Heatherlie Quarry, Grampians NP
Sunday 12 October 2014
Six members of the Grampians Bushwalking Club cleared the Heatherlie Quarry track using tools provided by Parks Victoria. A pruning machine and loppers were used to clear the track and a chainsaw to clear fallen trees. Visitors met during the working bee expressed their appreciation of the work being done.
The club will check the track a few times a year to keep it under control.
Based on an article by Graeme Edwards, Grampians Bushwalking Club Newsletter, Summer 2015
Track Work Weekend, Bogong High Plains
Friday 21 - Sunday 23 November 2014
Melbourne Bushwalkers joined with the Friends of Bogong and Parks Victoria rangers Ross Grant (Ranger in Charge, Bogong Management Unit) and Iris Curran (Mt Beauty Parks Office) for track work on a section of the Australian Alps Walking Track near Cope Hut and below Mt Cope.
Our task was to cover the eroded area next to the permatred tiles that had been affected by ice-crystal heave. To do this, we pinned jute sacking and sterilised hay rolled into 2m lengths onto the exposed areas to protect the bare earth so that native plants can re-vegetate it. We also hand weeded the invasive weed 'sheep sorrel' found along the walking track, but this proved to be difficult because of the weed's very long running roots, so the rangers will come along later to hand spray this invasive weed.
The section of the AAWT we worked on is marketed by commercial groups as a guided Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing walk between the alpine ski villages of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.
The weekend was a special for the Friends of Bogong who were celebrating their 30th anniversary.
Précised from an article by Rod Novak, The News of the Melbourne Bushwalkers Inc, January 2015
Sallow Willow Eradication, Falls Creek area
Friday 23 - Sunday 25 January
Sallow willow (Salix cinerea) is a highly invasive exotic species that displaces native alpine vegetation and disrupts aquatic nutrient regimes and water flows. Willows are considered a grave threat to alpine bogs and associated fen communities. The 2003 fires in northeast Victoria burnt most of the high plains, laying bare areas previously thickly covered by bog and wet heath plant communities. This allowed an opportunistic mass germination of willow seedlings, blown in from surrounding areas.
Control programs to eradicate the willows have been carried out since 2004 by Parks Victoria and other government bodies, using volunteers and contractors.
During the Australia Day long weekend, 30 volunteers from various bushwalking clubs participated in the annual sallow willow eradication weekend organised by the Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation committee in conjunction with Parks Victoria. We were accommodated at the Alpha ski lodge in Falls Creek.
Each day, the 30 volunteers worked in groups of 10 in different areas near Falls Creek, supervised by a Parks Victoria ranger. The rangers used maps indicating bogs identified and surveyed for willows to set our work areas. (A total of 63 bogs have been surveyed; 75% contained willows, and 50% had at least one large willow that could be a source of seed in the future.)
Each person was armed with secateurs, a 'dabber' of herbicide, plus some additional loppers and saws. The control method is to cut each willow down to ground level and paint every cut surface with herbicide - the aim being to kill the plant by poisoning the root system and stopping off-cuts from sprouting. Thunder storms and lightening on Saturday afternoon meant that the groups returned to base an hour or so earlier than otherwise. The weather on Sunday was perfect for working. In some locations many more willows were found than the rangers expected. We also cut and poisoned feral apple trees.
Each willow found is GPSed as part of the program to collect and update information about sallow willow distribution. The location of control efforts and estimates of control effectiveness help to prioritise locations for future control and to identify potential seed sources.
The rangers and participants considered the weekend to be a great success, both in terms of willow eradicated and enjoyment.
Charlie Ablitt, Bushwalking Tracks and Conservation Program Coordinator