Cattle grazing to cut bushfire risk (letter)by Leon AshbyNews Weekly
, February 8, 2003
The recent spate of fires started by lightning in national parks quite justifiably has many asking the sense of our government departments not reducing fuel before our summer season.
While early burning is one option, I want to raise another and that is by allowing cattle to graze out parks. They recycle the grasses into dung which assists with maintaining soil fertility and ultimately biodiversity in the soil. Plants also become healthier when grazed for short durations (much like pruning improves trees and bushes).
With correct grazing management national parks could require very little early burning (which rarely gets done, even if it's written in the parks management plan) ... and it would raise a bit of revenue as well.
Despite it being commonsense that our more brittle environments need grazers to keep the carbon (vegetable matter) cycling properly, our parks are becoming fire bombs and gradually less fertile due to the unscientific and nonsensical approach our government departments adhere to.Leon Ashby
Landholders for the Environment