Cultural landscape

Alpine pastures are an important part of Austrian culture and economy, at which preserving the alpine pastures involves several fields of activity.

Alpine landscapes are characteristic to Austria and have always shaped the country in terms of economy and culture. The national park distinguishes between four basic regions, being the core area, the peripheral zone, the special protection zone and the national park region. The aim of the peripheral zone is traditional uses, such as the preservation of meadows, grasslands and alpine pastures. Thus alpine pastures are located in the peripheral zone of the Hohe Tauern National Park and serve several important functions.

Alpine pastures in Austria are of great importance in five regards: business economics, national economics, society, cultural history and ecology:

From a business economics perspective, alpine pastures are important as they can be considered the "head" of alpine farming and around 20 % of Austrian farmers keep around 20 % of "Austrian" cattle on the alpine pastures in summer.

From a national economics point of view because the future usability of agricultural areas is provided for and because alpine pastures also form a base for tourism.

Socially, alpine pastures are important because until a few decades ago they served an important function as meeting points for weddings and household formations.

The cultural landscape relates to "Archetypes of Alpine residential landscapes" and there are also still remnants of antique stylistic elements.

From an ecological point of view, the usable areas of alpine pastures are used only to a small extent compared to the overused areas in the valleys.

Transhumance consists of, in addition to landscape preservation, of keeping farm animals which need to be kept and cared for appropriate to the species and the help of which food can be produced. Thus the processing of milk, milking of cows, production of milk and butter as well as cheesemaking are essential components of this.

 

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