Cattle Grazing the the Vic High Country. Hmm

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 08:22
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I have long been a supporter of Cattle in the High Country. The history, the fire control, etc. I even have 2 stickers on my 4wd. I regularly camp at several sites where cattle were grazing and have noticed a couple of things over the last few years.

Firstly the number of flies around the campsites have dramatically reduced. I recall many times where they were intolerable. Now there seems to be a tenth of the flies at these camp sites, or less they just aren't a problem like they used to be. Also obviously there is less cow crap around the camp sites, a great bonus for kids playing in the area. But the other thing is that the grass seems no higher and no lower than in other years. And where were the bushfires this year? I know it wasn't particularly hot, but it was very very dry. Even if the grass was shorter, is the grazed area really enough to stop a bushfire?

Less Poo, cleaner water, a lot less flies. I know it is probably heresy on this website but I really see no downside and lots of upside in keeping cattle out of the National Parks now. Except for 8 or 9 families I guess. I am beginning to think the whole argument of fire control is self serving.

I do know I am enjoying camping a lot more.



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Reply By: Member - Russler - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 08:34

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 08:34
A few friends and I were hiking over the Easter weekend, and stopped for lunch at Refrigerator Gap (just below The Bluff), where we noticed there were a lot of pats that looked reasonably fresh (hey, I'm no expert on cow poo, but they may have only been a few weeks old, still greenish).
Was there another trial recently, or are there still a few head roaming the High Country?
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:12

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:12
AFAIK there is one trial at the moment, in Wonnangatta Valley.

Refrigerator Gap is right on the border of the Alpine National Park, but the track and much to the south of it is in the state forest. Could be wandering cattle or they were in the south side I guess.
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:37

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:37
We of the Squad hear your call, even if it is a trial one .......
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 08:52

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 08:52
There was a program a couple of days ago on ABC TV all about the Aussie fly. In part they discussed the effect on the fly population of the introduction of European animal species to Aus - animals such as cattle, horses, sheep, but in particular cattle with their sloppy droppings. The increase in fly population where these animals are present is enormous compared to prior levels. Apparently our native animals' hard, dry, pellet-like droppings are not liked much by flies but the bovines provide a six star resort if you're a fly.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:16

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:16
Well that certainly seems to be true in the high country.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:21

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:21
The other issue was the local dung beetles were not up to the task of burying the cow pat. If you traveled out west years ago you could find cow pats that were 20 years old, all dessicated and sitting on the surface of the soil.

Beetles were imported that could actually cope with the cow dung, if they didn't we would be knee deep in the stuff by now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Dung_Beetle_Project

I know on my parents farm in a good year a cow pat or horse dung would be almost fully incorporated into the soil after 48 hrs. If it was a drought and the beetle population died off, then it would take significantly longer.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:40

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:40
The program also talked about the huge success that was the Dung Beetle, but Boobook your experience is really interesting, thanks for sharing, hmmm Boobook, there's a property near Inverleigh of that name .......
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Reply By: Member - santta - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:13

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:13
Like yourself I have also been a supporter of grazing in the high country.

I was born and bred in the snowy mountains and spent most of my life there and being around farmers a lot I have heard all the arguments. But since I decided to spend a bit more time in the high country, I have since changed my mind. I don't know much about the Victorian high country but the snowy mountains area is a vary fragile environment and if you compare past and present photos of the summit area around Mt Twynam and Jajungal where cattle used to graze, you will see how different things are today with no erosion and an abundance if wildflowers. I am by no means a greenie but I believe this pristine environment needs to be protected so that future generations can appreciate it as I do.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:25

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:25
Yes I forgot about the mud holes at the rivers. I would describe myself as anti greenie, but very much pro caring for the environment like yourself.

More and more I think we need to understand how fragile the environment is.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 12:55

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 12:55
Anti greenie yet pro caring for the environment? Be careful, I see inner turmoil developing. :-) I live in greenie central and have a good deal of respect for them. They are usually above average in intelligence and they certainly leave a place better than they found it. The world would be a better place with more of them in my opinion. I'd be interested to hear what you think they do that is so bad. Please don't insult me by saying they lock tracks up. The owners of the tracks do that because they can't stand the expense of repairing damage.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 13:54

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 13:54
My position is perfectly reasonable. I do care for the environment and place it as a high priority in general policy. However I am against people dictating policy and rules from their city apartments. Even non environment even related matters.

Obviously you have had nothing to do with Parks Victoria. It has been infiltrated by the national parks association who make policy by default within the department.

Caring for the environment and being a left wing greenie are two entirely different things Michael. In this case I am saying that I have sympathy for the views on the specific topic of Cattle int he high country.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:34

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:34
Funny how all the Greenies describe it as a "pristine environment", even though the cattle have been there for over a hundred years!


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Reply By: Member - Rodney J2 - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:47

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 09:47
Hi Boobook,
Crossing the Nullabor the other day made a very similar observation in the Roadside Parking Areas, plenty of Crap including Human faeces, soiled underwear, toilet paper, food waste and of course hundreds of pesky Bush Flies (but no Cattle in sight)
Come on Travellers CLEAN UP after ourselves!!
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Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 12:16

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 12:16
Not just the Nullabor if you cannot carry a port-a-loo then try and hold it in, road side stops are getting ridiculous not to mention the possibility of spreading disease. The Gibb when last i travelled it and that was a fair while ago resembled a scene from a bomb blast.
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:09

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:09
Rod, we also travelled across the Nullabor in Septrmber 2013 and found the roadside stops to be disgusting. Any toilets that were available were either damaged or so revolting that they could not be used. As mentioned by Karl the Gibb was similar. The rubbish disposal sites on the Gibb were a sight to behold. Although there was an enclosure the masses of rubbish had migrated over the entire area. The quarantine dump ot the Halls Creek end of the Tanami was just awful. All the material that responsible people had left and not taken into WA was streaming out of overfilled 44 gallon drums. It would appear that the area had not been emptied for months.
Essentially if you ventured more than a few metres into the bush at any roadside stop there was generally toilet paper everywhere.
To their credit it appeared that the WA government was upgrading many overnight stops with composting toilets. Certainly not before time as there are so many travellers these days.
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Follow Up By: Member - Munji - Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 14:14

Saturday, Apr 11, 2015 at 14:14
Please, these people that leave that mess behind are someone's children. you may offend them.
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Reply By: Slow one - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 13:55

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 13:55
Yep,
Boobook, cattle definitely let the flies breed up big and strong, so here is the solution.

Remove all cows and sheep from Australia. Sheep get blown and are a great breeding ground. We could then dine on roo and goats which would be a healthier option. Win, win.

Now we come to human faeces and there rubbish that flies breed in. Solution remove all humans. Remember the big loser in all this is the humble dung beetle, he will face extinction in Australia. Remember the big loser in all this is the humble dung beetle, he will face extinction in Australia.

The common thread in all our problems are humans, everywhere they go they cause trouble. We bought the cattle, we bought the sheep, we crap anywhere and everywhere and we do the same with our rotting rubbish.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:09

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:09
It isn't worth responding properly to stupid posts like that.

If you can't say something sensible then you look a lot smarter if you shut up.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:29

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 14:29
It was said in jest but I guess you can't please all. Then again it shows what kind of people call others names.

You enjoy your day sunshine.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:23

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 15:23
The common thread in all our problems are humans, everywhere they go they cause trouble. We bought the cattle, we bought the sheep, we crap anywhere and everywhere and we do the same with our rotting rubbish.

Very true Slow one...we will also be responsible for our own demise! I don't mind the greenies. Most are passionate about the environment. Politicians and corporations couldn't give a fig about the environment. Remember the Franklin River?

Haven't been to the high country in decades. Been many places and by far the most polluting, destructive varmits on the land are the two legged humans.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:43

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 18:43
It's odd that some places suffer more than others. We went into the High Country starting with a night at Sheepyard Flat at the end of the Vic. Sch Hols as the NSW ones were about to begin. Expecting the worst as we descended with utes galore with track bikes and campers in tow churned up the dust coming the opposite way. We arrived about 4.30 pm and the last two campers were packing up before leaving the whole place to us. I couldn't believe there wasn't a scrap of rubbish to be seen after the public holiday weekend. It's a fairly big area and I'm sure if I tried hard enough I'd've found some mess but as far as I could see, the place was an absolute credit to the busy weekend campers that had just left. I hate to say this but maybe Victorians know how to behave. :) I'm sure there are bad ins everywhere but this really gave us a lovely surprise. Wish I could say the same elsewhere. Maybe we just need to adopt a "user pays" system and let the authorities provide sufficient facilities. I'd rather pay than witness the filth I've seen elsewhere. Trouble is, I've seen filth recently at Innamincka with good, clean toilets nearby. We carry a Porta potty and a spare bottom half (bought two potties - not expensive) in case we can't find a dump point.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 20:14

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 20:14
Bigfish,

I guess some don't like the truth even when said in jest.

Boobook I would shut up but I don't know who died and made you god.
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:47

Thursday, Apr 09, 2015 at 21:47
Settle down campers
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Reply By: Member - backtracks - Sunday, Apr 12, 2015 at 14:13

Sunday, Apr 12, 2015 at 14:13
Here, here, Boobook ! Maybe reduce it by that 8 or 9 though.
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