From the Editor

Welcome 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

It has ended up quite a long missive this time, and still more and more interesting and important mail keeps arriving as I try to get this out. One of my long term interests has been how to better manage and control the feral animals which cause such huge damage to our flora and fauna. You may have seen that the Threatened Species Commissioner (federal)  is campaigning against feral cats, and yesterday I received the report from the Victorian Parliamentary committee’s report on feral animals with more of an emphasis on deer and goats. So I am really pleased that our July meeting will hear from an expert on deer, and I hope that in our next issue we’ll have a report … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, From the Editor

Prez Sez

Its been a nice autumn season of late. The weather has been beautiful. It has been cold overnight, and often foggy in the mornings, but the days have been truly magnificent. Good for walking, photography or any other activity enjoyed in our great park. Its always a pleasure to be here regardless of weather, but I have truly enjoyed myself lately, and we have had some great activities in and near the park.

The sense of achievement at the end of our planting session for Mabel was uplifting. To know we had honoured JanBert by helping to get Mabel’s garden planting well underway truly gladdens my heart. They have both done much for our group over the years, it was nice to be able to return the favour to them. And the garden will be a great example of native plantlife, a beacon of how beautiful and varied a garden … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, President Report

Peaks Trail

Mark Gallon

Works progress on the Grampians Peaks Trail with a number of upgrades to pre-existing tracks on the alignment being brought up to a sustainable standard and improved with good drainage and stone steps in certain areas.  Approximately half of the 60KM of pre-existing tracks that can be upgraded are under contract at the moment with the balance out for public tender.  We anticipate that the remaining 30km or so of pre-existing tracks on the alignment will be under contract by Summer.

A number of local and interstate Contractors have established themselves on sections of trail between the Mt William summit on the Major Mitchell Plateau to Jimmy Creek and are busy organising materials and set out of the works for this very difficult part of the project.  The work through this section could take up to a year to complete.  You may have seen recent footage on the … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Park Desk

Park Update Autumn-Winter

Dave Roberts

Planning works

Cultural Heritage Management Plan field work has been occurring since late May 2017, which will provide management advice around sites of Aboriginal significance including:

  • The Grampians Peaks Trail Walking track alignment
  • The GPT hiker camp locations
  • The new campground at Dead Bullock Creek
  • The formalisation of campgrounds at Coppermine Tk, Long Point West, Long Point East
  • The walking track realignments at Briggs Bluff, Ngamadjidj Art shelter and Golton Gorge
  • And Carparks/Trailheads for the GPT, Dead Bullock Creek and Ngamadjidj.

This planning work will be finalised and approvals granted by the end of September which will mean works associated with Fire Recovery can commence and the GPT development is a step closer to construction on the new stages.

Conserving Victoria’s Special Places

The Environment & Heritage team have been actively working on key landscape projects including Grampians Ark (Fox Control), Sallow Wattle Containment, Herbivore control (Deer & … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Park Desk

Mount Abrupt Walk – 9th April

This activity was aborted early due to unforeseen circumstances. I need to share what transpired with members.

Six of us met at 10.30 am at the Mount Abrupt car park. A new member joined up, and a couple of our committee arrived with four guests to join us for a pleasant walk up the mountain on a cold grey, drizzly day.

After completing our normal pre-activity procedures and a weather discussion we agreed to set off. (If conditions worsened, or became unsafe in anyway, we could cut short and find a hot coffee in Dunkeld)

We had only travelled about 400 metres up the track, we were not on a difficult part of the track, our pace was reasonable and measured. No one was being pushed beyond their abilities. At this point one of our guests collapsed and stopped breathing.

One of our attending members is a doctor and she … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report

Working Bee at the Brouwers

On a sunny Autumn day in late April, 14 of us gathered at the Brouwers new house.

JanBert and Mabel had been purchasing hundreds of native plants to plant in the garden around their new house. Unfortunately with JanBert’s sudden passing this was going to be a huge job for Mabel. Several working bees were organised and most of the plants were put in the ground before Mabel headed off overseas.

Our FOGGs working bee got over 150 plants planted, fertilised, watered in, mulched and a dripper watering system in place. A garden bed planted by an earlier working bee had already started growing and looking really good. In a year or two there will be a spectacular garden to look out onto from the house and it will attract many birds. We will have to include some pictures in a year or two.

We were treated to hot soup … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report

Meeting with Park Management – 26th May

For our annual catchup with Dave Roberts, we had 12 members sitting around the board table at the Parks office in Halls Gap. As usual there were many topics, and lots of information covered. I’ll try and condense it down to a shortish report.

Dave began by giving us a summary of important numbers for our park:

1.3 million visits last year, of which 500,000 visited McKenzie Falls, the most visited site in the park. 40,000 children involved in school camps and educational activities come through the park. This makes the Grampians the third most visited park in Victoria. We are beaten by the 12 apostles, with 3.8 million, and Great Otway NP is the second most visited.

There have been 30,740 volunteer hours spent in the park on a wide variety of projects. (This is the equivalent of 18 additional full time staff!) This figure may well drop with … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Meeting Report

Grampians Clam Shrimp Day – June 18

Bill Gardner

In June 2016 a new species of Clam Shrimp was found in a rock pool at Flat Rock, in the Northern Grampians. and Professor Brian Timms who studies invertebrate biodiversity in a variety of temporary waters across the inland was interested in investigating further. FOGGs decided to assist this June.

In the morning, armed with instructions from Bill and Professor Timms, volunteers went to several different high up areas across the park to collect samples of water and inhabitants. Then we met up at Laharum for Brian to check what was found and to tell us more about these surprising creatures.

  1. Lots were found on Flat Rock, Hollow Mountain and Mt Stapylton…including another new species…limited to that area? None found at Mt William or Lost Lake or track from Beehive falls to Briggs bluff. However the museum has recorded species from Mt Difficult in the past.
  2. One person
Read the rest
Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Activity Report

Caladenia audasii Update

The Caladenia audasii near Stawell is well protected with a fence which was erected with a Communities for Nature Grant we got back in 2015.

This plant was pollinated and some seed was obtained last spring. Also last Spring another plant was found in the Ararat area and so another Grant application has been submitted to get funding to protect this plant. It is also hoped the grant will allow seed to be collected from these plants which will allow propagation of this plant at Cranbourne Botanic Gardens with the intent of planting them back into protected areas.

There are currently only around ten wild plants known in Victoria. The population in central Victoria was able to be hand pollinated several years ago and plants propagated from these plants have been successfully re-introduced back into the wild. It is hoped we can do the same with our local Stawell/ Ararat … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Miscellaneous Snippet, Natural Values

Advisory Group /Round Table Meeting – April 19

Neither Wendy or I, the usual reps from FOGGS, were able to be present but Ben Gunn and David Steane were able to take our places.

These are the official minutes, I’m sure Ben or David will be happy to fill you in.

Ecological Asset Discussion – David Roberts

Fire Ecology Strategy 2011/2012

What are the assets in the Grampians National Park?

  • Water Storage
  • Tourism visitation/economic
  • Cultural Heritage – European inc Pre Settlement, National Heritage Register, Aboriginal
  • Biodiversity – Threatened Species & communities, Diversity – flora, fauna, species, Iconic Species – Western Grey, Brush tail Rock Wallaby, small mammals etc.
  • Apiary Assets, species diversity, timing
  • Comments

Need to manage the park for its complexity and diversity – No single species driving the burn program in the Grampians National Park (GNP), not single purpose management

Protection/treatment/management of non-native species including, setting priorities & competing priorities. (Fellow & Red Deer, Fox, Cat, … Read the rest

Posted in 2017 Winter Newsletter, Meeting Report