Stock route

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**1. Stock Route Overview:**
– Stock routes in Australia are authorized thoroughfares for moving livestock like sheep or cattle.
– Livestock must travel approximately 10 kilometers per day to prevent overgrazing.
– Water supply along stock routes is provided through bores with windmills and troughs.
– Travelling Stock Reserves are fenced paddocks for overnight stays.
– Stockmen use Australian Stock Horses or vehicles to drive the livestock.

**2. Historical Development:**
– Early stock routes like the Snowy TSR were established in the 1820s due to drought.
– Colonial explorers and overlanders pioneered present-day stock routes.
– Railways replaced the need for long droving distances in the late 1800s.
– State Governments developed water facilities along stock routes from the early 1900s.
– Alfred Canning opened the famous Canning Stock Route between 1906-1910.

**3. Notable Stock Routes and Incidents:**
– The Strzelecki Track was used to transport cattle to the Adelaide market.
– Captain Starlight drove stolen cattle down the Barcoo and Cooper rivers.
– The Murranji Track in the Northern Territory was a challenging stock route.
– The Birdsville Track, developed in the 1880s, is a notorious stock route.
– The Murranji Track saw casualties among drovers, stockmen, and livestock.

**4. Challenges and Conservation:**
– Drovers faced challenges such as crocodile-infested rivers, droughts, and dust storms.
– Poisonous plants along stock routes posed risks to livestock.
– Extreme droughts forced stockowners to rely on stock routes for feed and water.
– Travelling stock routes served as emergency refuges during floods and drought.
– Stock routes are valued for their role in preserving native vegetation ecosystems.

**5. Economic Impact and Management:**
– Travelling stock routes were crucial for moving livestock to markets in towns and cities.
– Livestock producers transported cattle to rail sidings or abattoirs on the hoof.
– Road transport of livestock by trucks and road trains replaced droving and rail transport.
– Stock routes and reserves have been administered by Rural Lands Protection Boards since 1902.
– Recommendations for ceding routes back to Department of Lands, conservation efforts by Stock Routes Coalition, and the transition to Livestock Health and Pest Authorities in 2009.

Stock route (Wikipedia)

A stock route, also known as travelling stock route (TSR), is an authorised thoroughfare for the walking of domestic livestock such as sheep or cattle from one location to another in Australia. The stock routes across the country are colloquially known as The Long Paddock or Long Paddock.

A cattle trough and windmill on a Travelling Stock Route

A travelling stock route may often be distinguished from an ordinary country road by the fact that the grassy verges on either side of the road are very much wider, and the property fences being set back much further from the roadside than is usual, or open stretches of unfenced land. The reason for this is so that the livestock may feed on the vegetation that grows on the verges as they travel, especially in times of drought.

The rugged remote stock route that follows the Guy Fawkes River through Guy Fawkes River National Park is part of the Bicentennial National Trail.

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