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I am writing to provide you with information on Parks Victoria’s upcoming deer control trial in the Howitt-Wellington Plains area of the Alpine National Park.

We have seen a significant expansion of deer populations in the Alpine National Park over the past decade and of particular concern is the increasing signs of deer activity at higher elevations. This corresponds with observed increases in the impacts of deer on significant environmental values, including endangered alpine peatlands.

The control trial will investigate whether ground shooting can be used to reduce deer impacts on these significant environmental values in selected areas of the Alpine National Park. And, if so, what are the most efficient and effective techniques.

Coordinated ground shooting has proven to be an effective method of invasive animal control throughout Australia. The technique is humane and highly target specific, with no impact on off-target species.

Parks Victoria is partnering with the Australian Deer Association (ADA) and the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) to deliver the control component of the trial. ADA and SSAA members have significant experience and expertise in deer hunting and will observe state and/or national codes of practice and standard operating procedures. This will ensure that best practices in animal welfare are observed.

This program complements other deer control programs being implemented across the state by Parks Victoria, the ADA and the SSAA.

Recreational deer hunting is a legitimate activity permitted in the area of the park where the trial is being conducted. The trial differs from recreational hunting in that it is aimed at protecting alpine peatlands and will therefore be restricted to the areas where these occur. In these areas, Parks Victoria’s trial will complement the recreational harvest and provide information on the control regime needed, in addition to the recreational harvest, to reduce the impacts of deer to an acceptable level.

The park will not be closed when deer control work is being undertaken, although some localised access restrictions will be applied. Signs will be placed at major access points advising visitors when deer control is being undertaken and which tracks are closed. All personnel involved will be working under the supervision of Parks Victoria staff. They will be readily identifiable and will act in accordance with all legal requirements to ensure the safe use of firearms.

At the conclusion of the deer control trial, Parks Victoria will provide stakeholders and the community with the results and the potential for deer control to continue into the future.

The next control operation is scheduled for the 5th, 6th and 7th April 2017. The attached map shows the area in which deer control will occur.

Should you wish to know the dates of future operations please register you interest with me via  email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). You will then be contacted once dates are finalised.

Please do not hesitate contact me if you have any questions or would like more information on this project.

Yours sincerely

Mike Dower

Area Chief Ranger

Foothills and Southern Alps

There are a number of planned burns set to be ignited over the next couple of days if conditions are favorable. For more information and to stay up to date, follow the link below.

http://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/bushfire-fuel-and-risk-management/planned-burns

 

Planned burn status - definitions

Ready

Planned burns that may commence in the next 10 days when the weather and fuel conditions are suitable.

Authorisation required

A 'Ready' planned burn is waiting for approval for ignition; this is likely to occur in the next few days.

Ignition authorised

The planned burn has been approved for ignition, likely within the next 24 hours, subject to weather and resources. This approval is a final check that it is appropriate and safe to conduct the planned burn.

Ignition

The planned burn has been ignited (in whole or part depending on burn size and/or situation). There is active fire within the area of the planned burn.



For the latest information about when planned burns are happening near you go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn, download the                 VicEmergency app or call the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226.

Gippsland Planned Burned update 28/3/17 can be found here

 

It’s been all hands on deck recently with an important project to restore one of Lake Eildon National Park’s historic huts, located within the Fraser Block of the park.

Work to restore the Stones Outstation Historic Hut to its former glory is now complete, thanks to the help of some dedicated volunteers.

Parks Victoria is proud of the productive partnership it has formed with the Idlers 4WD Club of Victoria and the Victorian High Country Huts Association (VHCHA).

Throughout 2016, the volunteers worked together to undertake the planning stages and prepare the timber for the restoration works. The hands-on work was completed during a week-long working bee in March this year.

The Stone family's grazing property in the late nineteenth century extended from the Coller Bay area to Italian Gully. The family home was on Perfect Cure Creek and they also had an outstation and stockyards at Station Creek.

The outstation hut is constructed of timber palings lining the inside of a notched log framework, with a corrugated iron roof. It remains a fine example of bush carpentry.

Parks Victoria Ranger-Lake Eildon, Bonnie Abbottsmith Youl said it is incredible to see the passion the volunteers have shown towards the restoration project and their ongoing dedication to the Park.

“Eight volunteers from the Idlers, along with assistance from the VHCHA Regional Hut Maintenance Officer, worked tirelessly every day using their many years of experience to ensure that the Stones Outstation Hut survives for many years to come and allows future generations to experience a bit of the life of early Australian settlers,” said Bonnie.

 

“All the Parks Victoria staff and volunteers involved are delighted with the restoration and are pleased that visitors can now once again enjoy this attraction. Many thanks to all involved!”

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Authorised Officers partnered with members from Four

Wheel Drive Victoria over the Labour Day holiday weekend to undertake education patrols and

engage with users of recreation sites.

FFMVic Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Chris Stephenson said: “The Labour Day holiday weekend

was another great opportunity for visitors to enjoy Gippsland’s State Forests.”

“Our Authorised Officers spent time patrolling the region’s forests with members from Four Wheel

Drive Victoria, in a joint effort to engage with people about their camping experiences and to pass

on information about responsible behaviour when using our forests and parks,” Mr Stephenson

said.

“It was good to see that most people were doing the right thing when it comes to camping, walking,

riding and driving in our forests.”

“Unfortunately, despite our education efforts and the responsible behaviour shown by most people,

Authorised Officers were disappointed to find unattended campfires at a number of sites.”

“If anybody is still unsure about how to safely light, maintain and put out their campfire, we strongly

encourage them to check the guidelines.” (www.ffm.vic.gov.au)

“It is concerning to see that the message is not being heard by some. We can’t emphasise enough

how critical it is to make sure your campfire is completely extinguished with water until it is cool to

touch and safe to leave.”

If you see something, say something and report irresponsible or illegal behaviour at our recreation

sites to DELWP on 136 186 or to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Media Release on Operation Blocksplitter from DELWP.  Operation Block Splitter is a state-wide compliance program targeting the illegal removal of large quantities of firewood from public land.

DELWP have issued a Temporary Closure notice for Big Creek Road

Fire, Track Closures and Incident Information on the Crooked River Waterford region from the Vic Emergency Community Information Newsletter No. 5.