the review, IGEM examined a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the existing hectare-based performance target program. The IGEM considered many reports and called for written submissions from individuals and organisations with expertise and knowledge of bushfire fuel management on public land. This report was released in late May and can be viewed at

http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/news-and-announcements/igem-review-into-bushfire-fuel-management

The report makes recommendations which include a shift away from a hectare-based fuel reduction target. It recommends a move toward a risk-reduction approach where the most at-risk areas are prioritised for fuel reduction. The Government is … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Winter Newsletter, Meeting Report