Editor’s Piece

Our next activity is coming up very soon, Sunday October 16 – a wildflower walk near Lake Fyans to which we are inviting people who have come to the lake to celebrate its 100th birthday. Our AGM was to have been October 15 but due to a host of problems with getting this newsletter ready we have postponed it to November. Details for October 16 and November 19  are on the calendar page, but I do want to emphasise the importance of our AGM where we will be electing officebearers, hoping to continue with mixing newcomers and longer term members. It is vital that we ensure that we remain relevant to both our longterm members and newcomers.

Please note that if you have not renewed your membership your period of grace has expired and this will be your last newsletter. Our Park needs Friends in so many areas. We … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, From the Editor

What the Prez Sez

It’s been an action packed time in the Grampians lately.

Snow, Rain, floods, spring and everything that goes with it.

It’s always a great time of year, seeing young coming out of the pouch, flowers blooming, and plant growth you can see if you watch for a moment. I love it. It’s a great time to be out and about. In the natural world!

The FOGGs are facilitating a project to document the history and work of the founding members of the Stawell Field Naturalists Club. Names familiar to us like Ian McCann, Win Pietch, Dave Munro and others. The plan is to interview them, their families and their colleagues in arms, or to make use of previously recorded interviews. Filming these people in their homes, or in the environment they dedicated their time to studying and learning about. We have a group of 3 very enthusiastic people, who are … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, President Report

From Our Rangers

The last few weeks have been so frantic for our ranger staff. The very welcome rain has also brought with it many road closures and delays to planned works due to open for the school holidays. So I haven’t been game to ask Dave Roberts to write something this time, but I do have reports from Tammy and Ryan.

From Tammy Schoo: 

Well its certainly been a wet Spring! Parks Staff have been busy throughout the past few weeks assessing impacts from heavy rainfall, ensuring closures are in place for public safety, repairing immediate safety issues and working to pull together timely information updates for communities and businesses. At this stage the rain is set to continue so we would ask all locals and visitors to be aware of the following:

The parks unsealed road network is very soft. In some areas heavy rain and fast flowing water has caused … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, From Parks Victoria

Consultation Seems To Be The New Fashion

Rodney has already talked about the local consultation he and Bill attended, but wait, there’s more:

Did you take part in  a web survey “Join the conversation about Strengthening Parks Victoria”? It has now closed – the time frame was extremely short and it was not well publicised. I tried to put in my 2c worth but I see from the website that my story is there but not my plea for better funding. (It seemed to be for individuals not groups, so no FOGG response). Here is a little about the survey:
Victoria has one of the most comprehensive parks systems in the world, spanning a total
of 18 per cent of the state, including land and sea, and supporting citizens and visitors.
Strengthening Parks Victoria is a project about celebrating the spectacular landscapes,
habitats and places we have managed for nearly 20 years, and understanding how we
Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Natural Values

Fire And Climatic Extremes Shape Mammal Distributions In A Fire-Prone Landscape

Ryan Duffy has sent me a paper recently published in Diversity and Distributions.  It is too long and detailed to include here but most thought provoking. The authors include Susannah Hale who spoke to us earlier in the year. If you would like to read the whole document I can email it to you, but I am giving you the abstract and then a few more details.
Fire and climatic extremes shape mammal distributions in a fire-prone landscape

The Grampians Fire and Biodiversity Project is a collaboration between Deakin University, Charles Sturt University and Parks Victoria. The team is interested in the ability of land management to enhance the capacity of the Grampians ecosystem to cope with and recover from changes in climate
and disturbance regimes.

ABSTRACT
Aim: Extreme climatic events and large wildfires are predicted to increase as the world’s climate warms. Understanding how they shape species’ distributions … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Natural Values

Victoria Valley Excursion – August 13

Not that many of us but a successful day nonetheless.

Our first stop was at the lovely Burrong Falls off Rose Creek Road, which was new to some of us. It was a bit muddy and slippery to go right down to the creek, but we enjoyed the view, and the winter flowers. We then headed down towards the valley, stopping to admire fungi and orchids, to Round Swamp, which was more a lagoon than a swamp. Then off to Red Gum walk where we were met by ranger Kyle. We did the walk, clearing it of fallen branches, and noting how slow and patchy the recovery from the 2006 fires has been. No young banksias, no cherry ballart.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Wild Flower Walkabout in the Northern Grampians – September 10th

Rodney

On a bright but chilly morning 25 questing souls gathered in Wartook to look at wildflowers. We were joined by several first time attendees who saw facebook and website promotion, or heard the radio add. (They enjoyed themselves so much I ran out of membership forms!). After last season’s dry September we were worried about finding much to look at but nature was very obliging this year. I guess a wetter season is a big help to the plant life. Our biggest concern leading up to the day was the grazing macropods that see flowers as candy. But they left us some to admire. Those who attended had a great time, and saw some great flowers. With many eyes many things can be spotted and people danced from one treasure to another with great delight.

I was very pleased to convince Dave and Lyn Munro to come along for … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Parks Victoria Bioblitz Sept 24 & 25

In the last newsletter we reproduced an article from Parkwatch about how two new portable technologies – the digital camera and the smart phone – have changed the way in which volunteers can collect data in the field. This was very evident when FOGG helped with a Junior Ranger activity during the school holidays. Youngsters were encouraged to take photos of interesting things they had seen when out in the park and to upload them to a website inaturalist.org. We didn’t have a huge uptake, but we hope that we demonstrated that we are interested in inspiring the next generation.… Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report

Round Table Report

Nothing to report this time. Wendy was away for the last roundtable meeting and we did not have a representative. If there is any member who would be interested in attending these meetings as the FOGGs rep could they please let Rodney or Wendy know as we feel it would be good to keep our presence at these meetings, there are only 2 to 3 a year as well as the annual fire conference.

This years ‘Fire conference’ is being held at the Pomonal Hall on Thursday 20th October, the themes are ‘Ten years on from the Mt Lubra Bushfire’, ‘Safer together – A new approach’ and ‘Cross tenure Fuel management’. The day usually runs from around 9.30 am to 3 pm with a catered lunch. For further information and to RSVP contact Danielle Leehane at   Any FOGG member interested … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Meeting Report

Advisory Group

The group met on 29th August with once again a full agenda.

Fire Operations Plan – 2016 – 2019 and Safer Together introduction

 Glenn Rudolph of DELWP explained to us the philosophy of Risk Landscapes: using the best science and knowledge to think about fire risks in a changing environment due to climate change and other factors. The need to balance so many variables eg the minimum fire intervals different species need. The vital need to have and keep some really old unburnt areas, but to protect them you need to prevent fire occurring there or spreading in from elsewhere. Glenn demonstrated the way the computer modelling works by showing us various different ways a burn at Cassidy’s Gap would behave in conditions similar to Black Saturday if there were no preparatory control burns, and then with the recent burn having taken place. Then a similar exercise for a … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Spring Newsletter, Meeting Report