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Mount Disappointment(Kinglake National Park)

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Jayson Filomeno

on 4 September 2013

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Transcript of Mount Disappointment(Kinglake National Park)

Distinguishing Features (Where To from Here)
Affects & Changes
Mount Disappointment
(Kinglake National Park)




Outdoor & Environmental Studies-2nd Edition (Thompson)
Mount Disappointment is an area that consists of a high density of trees. Mt Disappointment’s forest ecosystem is dominated by trees that are at least two metres tall in height and provide a canopy. Together with native wildlife, including birds, mammals and many insects they all help to provide a basis of a forest ecosystem. Mount Disappointment even though a forest consists of many rivers, ranging from little streams to highly flowing rivers. Mount Disappointment is a 797m tall mountain above sea level, located on the southern end of the Great Dividing Range. It is recognised as one of Victoria’s state forests within the boundaries of Kinglake National Park. Kinglake National Park is the largest National park close to Melbourne. It has 22,360 hectares of forestry, rolling hills and many vantage points offering scenic views. Scenic views such as Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne skyline and even the You Yangs. Prior to the Black Saturday bushfires, Kinglake National Park was renowned for being home to the tallest tree in Victoria, the Eucalyptus regnans(Mountain Ash). It stood 91.6m tall and was suspected to have originated after the 1951 Black Thursday fires. It wasn’t always seen as a place of livelihood and greenness though.

In the 1880’s Mount Disappointment state forest was riddled with tramway lines and mass loggings. It became a area of rail sliding production so that logged timber could be easily loaded and transported to other existing timber mills. Great amounts of devastation occurred as large amounts of hardwood timber was to be removed under this act formed by Australian seasoned timber. Although they used the timber from there, it didn’t stop there. “Planet mill” and “Comet mill” were to be created in the forest which meant more mass excavation to create area.
Mount Disappointment comprises of many varieties of biotic and abiotic components. Trees, such as eucalyptus, cypress and mostly ironbark are commonly found. Its understorey is an abundance of grassy, green miniature plants that make up this ecosystem. Forests and woodlands like Kinglake are diverse and usually support a variety of plants and animals. Masons Falls, a picnic area is where most natural flora is found. Layered sediment and fossils are found as the area was once covered by sea. Natural fauna includes wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, possums and echidnas. Mountain ash dominates Kinglake National Park. Mountain Grey Gums grow in drier pockets of this state forest while Red Stringybarks, Narrow-leafed Peppermints, Long-leaved box and Candlebark can be found growing along the waterways. There is an abundance of bird life and habitats for wombats and wallabies.

Within an ecosystem interrelationships between biotic and abiotic components need to exist for all components to survive. Any change to one component will affect another component in the ecosystem. If we keep removing trees from Kinglake National Park then the impact on habitats and breeding cycles for birds and possums will fare. The interactions between components are complex within the ecosystem as plants compete with one another for light, water and soil to form photosynthesis. Animals are the same as they compete for food and habitats.

Kinglake National Park was been affected by many natural changes over time. Kinglake has a long history of bushfires when extreme weather conditions occur. Previous fires that have gutted his town are the Ash Wednesday fires during the 1960s, but it’s not just the forestry that is affected. During a major fire in 1926, the whole town suffered significant losses when all the buildings were burnt to the ground, leaving the Post Office the only standing building. In January 2006, parts of the park and township were devastated by lightning during a freak severe thunderstorm. The most recent and significant would be the Black Saturday bushfires that ravaged the forest and surroundings in 2009. 98% of the park was severely burnt during the fires. When a critical wind change occurred on the evening of the 7th of February, Kinglake and it’s National Parks were about to change. It destroyed 820,000 acres and over 500 homes situated near or in the forest. With 42 deaths, this fire was known as the biggest, most destructive and most complex fire of the day.
The area would normally be viewed as being surrounded by temperate eucalypt forest, but several years of drought have made the National park very dry. The unexpected extended period of drought caused many issues. As the drought had not delivered any rain, residents found it hard to defend the forest and their homes with the insufficient water supply that had on hand. As drought had caused a major lack of rain, it made the job of fighting the fire harder. As you can see the drought relates back to the forest fires and the outcomes of the day.
As the sun sets and the temperatures decreases, the change from day to night in the forest of Kinglake, sees animals either start to roam and scavenge or sleep. Nocturnal animals become active while diurnal species try to find a resting place as they are unable to function as well in dark conditions.

As Victoria’s climate is predicted to become warmer and drier, climate change and it’s impacts are leading to expectations for more facilities in the Kinglake’s park. Future visitor needs such as roofed shelters and more access to water is being affected by the increasing amounts of hot summers. This means as climate change is giving us hotter summers, bush land and trees will need to be cut down in order to make room for future rotundas, taps and visitor shelters.
Mount Disappointment today is one of Melbourne’s most accessible forests. It offers many activities such as Forest Drives, Walking Tracks, Picnic Sites and a large quantity of Camping Areas. Kinglake National Park is mostly used for 4 wheel driving and motorbike riding. The most prominent landform features are the Kinglake Plateau in the east and the Mount Disappointment Plateau in the west. The plateaus are sections of ancient coastal plains. Rejuvenation of plants and trees is on the rise after the fires. Riding through a few weeks ago, only minor remnants are left of the fires, but the abundance of animals has decreased since before the fires. Kinglake National Park will continue to be a popular tourist place for families and keen riders.
Interesting Fact
Mount Disappointment was named by NSW explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824. The mountain gained its name after the explorers made the climb to the top in hope to see Port Phillip Bay. Unfortunately, the mountains many tall trees prevented this. The men then used their feelings in the recording of the name of the mountain.
Park Map
In Victoria
In Australia
Mountain Ash
Full transcript