Traditionally Mountain Cattlemen and their families carefully burnt sections of their High Country leases each year in the autumn until stopped by the authorities many years ago.
This practice reduced fuel loads which in turn reduced the intensity of bushfires and encouraged sweet new grass which didn’t carry fire the next season.
Deliberate burning of the land and the bush was being done regularly by the first people before European settlement as identified by Prof Bill Gammage. The early settlers and Cattlemen continued the practice until stopped.
From that point, the health of the High Country deteriorated until now where recently it was identified by Indigenous fire expert Victor Steffensen as “sick”. The ill health of the land due to poor management is a very concerning situation that the Cattlemen have been attempting to explain to successive Governments for forty years without much success. The MCAV is delighted that attention is now being paid to the indigenous people’s fire program and to the value of cool burning.