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NPAACT Home > News Items > Cattle grazing doesn't reduce fire threat

Cattle grazing doesn't reduce fire threat


Rosslyn Beeby
Canberra Times Monday, 15 May 2006

Cattle grazing in Australia's alpine high country does not reduce bushfire fuel loads and has no impact on the intensity and spread of fire, according to new research by leading scientists.

In the biggest scientific survey of its kind undertaken in Australia, a team of four scientists studied the burning patterns of the January 2003 fires at 419 large-scale survey sites across the Bogong High Plains in Victoria.

"If you take the popular bumper sticker slogan "grazing reduces blazing" as a scientific hypothesis, then we've found no evidence to support it," CSIRO fire ecologist Dr Dick Williams said.

The research has the potential to further fuel controversy over a Federal Government grant of $3million to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre to research the value of alpine grazing in reducing fuel loads.


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