Until the second post-war period, one of the main subsistence activities for the people living in these places was represented by cattle and sheep breeding.
The rational exploitation of fodder involved a careful use of the pastures for the high-mountain summer pasture and the mid-mountain pre-mountain pasture activities. From May, the cattle were taken to the so-called "casere" or "maiolere", small stone buildings with straw, wood laths, or slab roofs. These buildings consisted of a stable-barn and a building for cheese-making and for the family. In June, the cattle were led to the high-mountain pastures, the best ones (Buse delle Vette, Erera-Brendòl plateau, Conca di Caiada, Pramper-Pramperet), usually owned by a group of people or by the municipality. The herds, often made of 100-150 animals, were left to the so-called "malgari" led by a chief called "capovacher" or "condutor de montagna", who also dealt with milking activities. During the night, cows found shelter under covers open in the front, the so-called "pendane", "mandre", or "teàz", which were separated from the building where butter and cheese were produced.
The roughest pastures were reserved to sheep, which, when the herds used to leave the high-mountain pastures in September, were also led to the best pastures.
The shepherds, almost all coming from the area of Lamon, gradually left the mountains at the end of October for the winter transhumance to the plains of Veneto and Friuli. The Park has focused on the recovery of the mountain economy and on the improvement of the shepherds' life conditions: the recovery of mountain pastures, the creation of renewable energy plants, the introduction of innovative systems to process milk directly on the spot, are only a few of the actions carried out to give back dignity to the life and economy of the mountain pastures.
Vette Grandi, grazing cows
(photo by E. Vettorazzo)
Malga Vette Grandi - cheese maturation
(photo by Gianni Poloniato)