People discovered that cow dung was contaminating rivers and threatening drinking water supplies. Cattle grazing was stopped in the high country of ACT in the hope of protecting the water catchments.
The Upper Snowy River was declared an erosion hazard by the NSW Government
In Victoria, controlled burning was banned and grazing of sheep and horses stopped. Leases were given out for grazing cattle but stock numbers were restricted.
To protect water catchment in the Snowy Mountains, grazing was stopped in the highest parts of Kosciuszko National Park (back then Kosciuszko State Park).
The highest summits of the Alpine National Park banned cattle grazing to protect the water catchment and preserve the alpine vegetation. These summits included Mount Hotham, Mount Feathertop, Mount Loch and Mount Bogong
For over 10 years, people argued that cattle faeces were having damaging effect on the soil and were destroying many native plants. There were also complaints that the cattle were ruining the drinking water. The Committee of Management was persuaded to stop cattle grazing in Mount Buffalo.
Grazing is banned from the high country above 1,370 metres. The Soil Conservation Service re-established vegetation cover for native species.
Cattle grazing was completely banned in 1969 and the remaining leases ended three years later.
Recommendations by the Land Conservation Council and the government purchase of the Wonnangatta Station caused the areas of the Snowy River, Howitt Plains and Wonnangatta Valley to make cattle grazing withdrawals.
Parliament passed legislation to allow cattle grazing to continue in the Alpine National Park, with the exception of the particularly high and sensitive areas. 7 year licences were given, with restrictions to the number of stock, vehicles and firearms.
A project to reduce fire risk meant that cattle were returned to the Alpine National Park. This included up to 400 cattle in 6 different study research sites.
The Victorian Government needed the Federal Government's approval to continue the project - which they didn't get.