Cattle were removed from the Alpine National Park in 2005 by the government of Steve Bracks. This was an important step forward for good land management in our state. Since then, some of the long term damage caused by decades of grazing have started to heal.
However, the Victorian Coalition announced in the build up to the November election that it would return cattle grazing to Victoria’s alpine national parks as a tool to reduce fire risk.
It probably made sense to summer graze cows in the alps when the practise started in the 1800’s. Given what we now know – of the ecological damage they cause – it made sense to remove them from the precious alpine areas.
Putting them back into the Park – in the very headwaters of our most significant river systems in a time of climate change – would mean turning our backs on common sense land management and scientific evidence. Grazing greatly damages the alpine systems, including the peat beds, that release high quality water into our river systems across the north east of the state.
Research on alpine grazing has consistently shown that the pro grazing mantra ‘grazing reduces blazing’ simply isn’t true.
The Victorian National Parks Association has substantial information on the question of grazing and fires which is available here.
We need to send a strong message to the new government that the majority of Victorians do not support the re-introduction of grazing into the Alps and other protected areas like the Barmah forest.
Please write to the Premier and Environment minister, explaining that you are opposed to the reintroduction of cattle grazing into Victoria’s alpine environment.
You could mention that the grazing of cattle in a national park is inconsistent with conservation management, which is the main purpose of national parks protection. It will not help reduce fire risk. Our alps are at great risk from climate change and do not need that degradation that will come with grazing.
Simply send a brief and polite email outlining your concerns, with your name and address to:
The Hon Ted Baillieu MP
Premier of Victoria
The Hon Ryan Smith MP
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
It would be great if you could cc us a copy so we know how many letters have gone in: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send this alert on to your friends. Thanks!