From The Editor

Welcome to our second newsletter for 2017. It seems no time at all since the last one, yet I’ve had no difficulty filling it. In fact I am postponing till next time an update on the Peaks Trail and on the films on the Stawell Field Naturalists produced by the RMIT student team.

There are only a couple of photos in the newsletter as we don’t want to make the file too big. But there could be more on our website when the news goes up there for all to see in a couple of weeks. And remember, you can access articles from previous newsletters there as well. Thank you Frank van der Peet for this service. And there’s our Facebook page as well.… Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, From the Editor

From Our (Very Busy) Ranger In Chief

David Roberts, Area Chief Ranger, Grampians Gariwerd

We would like to publicly acknowledge the contribution of Ryan Duffy, outgoing Ranger Team Leader Environment & Heritage, as he moves to NSW Parks & Wildlife to take on a new career challenge. Ryan has been a strong member of the Grampians Parks Victoria Team for 7years, and has played a stable and level headed role during times of change. Of note, the Bioscan in 2012, the ongoing commitment to the Brushtail Rock wallabies, the refinement of the Grampians Ark, the initiation of Sallow Wattle control and the relationships established and progressed with research institutions has been outstanding.

Of most significance however, has been Ryan’s dedication to the area of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. Previously a minor part of the program, Ryan has grown the knowledge and effort of Rockart management and Traditional Owner engagement to a point where we are now actively conserving, … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, From Parks Victoria, Park Desk

Sallow Wattle! (“Not-Friend” of the Grampians)

On 5/02/2017 PhD student Samantha Barron gave us a very interesting presentation on her research into Sallow Wattle, (Acacia longifolia), which has become extremely invasive in many parts of the Grampians since the 2006 fires. Samantha mentioned that it is also invasive in more than 20 countries around the world, where it has been introduced for things such as dune stabilisation, tannin production and for ornamental reasons.

The more we know about it, the better we may be able to manage it long-term, and this has been, and is, the overall focus of her research.  Samantha’s aims are to determine which environmental factors help it, and to compare functional traits and genetic differences of the species within its home and invaded ranges; a further aim is to look at its competitive abilities under different climate change scenarios.

One characteristic helping plants to become invasive is being “disturbance adapted”. Acacia longifolia, … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Activity Report

March Committee Meeting Report

 

Financial report

Currently we have a balance of $13,811.26. Of that $4250.00 is  for the ‘All Abilities  Walking Track’ booklet (see elsewhere) and $1306.65 is money from Friends of Zumsteins which also is already spoken for. (see below).
 

Flora books for Grampians

Steffen Schultz is working on a Grampians Flora Book. He will let Wendy know what plants he still needs to photograph over the next 12 months and ask FOGG and others to let him know so he can go and photograph them.

Ian McCann’s book – In view of the fact that Steffen is working on a book and no one on the committee currently has time to organise the reprinting of Ian’s book this is not being acted on at this stage.
 

What to do with the money we received from Friends of Zumsteins

(Received in 2010/2011 financial year.) In September 2011 we had … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Meeting Report

Sallow Wattle Update

New 3D vision technique to revolutionise conservation efforts

PV Press Release Tuesday 21 March, 2017

If you think 3D vision glasses used for gaming are purely for entertainment, think again. A Parks Victoria science team is successfully using this technology for the first time to “fight the enemy” and identify a highly invasive weed, Sallow Wattle in the Grampians National Park.

The breakthrough technique has the potential to revolutionise the way weeds are identified and managed across Victoria, including areas previously difficult to access with mountainous terrain.

Steve Shelley, the Parks Victoria Information Management Officer, who has developed the use of this technology said, “The possibilities are endless. And how lucky am I to have this as part of my job? I enjoy using gaming technology at home for fun and then at work too.”

Parks Victoria Project Manager, Mike Stevens said, “You have to get sophisticated about knowing your … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

Brushtail Rock Wallaby Site

We hope many of you watched the recent news  on TV or heard some of the interviews on radio.

A story about the Moora Creek rock-wallaby colony featured on Sunday night 12 March ABC news bulletin. It was shown in at least South Australia, QLD, NSW and possibly ACT. An online extract can be viewed in the link below.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-12/rock-wallaby-joey-gives-hope-in-western-victoria/8347322

Interesting note from Ryan: Apologies to East Gipplsland and interstate partners (e.g. ACT Parks). Despite our best efforts to promote a broader program involving diverse partners, it did not make it to the final cut. Despite this omission, I hope the final product provides some promotion for the species and recent small success in Moora Creek.Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Natural Values

Update On The WAMA Project

Wildlife Art Museum Australia

Recent good news about the WAMA project is very welcome with a second independent study confirming its potential to bring jobs and tourism to the region. WAMA is a project to establish a wildlife and art precinct in the Halls Gap area, with a gallery, artists’ workshops, educational facilities, botanical gardens and wetlands all celebrating the relationship between art science and nature.

Planning is well underway on the 16 hectare WAMA site. Local botanical expert (and FOGG member), Neil Marriott, is WAMA’s Site Development Team Leader and has been charged with the exciting challenge of establishing the gardens as an international showpiece.

When asked why flora is such an important part of the WAMA proposal, Mr Marriott explained, “the Grampians is the richest area for flora in Victoria, having over a third of species that occur in the state. Our flora is … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Miscellaneous Snippet

A Piece Of History

In April 2007 the book covering the devastating fires of January 2006, and also the way the vegetation responded , was launched at Willaura. FOGG were the instigators of the project, then many others came on board to support it. As well as the book, there were art and music workshops and performances in different places around the Grampians, culminating a festival day in Halls Gap.

To me, one of the highlights was the set of songs which emerged from the workshops with Fay White. Too long to put here, but here are  excerpts from two of them. (I will ask Frank to put the complete ones up on our website.)

 

FIRE SONG

The fire came through with roar and noise, awesome power and might.
Somehow we found the strength to stay, that long and anxious night.
At dawn the sound of cracking rocks, the fall of dying trees.… Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Autumn Newsletter, Grampians Gariwerd History