Friends of Chiltern Mt Pilot NP Newsletter #317 June 2022
FRIENDS OF CHILTERN MT-PILOT NATIONAL PARK, Inc.
President : Neville Bartlett
The June field day activity was cancelled due to the wet weather. For the remainder of the year, if the weather is forecast to be too wet, we will automatically re-schedule field days to one week later. We do not want to delay any of the re-vegetation work any longer than is necessary.
The planned audit of the signage on the White Box Walk will take place once the weather warms up a bit more. Some of the interpretive signs have faded to the point where they are extremely difficult to read and new ones will most likely be needed.
Star Psyllids– Protyora sterculiae – Eileen Collins
Psyllids are known as lerp insects because of the lerp’ covering they construct for protection. However, the two psyllids that occur on Kurrajongs do not have this fixed covering. The Star Psyllid lays its eggs on the upper surface of the leaves and the young nymph that hatches can be recognized by a red stripe which extends, on the upper surface, from the head to the tip of the abdomen. These psyllids produce wool-like filaments from the tips of their abdomens and when clustered give a star-shaped appearance. The adult psyllid is 2 to 3 mm long, has red eyes and is green with darker green stripes across its body,.
Star Psyllids were named by Froggat in 1901.
According to the literature "control is seldom required since predators and parasites keep their numbers in check."
However in the case of Jan's infested tree there is serious leaf drop.
These notes were condensed from an excellent article written by P Milthorpe and G Cunningham in a 2006 issue of a NSW DPI newsletter.
Star Psyllids (Protyora sterculiae). Photos: Jan Heywood
Ranger’s Report – Brian Pritchard
The wet winter has seen the best display of fungi in the park for a very long time, but the downside is it also negatively impacts on the condition of roads and tracks. Works have been undertaken to clear and clean culverts and will continue over the next few weeks.
A compliance operation conducted over the long weekend resulted in a number of infringements notices being issued for timber removal and off-road vehicle use. However, these activities were probably less than expected and there was a good awareness amongst most visitors.
Swift Parrots are still using the park and are being seen in the nearby Warby Ovens NP. Birdlife Australia have completed another program to control noisy miners to assist with threatened species recovery.
A fox control program in the Barambogie has been completed and monitoring and control of other pest animals is continuing.
Just another reminder for volunteers to ensure they are registered in Park Connect and also record their Working with Children checks so that they can be part of any approved volunteer activities within the park.
Working With Children
A while back the Victorian Government passed a law that requires anyone working with children to have passed a ‘working with children check’. This seemed quite a reasonable requirement until it became evident that all people volunteering for Parks Victoria would have to pass this check regardless of how unlikely it was that they would encounter children as part of the volunteering work. Our Friends very rarely have children attend our events, and if so, they are with their parents. This situation has led many groups and organisations of friends groups to lobby for less stringent requirements but such representations have been rejected by the government. To make matters worse, failure to meet this requirement is being implicitly linked to the provision of insurance cover while volunteering.
Some of us have already gone through the process of applying for and receiving this check. It takes a few weeks to receive your card once the application process is completed.
Instructions on what to do can be found at: https://www.parkconnect.vic.gov.au/Volunteer/applywwcc.
You can get started by going to this web address: https://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/. People who have recently gone through the application process, highly recommend the approach of doing it through a local Post Office. In my case, even though I attempted to do it completely online, I did need to go to a Post Office to verify my ID.
NOTE: the government has not indicated how it plans to police this requirement and Friends do not wish to act in a policing role in this situation. We believe that enough of our members have completed an application, or are proceeding with an application, to reduce the risk to children within the Park to absolutely minimal levels.
Anyone who comes to our field days in the coming months will be welcomed and respected regardless of whether they have performed a WWC check.
If you have any questions, concerns or need some assistance, please contact us.
The 2022 AGM has been deferred slightly this year and will now take place at the usual time on Saturday 5th November 2022. It is hoped that it will take the usual format of an afternoon walk followed by a dinner, the AGM and a guest speaker.
Rainfall May 2022: 71 mm. Total for year-to-date 2022: 434 mm.
In 2021 we had 298 mm up to the end of May.
The average annual rainfall for Chiltern is 689 mm.
NEXT MEETING – SATURDAY 2nd JULY 2022
There are two re-vegetation activities planned for next weekend. One group will head to the Rutherglen Natural Features Reserve and the other will head to the area behind Frogs Hollow off Barnawartha Road.
Bun will be provided as usual.
You will need: sturdy shoes, gloves, warm clothes, probably rain gear, water and maybe a snack.
It would help to have a digging tool (crowbar, shovel or mattock) and a chair.
Meet at the Chiltern Post Office at 09:00am
Upcoming field days:
Sunday 7th August 2022: Grasslands: Bush for Birds planting, 600 trees and shrubs. This will be a big effort, so all those who can come, can they please put this day aside.
Saturday 3rd September 2022: wildflower walks and a Wheel Cactus expedition.
Sunday 1st October 2022: wildflower walk, wildflower photography and a Wheel Cactus expedition.
Dates for 2022-23
For 2022: Saturday 2nd July, Sunday 7th August, Saturday 3rd September, Sunday 1st October, Saturday 5th November and Sunday 4th December.
For 2023: Sunday 5th February, Saturday 4th March, Sunday 2nd April, Saturday 6th May, Sunday 4th June, Saturday 1st July, Sunday 6th August, Saturday 2nd September, Sunday 8th October, Saturday 4th November and Sunday 3rd December 2023.
Rule of Thumb: For even months, the field day is held on the first Sunday of the month and for odd months, it is held on the first Saturday of the month.
Membership - It's time to renew
Membership will expire on June 30th 2022. Thank you to all who have taken out membership this year. We hope you will continue your support. Friends have achieved a great deal during the past few years. Surveys for plants, birds and monitoring, maintaining and surveying mammal boxes, tree planting, weed control and provision of brochures, interpretive signage and park furniture are just some of our contributions. Your support for our activities is valued and your membership renewal is important to our cause.
Please ensure your contact details are current.
Please find enclosed my membership of $15 for 2022-23. The fee covers the whole family and includes 11 newsletters.
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