Editor’s Piece

Please note that if you have not renewed your membership your period of grace has expired and this will be your last newsletter.

There are always new challenges and new opportunities and your membership is important in our advocacy role, even if you find it difficult to come to our activities.

A sad piece of news is that we have probably lost all the work that the three RMIT students did on researching the heritage of the Stawell Field Naturalists. The computer and backups were stolen from Sophie’s car, along with her cameras and other valuables. The computer was found but badly damaged. We still are holding out faint hopes that experts may be able to retrieve something, but nothing so far. All that work, not just the student work, but that of the field naturalists and others who gave up their time to talk to them.

 And a bit … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, From the Editor

What the Prez Sez

AGM brings me to the end of another year as president. Another busy year with a varied and interesting list of activities as I look back.

Insects with Dennis Crawford, garden lover insect photography expert and local Radio celebrity. He is passionate about his subject and a great macro photographer

Deer with Daryl Panther others have jokingly referred to him as a poacher turned gamekeeper. He was never a poacher but he has great knowledge from years of deer farming and hunting. This is why he is a contractor to Parks Vic. Aiding in hunting and exterminating introduced pest species. And he had some interesting stories to share.

Clam Shrimp investigation with the worlds leading expert Dr Timms, ably organised and coordinated by Bill Gardiner.

Annual Park catchup with Dave Roberts, the area chief ranger. He gave us some amazing facts and figures about visitor numbers, earnings and expenditure within … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, President Report

Annual General Meeting

We were lucky to have nice weather for our AGM on Saturday 16th September.

Thirteen members attended and we covered all the usual business, the president gave his report and it is covered elsewhere in this bulletin.

Our committee for the next twelve months was elected and is:

  • President – Rodney Thompson
  • Vice President – Leigh Douglas
  • Secretary – jointly Bill and Judy Gardner
  • Treasurer – Judith Thompson
  • Committee Members:
    • David Steane
    • Mabel Brouwer
    • Charles Kerr
    • Wendy Bedggood
  • Newsletter Editor – Margo Sietsm

Activities for the coming year were discussed and the new committee will work towards organising many of the good suggestions.

We had lunch then went for a walk to Fish Falls, along the way we checked out some potential spots to install a seat. Some time ago it was decided to have a seat installed along the walk to recognise the Friends of Zumsteins who folded … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report, Meeting Report

Deer in the Grampians

Daryl Panther

There were 16 people in attendance, including a few who were interested in learning more for the purpose of hunting, not our usual audience but welcome all the same.

Daryl explained his background and how he has farmed Deer in the past and now being a contractor to Parks Vic. helping with the control of feral animals. He continued by describing the different  species of deer found in Victoria.

  • Rusa Deer are found mainly around Sydney and NSW. They have 3 points on each antler. They will breed with Sambar, but as there are only isolated populations of Rusa in Victoria and we don’t have them in the Grampians they are not an issue.
  • Sambar Deer are one of the heaviest species of deer. They are found around Mt Cole, in South Australia and also in the Otways, with a few in the Grampians area. They have 3
Read the rest
Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

Insects of the Grampians

Dennis Crawford

Dennis brought along some brilliant photos he has taken over the years, just a small selection of the ones that have fascinated him the most. With each insect he described, Dennis projected up a larger than life closeup picture to show off the best features. He is very passionate and moved from one to the other very quickly, sharing snippets of information as he went. I have done the best I can to string his information into a report for everyone who missed his brilliant presentation.

Insects occur on every continent in the world, including Antarctica!

Current estimates suggest there are 70,000 insect species in Australia, 20-30 million worldwide. But most are yet to be classified. Of this total less than 1% are pests. Their bad reputation comes because most people only notice them when they are a problem.

3/4 of all species on earth are insects. They … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Activity Report, Natural Values

From Our Park Rangers

Ranger Tammy Schoo  has sent us a detailed Grampians National Park Community Update and we have more from other staff. Thank you Tammy, Mike and Tracey. Our readers from afar really appreciate learning more about our great Park from those who work in it.

Update from Tammy:

With winter officially over and Spring (or Petyan) finally here, the Grampians National Park is starting to put on its annual wildflower show. Here’s a few finds from the Northern Grampians recently.

 

Flood recovery

Works were recently completed on the Stapylton and Asses Ears Flood Recovery Packages. Cultural heritage inspections and preservation works have been an important part of the process. After final inspections and gate removals, Asses Ears, along with a number of other roads in the north, will open mid-September.

This means that the only roads that will remain closed (pending further culvert and crossing works) are Redman and Mitchell roads … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, From Parks Victoria, Grampians Peak Trail

Eco-Burning In Winter

The Grampians National Park’s winter heathland burning program aims to provide small patches of diverse, new habitat for some of the parks most threatened small mammals whilst leaving large areas of long unburnt habitat that are important refuges from predators. This program targets heathlands throughout the park with a particular focus on areas of long unburnt heath.

Capitalising on clear, calm and dry winter weather days, for the past five years the Grampians team have been burning small patches bordering the Wannon River stretching from Yarram Gap Road to Lynches Crossing Track. The team is working to provide a mosaic of habitat for the nationally threatened long nosed potoroo and southern brown bandicoot. Using only matches to ignite the fiery grasses, in August this year the team burnt a total of five patches covering 18Ha of the 900ha burn unit; the largest being 11ha and the smallest 1ha.

To complement … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, From Parks Victoria, Natural Values

Reports From Our Reps On Committees

ADVISORY GROUP

Nothing to report this time as we have not met since the last newsletter. There’s one due soon but I won’t be able to make it and will have to rely on the minutes.

ROUND TABLE

Nothing to report this time as well. The scheduled July meeting was cancelled and not rescheduled.

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 year’s ‘Fire conference’ is being held at the Laharum Sports Club at 10 am Wednesday 18th October. The day usually runs till around 3 pm with a catered lunch. For further information and to RSVP contact Danielle Leehane at Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Meeting Report

Update from Grampians National Park Walking Track Support Group

Who we are

The Grampians Walking Track Support Group was formed by our convenor, David Witham, in 2003 to attract and coordinate volunteer interest in maintaining and improving walking tracks within the Grampians National Park.

We operate under the broad umbrella of the Community Association of Halls Gap which also undertakes other activities such as the Wildflower Show and Halls Gap Botanic Garden and provides support for Run the Gap, Halls Gap Landcare Group and the Jazz Festival.

What do we do?

In partnership with Parks Victoria, we carry out vital maintenance on popular walking tracks, such as trimming vegetation, cleaning water runoffs and clearing fallen timber.

Most of our works are carried out through the efforts of walking clubs:

  • Grampians Bushwalking Club – Heatherlie and Beehive Falls Walking Tracks
  • Warrnambool Bushwalking Club – Mount Abrupt and Chimney Pots Walking Tracks
  • Melbourne Bushwalkers – various tracks
  • Victorian Mountain Tramping Club
Read the rest
Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Miscellaneous Snippet

An Interesting History Project

‘The towneys watched back’ is a project by artist Fernando do Campo, who has been researching the histories of house sparrow introductions across the USA, Argentina and Australia. Through archival research, colonial language, and site-specific artistic interventions across Ararat, Fernando do Campo explores this local narrative and the house sparrow as a potent symbol of colonisation.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the ceremonial release of house sparrows from a balcony at the former Bull and Mouth Hotel, Barkly Street, Ararat.  As the Advertiser explained in 1867: ‘On Tuesday morning last a cage of English sparrows arrived in Ararat by coach…’ The local community of Ararat rejoiced their release … for hours afterwards wherever one or two could be seen knots of persons gathered to watch their movements…’… Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Spring Newsletter, Grampians Gariwerd History