Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Three-step Alpine transhumance in the Bregenz Forest

Applicant: Michael Moosbrugger i.V. Verein zur Förderung der Bregenzerwälder Käsekultur
Province: Vorarlberg
Domain: Practices concerning nature
Year of inclusion: 2011

Due to the fact that the amount of non-silo fodder from the in-house production of the farm yards in the Bregenz Forest does not suffice for the livestock all year-round, the local farmers apply a well-tried agricultural practice called the “three-step Alpine transhumance”. As part of this seasonal cycle of the three-step-agriculture, (members of) the family drives the livestock from the farmyard, first to the “Vorsäß” (a low mountain pasture) in late spring and then to the alp at the beginning of July.

By mid-September, these farmers ceremoniously drive their livestock back down to the “Vorsäß” or to the farms in the valley. The disclaimer of fermenting fodder makes the production of “hay milk” possible, a product that is necessary for the creation of the traditional cheese assortment of the Bregenz Forest.