keep the cattle out of the Alpine National Park

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. 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. And in a remarkable move, it has secretly allowed cows back into a section of the park to “prevent any potential Federal Government injunction”.

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.

Alpine grazing precedent threatens all National Parks. A joint statement by environmental groups, Jan 2011.



TAKE ACTION

 


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
ted.baillieu@parliament.vic.gov.au

The Hon Ryan Smith MP
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
ryan.smith@parliament.vic.gov.au

It would be great if you could cc us a copy so we know how many letters have
gone in: foe@foe.org.au

Please send this alert on to your friends. Thanks!

And check here for some of the responses from people around the state.

 

The story so far ...

 

If you’re tracking the issue, you will have seen that the situation keeps getting worse for the government:

It is apparent that the government acted in secret to avoid federal government intervention: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/01/12/281815_latest-news.h...

The scientific community has resoundingly criticised the trial, and even a few brave souls within Parks Victoria have criticised the move:
http://www.theage.com.au/environment/conservation/rare-find-could-halt-h...

There will be no data collected til next spring – meaning that the cows there now are actually disrupting any findings that do come out of the investigation:
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/grazing-study-cant-start-for-months-20...

There is a great video from The Age outlining problems that are already becoming apparent with the grazing – this, in effect, will influence the baseline data that scientists will be able to start compiling next spring:
http://media.theage.com.au/cattle-grazing-in-the-alps-2167709.html

And traditional owners have said that the action ‘tramples their rights’:
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cattle-trampling-on-our-rights-aborigi...

Threats of legal action have now been made by Gunai Kurnai elder Uncle Albert Mullett who said there was no consultation with his people before the cattle grazing trial began:
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/02/09/3134198.htm?site=gippslan...