2019 World Ranger Day

Yesterday (Wednesday 31st July 2019) was World Ranger Day which commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural treasures.  World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st of July.

The VKFF program has a special activator certificate on offer for any amateur who activated a VKFF reference on World Ranger Day.

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My digging around shows that a total of 23 amateurs took part as Activators.  A total of 29 different parks were activated.

  1. Andrew VK1DA
    • Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860
  2. Ian VK1DI/2
    • New England National Park VKFF-0385
    • Oxley Wild Rivers National Park VKFF-0406
  3. Gerard VK2IO/5
    • Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation ParkVKFF-1114
    • Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276
  4. Ken VK2KYO
    • Murray Valley Regional Park VKFF-1785
  5. Brett VK3FLCS
    • Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763
  6. Mark VK3PI
    • Heathcote-Graytown National Park VKFF-0624
  7. Peter VK3PF
    • Tarra Bulga National Park VKFF-0480
    • Traralgon South Flora Reserve VKFF-2465
    • Traralgon South Flora & Fauna Reserve VKFF-2464
    • Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287
    • Gormandale Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2325
  8. Peter VK3TKK
    • The Spit Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2452
  9. Rob VK4AAC/3
    • Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132
  10. Neil VK4HNS
    • Tamborine National Park VKFF-0475
  11. Grant VK4JAZ
    • Pooh Corner Nature Reserve VKFF-2878
  12. Steve VK4JSS
    • Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525
  13. Ade VK4SOE
    • Sundown National Park VKFF-0471
  14. John VK5BJE
    • Mylor Conservation Park VKFF-0785
  15. Adrian VK5FANA
    • Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755
  16. Marija VK5FMAZ
    • Mount George Conservation Park VKFF-0784
  17. Keith VK5OQ/3
    • Alpine National Park VKFF-0619
  18. Paul VK5PAS
    • Mount George Conservation Park VKFF-0784
  19. Peter VK5PET
    • Tolderol Game Reserve VKFF-1752
  20. Mike VK6MB/3
    • Wychitella Conservation Reserve VKFF-2032
    • Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236
  21. Phil VK6ADF
    • Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800
  22. Hans VK6XN
    • Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940
  23. Angela VK7FAMP
    • South Arm Nature Recreation Area VKFF-2929

THANKS to everyone who took part.  It certainly turned out to be a very popular day.  The VKFF program will be running similar activation days on future special dates.

Remember, if you activated a park, and would like a special 2019 World Ranger Day certificate, please drop me a quick email at…..vk5pas@wia.org.au

Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 and VKFF-0784, and 2019 World Ranger Day

Yesterday (Wednesday 31st July 2019) was World Ranger Day, and after finishing work a little earlier, I headed out to one of my local parks, the Mount George Conservation Park 5CP-147 & VKFF-0784.

I have activated and qualified this park many times over.  However, it was close to home and handy, as I did not finish work until after 3.00 p.m. local time.

Mount George is located about 26 km east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the Mount George Conservation Park.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

World Ranger Day is observed annually on the 31st day of July and commemorates Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and celebrates the critical work Rangers do to protect the worlds natural and cultural treasures.

Believe it or not, about 149 rangers were lost in 2019 alone.  Amazing.

images

Below are a few videos on World Ranger Day.

The Mount George Conservation Park is located on the northern side of the busy South Eastern Freeway.  The park was proclaimed on the 7th November 1996 and conserves 85 hectares of important native vegetation in the Mount Lofty Ranges ‘Adelaide Hills’.  The park was originally 67 hectares in size before the boundaries were extended in 2003, adding a further 18 hectares.

The park is characterised by steep slopes adorned with Stringybark Open Forest.  The State endangered Mountain Gum can be found in the park.  The park also contains creeks, wetlands, and freshwater bogs.  The Mount George summit, 520 metres, is located within the park.  Sadly it does not have the required prominence for the Summits on the Air (SOTA) program.

I set up in the picnic ground area at the end of Mount George Road.  I used one of the wooden tables and benches and stretched out the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

My only gripe with this location is the fact that people visit this part of the park with their dogs which run amok, piddling and pooing and running off-leash.  Dogs are permitted in this section of the park, but they are required to be kept on a lead.  I have never seen this occur and have never seen it policed.

And this activation did not disappoint.  I had one dog piddle on my squid pole and my battery, with the owner hardly blinking an eye.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the Mount George Conservation Park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Protected Planet.

I was set up and ready to go by about 0610 UTC (3.40 p.m. local time).  First in the log was Ade VK4SOE/p in the Sundown National Park VKFF-0471.

I logged a total of 35 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK6, VK7, and New Zealand.  This included the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Ade VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  • Peter VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)
  • Rob VK4AAC/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  • Rob VK2VH/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  • Gerard VK2IO/5 (Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276)
  • Brett VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  • Steve VK4JSS/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)

This was Steve VK4JSS first ever park activation.  It was great to get Steve in the log Park to Park.

I then moved to 20m where I logged Hans VK6XN who was activating the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940.  This was followed by Rick VK5VCR who was quite low down but very readable and then Peter VK6RZ.

I then moved down to the 80m band where I logged 12 stations including the following Park to Park contacts:-

  • Brett VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  • Adrian VK5FANA/p (Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755)
  • Mike VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  • Peter VK3PF/p (Gormandale Flora Reserve VKFF-2325)

I then moved back to 40m where I logged Hans VK6XN/p in the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940 for a second band, and then Brett VK2VW

IMG_2389

It was now around 5.15 p.m. and my wife Marija VK5FMAZ arrived at the park.  Marija’s first contact was with Brett VK2VW, followed by Hans VK6XN/p in the Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940.

Marija logged 10 stations on 40m from VK2, VK4, VK5, VK6 and VK7 before callers dried up.  It was late afternoon and the 40m band had fallen out to Victoria.

We then moved back down to the 80m band where Marija logged 9 stations including a Park to Park with Mike VK6MB/3 in the Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236.

IMG_2386

It was now freezing cold.  The temperature had dropped to about 3 deg C and the local time was about 6.30 p.m.  We packed up and were about to drive out of the park when I found Andrew VK1DA calling CQ on 7.144 from the Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860.  After we logged Andrew, he was called by Phil VK6ADF/p who was in the Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800.  Andrew kindly allowed Marija and I to log Phil Park to Park.

Together we made a total of 86 QSOs on 20, 40, & 80m SSB. This included 19 Park to Park QSOs.

Thanks to everyone who called us and thanks to all of the activators who took part in the 2019 World Ranger Day activation event.

IMG_2391

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2VW
  2. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  3. VK2YK
  4. VK7OTC
  5. VK6GLX
  6. VK4SMA
  7. VK5BJE
  8. VK4TJ
  9. VK4/AC8WN
  10. VK4/VE6XT
  11. VK1DA/p (Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860)
  12. VK6ADF/p (Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800)

Marija worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5FANA
  3. VK5LA
  4. VK3SQ
  5. VK3NBL
  6. VK5VCR
  7. VK5SFA
  8. VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  9. VK2YK

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK4SOE/p (Sundown National Park VKFF-0471)
  2. VK3PF/p (Callignee Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2287)
  3. VK4AAC/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  4. VK2VH/3 (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  5. VK2KNV/m
  6. VK3MCK
  7. VK2IO/5 (Lake Eyre National Park VKFF-0276)
  8. VK4SMA
  9. VK4FDJL/8
  10. VK2LEE
  11. VK4FARR
  12. VK3SQ
  13. VK2KYO
  14. VK2NP
  15. VK5BJE
  16. VK3ATO
  17. VK2YMU
  18. VK2EXA
  19. ZL1TM
  20. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  21. VK4HAT
  22. VK4NH
  23. VK4DXA
  24. ZL4TY/VK4
  25. VK2PKT
  26. VK4RF
  27. VK4HA
  28. VK4JSS/p (Daisy Hill Conservation Park VKFF-1525)
  29. VK2ADB
  30. VK3FIAN
  31. VK4COA
  32. VK3ZLT
  33. VK6RZ
  34. VK4VXX
  35. VK4/AG7WB
  36. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  37. VK2VW
  38. VK6KJ
  39. VK1DA/p (Red Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-0860)
  40. VK6ADF/p (Burma Road Nature Reserve VKFF-2800)

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK6XN/p (Stinton Cascades Nature Reserve VKFF-2940)
  2. VK5VCR
  3. VK6RZ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK3FLCS/p (Lerderderg State Park VKFF-0763)
  2. VK5FANA/p (Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park VKFF-1755)
  3. VK5VCR
  4. VK2LEE
  5. VK3VKT/m
  6. VK5WG
  7. VK7ROY
  8. VK6MB/3 (Wychitella Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2236)
  9. VK3SQ
  10. VK5AYL
  11. VK2YK
  12. VK3PF/p (Gormandale Flora Reserve VKFF-2325)
  13. VK5BJE
  14. VK3SQ
  15. VK7ME
  16. VK5LA
  17. VK3PF
  18. VK3MPR
  19. VK7FJFD
  20. VK2TTP
  21. VK3HN
  22. VK3NRG/4

 

 

References.

Department for Environment and Heritage, 2006, Mount George Conservation Park Management Plan.

The Thin Green Line, 2019, <https://thingreenline.org.au/world-ranger-day/>, viewed 1st August 2019

O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1737

My second park for Tuesday 30th July 2019 was the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park VKFF-1737.  This was another park that I had never activated previously.

O’Halloran Hill is located about 16 km south of the city centre of Adelaide.

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Above:- Map showing the location of the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park south of Adelaide.  Map courtesy of Protected Planet.

The O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park is about 253 hectares (630 acres) in size and was established on the 7th day of September 1989.  It is located in the suburbs of Seaview Downs and O’Halloran Hill.  The park is popular with walkers, joggers, horse riders and mountain bike riders.   Parts of the park are leased to recreational organisations involved in archery, target shooting and model aircraft.

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Above:- An aerial shot of the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park looking north.  Image courtesy of Google maps

O’ Halloran Hill takes its name after Major Thomas Shuldham O’Halloran (1797-1870), the first Police Commissioner of South Australia and first Police Magistrate of South Australia.  He had a reputation for belligerence, with one of his mounted troopers from the 1840s commented that “Old Major O’Halloran used to say ‘I never hated a man longer than a day'”.

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Above:- Major Thomas O’Halloran.  Image courtesy State Library SA

In June 1840 the brig ‘Maria‘ wrecked near Kingston in the South East of South Australia.  Local aboriginal people are reported to be responsible for the massacre of all 25 survivors.  Governor Gawler ordered O’Halloran, who at that time was the Police Commissioner and Police Inspector Alexander Tolmer to lead a party of police and sailors to the area to find and execute those responsible.  On the 22nd day of August 1840 following several days of investigation and interviews, two local Ngarrindjeri aboriginal men were publicly hanged on the Coorong in front of 65 members of their tribe.  Upon O’Halloran’s orders, their bodies remained In situ as a warning against violence towards Europeans by the aborigines.

2560px-Major_O'Halloran's_expedition_to_the_Coorong,_August_1840_-_Google_Art_Project

Above:- Major O’Halloran’s expedition to the Coorong, August 1840. Painting by an unknown artist, held at the Art Gallery of South Australia.  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

O’Halloran established a farm at what is now O’Halloran Hill.  It was called Lizard Lodge.  O’Halloran died at his home “Lizard Lodge”, and was buried at Christ Church, O’Halloran Hill, an Anglican church which he helped to establish and is also located in the suburb, now overlooking the old Glenthorne CSIRO Research station, which is soon to become the Glenthorne National Park.

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Above:- Lizard Lodge 1865.  Image courtesy of State Library SA.

At one stage, virtually all of the O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park was cleared grazing land.  However, over the last 30 years, much of the area has been revegetated.  In the decade prior to the park’s proclamation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, the previous management agency (the State Planning Authority) made a concerted effort to re-vegetate the area and sponsored mass plantings of thousands of trees.

It is believed that 26,500 trees were planted in the late 1970s and more than 78,000 were planted from 1990 to 2000.

The park contains Grey Box woodland, Golden Wattle, Sheoak, Tea Tree, River Red Gum, Peppermint Box, Grevillia and Hakea.

The park consists of undulating land and there are some magnificent views to be enjoyed of the Adelaide metropolitan coastline.

And if you head to the northern section of the park there are some terrific views of the city of Adelaide.

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Above:- View of the city of Adelaide from the park.

The park is inhabited by various native fauna including Common Brushtail Possum and Common Ringtail Possum.  Birds SA have recorded about 68 species of bird in the park including Weebill, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Australian Magpie, Silvereye, Eastern Rosella, Australian Golden Whistler, Magpielark, Brown Songlark, and Mistletoebird.  Some of those I sighted appear in my photos below.

I parked in the carpark on Majors Road near Adams Road.  There is a large carpark here at the start of a number of Mountain bike trails and walking trails.

I ran the Yaesu FT-857d, 40 watts, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole for this activation.

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Above:- An aerial view of the park showing my operating spot.  Image courtesy of Google maps.

Despite there being large power lines nearby, I was surprised to hear a low noise floor when I turned on the transceiver.  First in the log was Geoff VK3SQ, followed by Marc VK3OHM, Steve VK3YW, and then John VK4TJ.

It only took me about 12 minutes to get 10 contacts in the log, and I had the park under my belt for VKFF.  It may have been a weekday, but there were plenty of callers and within an hour I had 39 contacts in the log and was just 5 short of the required 44 contacts to qualify the park for the global WWFF program.

I also had two Park to Park contacts in the log, with Ian VK1DI/2 in the Gibraltar Range National Park VKFF-0197 and Mike VK6MB/3 in the Leaghur Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2367.

DSC_9747

However, callers had dried up, so I lowered the squid pole and inserted the links for the 80m band and headed for 3.610.  First, in the log, there was Adrian VK5FANA, followed by John VK5BJE, Ian VK5KKT and then John VK5MJC.  Unfortunately, they were my only callers despite the band being wide open across South Australia.

To complete the activation I moved up to 14.310 on the 20m band where I logged 8 stations from VK2 and VK4.

IMG_2377

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3SQ
  2. VK3OHM
  3. VK3YW
  4. VK4TJ
  5. VK4/AC8WN
  6. VK4/VE6XT
  7. VK3ZLT
  8. VK2VW
  9. VK2IO/5
  10. VK3BCM
  11. VK3AHR
  12. VK3PF
  13. VK2NP
  14. VK5BJE
  15. VK3DBP
  16. VK1DI/2 (Gibraltar Range National Park VKFF-0197)
  17. VK4NH
  18. VK4DXA
  19. ZL4TY/VK4
  20. VK3MKE
  21. VK5LG
  22. VK5CZ
  23. VK3AWG/m
  24. VK5KC
  25. VK3MCK
  26. VK4RF
  27. VK4HA
  28. VK2LEE
  29. VK4HNS
  30. VK4FARR
  31. VK4MWB
  32. VK2SS
  33. VK2KNV/m
  34. VK5FANA
  35. VK6MB/3 (Leaghur Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2367)
  36. VK3BBB
  37. VK7OT
  38. VK2XSE/m
  39. VK3ZE

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5FANA
  2. VK5BJE
  3. VK5KKT
  4. VK5MJC

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2NP
  2. VK4RF
  3. VK4HA
  4. VK2JON
  5. VK4TJ
  6. VK4/AC8WN
  7. VK4/VE6XT
  8. VK2YES

 

References.

Birds SA, 2019, <https://birdssa.asn.au/location/ohalloran-hill-recreation-park/>, viewed 1st August 2019

Department for Environment and Heritage, 2008, O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park Management Plan.

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Halloran_Hill_Recreation_Park>, viewed 1st August 2019

Wikipedia, 2019, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Shuldham_O%27Halloran>, viewed 1st August 2019