In order to protect the important horticultural industries in Toolangi, the area was proclaimed a protection zone in 1998 (the first in Victoria) under the Victorian Plant Health and Plant Products Act 1995. This means that any vegetables, flowers, plants or seed material entering the area (except for home consumption) must be certified as being disease free.
Also, agricultural equipment that has been used for cultivation and harvesting of potatoes and root vegetables must be free of soil residue. Toolangi was seen as an ideal location for a protection zone because of its bush surrounds and the abundance of commercial horticultural and agricultural ventures.
The pest most feared is western flower thrips. These insects damage flowers and vegetables by feeding, and can spread the plant disease tomato spotted wilt virus. The protection area extends to Blowhard Road and Victoria Ranges in the north, to Heath Road and part of Pauls Range in the south; from Mt St Leonard in the east across to the Melba Highway and to Glenburn Road in the west.