The Cheese/Landscape Connection

March 22, 1996

Fifty-eight Obsidians and guests heard Bill Loy’s fascinating account of his six-month stay in the region of Austria around Innsbruck at the March 22 Potluck at the Lodge.

We saw an alp landscape that consists primarily of cow pastures, ski lifts and avalanche barriers! There appears to be very little wildlife. The land was clear-cut centuries ago for cow pastures to encourage cheese production.

Bill noted that “alp” in German means “mountain pasturage” and told us how the price of cheese can affect the landscape. With the price of cheese dropping (an effect of the European Common Market), the highest elevation pastures become too costly to utilize and may revert back to the wild. Given enough time, trees might reappear (and a bird or two?). Does this all have a familiar ring . . . ?

Bep Fontana


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