Visitor from Tennessee

I was surprised and pleased to have an email via the webpage from the USA. Janet Martin, a friend of the Great Smoky Mountains NP in Tennessee, would be in Halls Gap in early November, was FOGGS doing anything then? Well, we had nothing planned, but I was free and had such good memories of visiting her park back in the 1980’s with my husband when he was on a work visit to nearby Huntsville, Alabama. So on a perfect November day we climbed most of the way up Mt Rosea, enjoying magnificent views and wildflowers.

 … Read the rest

Posted in 2016 Summer Newsletter, Activity Reports

Orchid Protection

You may remember that this time last year we were successful in our application for a grant to fence off an area in the Ironbarks state Park near Stawell to protect a very rare orchid, and later, we hope, a reintroduction of this orchid.

With Parks help we engaged a contractor, but the very dry weather that Stawell has endured this past year means that it is only now that the fence is going up. The soil has been iron hard.… Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Spring Newsletter, Activity Reports

Grampians Peak Trail: Bugiga Campground Report

On 24th July ten of us met at the Mt Rosea Car park for a walk into the Bugiga campground. We headed up the track in very overcast weather and met Mark Whyte the new parky looking after tracks and roads. He escorted us to the campground, we arrived just as a heavy shower came through. We took cover under the shelter and experienced the gale wind sweeping up the mountain gap and straight through the shelter, which has been aligned to take advantage of the view but does not give protection from the prevailing wind. While in the shelter we noted that there were no tables only long bench style seats. The campground has been constructed with steel and timber. The walk ways are all raised timber which blend in with the surrounds, the tent pads are hard wood and also raised. We did note there was nowhere … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Summer Newsletter, Activity Reports

Dead Bullock Falls Walk (August 22)

Dead bullock falls 1

Six FOGGs members met at the Dead Bullock Falls camping ground on Roses Gap Road. Present were Will and Proo, Alison, Rodney and Jan-Bert and Mabel. We followed the very pretty creek with numerous small waterfalls until we reached the first escarpment where a large waterfall dropped into a sandy pond. From here we followed the southern branch of the stream up two further escarpments and passed two more very beautiful high waterfalls. From the third escarpment we could have walked to Mount Difficult to the south, however we chose to walk to the north and climbed further to reach a lovely little cave perched above a spectacular rock wall. We ate our lunch here before returning to the cars following the northern arm of the creek back past further water falls.
Dead bullock falls 2
Unfortunately the area had been very badly burnt during the fire but it was lovely to see the … Read the rest

Posted in 2015 Spring Newsletter, Activity Reports

Field Naturalist Survey

Searching for the Squirrel Glider

On the Queen’s Birthday weekend, this year, the Fauna Survey Group (FSG) of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV) visited the Grampians to survey for arboreal mammals, in particular the Squirrel Glider. The group carries out fauna surveys on private and public land in accordance with its Department of Environment and Primary Industries research permit.

Eleven members travelled west and camped at the Plantation Camping Ground, where they were hosted by Ryan Duffy and Dave Handscombe from Parks Victoria. By and large the weather was very kind to us. On Sunday we were joined by Margo Sietsma and some of her family for some

Seven survey areas were identified by Parks Victoria – the Dadswell’s Bridge, Golton, Silverband Falls and Heatherlie areas within the Grampians National Park (NP), Deep Lead and Lonsdale Nature Conservation Reserves (NCR) as well as the Ledcourt State Forest (SF). … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Spring Newsletter, Activity Reports

Wildflower Show

The Grampians Wildflower Show in Halls Gap would be impossible to present without the support of FOGG members from outside town. We introduced a lot of changes this year, with very mixed success. The main setting, in the Botanic Garden, looked beautiful, but proved challenging to our older visitors. There was a communication failure re the PV display for the hall, but the banner from the Hamilton Field naturalists was superb. And we didn’t explain well enough our decision to name less of our flowers and encourage folk to look them up in our resources. On the other hand, many visitors welcomed the changes

We still struggle for people with enough time to manage the event, so whether the show continues is still in doubt.… Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Spring Newsletter, Activity Reports

Activity Report – Zumsteins Tree Planting

IMG_0107 IMG_0104 IMG_0103MAY  27 – Zumsteins Tree Planting

On Tuesday 27th May there was a tree planting at Zumsteins.  FOGGs received a grant last year to do a planting around the kiosk area of McKenzie Falls and the money needed to be spent by 30th May. When the fire went through in February it was decided to relocate the work to the Zumsteins area. This activity was organised by Katherine Dyson who arranged for students from Stawell Secondary College to do the planting with some help from Proo and Wendy. The rain held off for us and we got a few hundred trees planted. They were a nice group of students and also had a biology lesson on how the bush recovers after fire. It is sad we are losing Katherine as she does such a great job with the students.

WendyRead the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

Activity Report – Field Naturalist Survey

JUNE 7 & 8 : Field Naturalist Survey

The aim of the project was to survey  for arboreal mammals, in particular Squirrel Gliders. The group used remote cameras, hair tubes and spotlighting. A few Foggies were able to join them spotlighting near Silverband Falls, but unfortunately saw nothing interesting at all. It was only after I left that they even saw a wallaby!

MargoRead the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

Activity Report – Ecological Burns

JUNE 11 – Ecological Burns

On 11th June we had a presentation by Parks and DEPI staff: Jill Read ‘Fire and environment management officer’, Ryan Duffy ‘Biodiversity and Heritage officer’ from Halls Gap, Glen Rudolph ‘Planning Manager Wimmera District, Land and  Fire’, and  Andrew Govanstone ‘South West Bushfire Risk Landscape Planning’ DEPI. They explained some of the processes and considerations put into planned burns. This is a very large and complex subject and I have tried to give a brief overview of some of the things presented to us.

The Grampians is a fire prone landscape and has a high occurrence of lightning and so most of the species are well adapted to fire. 70% of the vegetation requires fire for regeneration and is fire dependant, 28% is influenced by fire but requires much longer intervals between fires, 1% is fire sensitive and is severely damaged by fire and 1% … Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Winter Newsletter, Activity Reports

APRIL 3: Meeting at Parks Office

 

 

About a dozen people met in the Mural room and Mike Stevens and Ryan Duffy gave us an update on park activities.

 

Mike explained in much detail the events of the January Northern Grampians Complex fire. On Jan 15 several lightening strikes started fires across the Grampians, Parks, CFA and DEPI staff worked hard to put these fires out, but inaccessibility and bad weather lead to a couple of fires in the Wartook area not being able to be controlled. Mike described to us how events unfolded and showed us a program called Phoenix Rapidfire which illustrated how the fire progressed. The program had been used during the fire to predict the fire behaviour and to give people warning of the likely path it would affect. Phoenix Rapidfire was developed after the 2006 bushfires and has been improved each year as more information from each fire season Read the rest

Posted in 2014 Autumn Newsletter, Activity Reports, Meeting Report