26 December, 2006

LETTER: The cattlemen versus fire furphy

Adam Pepper, Ringwood East
Letter, The Age, 26/12/06

People such as Suryan Chandrasegaran (Letters, 23/12) who argue that grazing cattle through alpine areas reduces the severity of fires should produce the scientific research that supports their claim. I can't see cattle eating the dried bark or leaves off trees affected by one of the hottest and driest years on record.

We have not seen smoke like this before because we have not seen weather like this before. From what the maps have shown, the fires have swept through former cattle grazing areas, logging areas, wilderness areas and state parks with equal severity.

The reality with changes brought by climate change is that we are going to need new approaches to managing our environment. Management should be based on scientific evidence, not the interests of lobby groups whether they be cattlemen, environmentalists or the logging industry.

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