Alpine pastures are an important part of the cultural landscape of mountain farming; not only are they vital for agriculture, they also play an important role in culture and tourism. In the National Park the alpine pastures are also centres of species diversity and therefore they continue to be managed and supported, even within the conservation areas. Specific management plans have been developed to ensure that the agricultural methods employed promote species diversity as far as possible as well as being best suited to the location. Measures are agreed with the farmers at annual meetings.
The history of settlement and exploitation of the mountains in the Gesäuse is not yet fully understood. However, the National Park has made it its task to trace this long and formative history of man and nature in the Gesäuse, which has always been marked by mountain farming and forestry. The first man-made changes to the original natural landscape in the Gesäuse were the result of pasture farming, small-scale mining and the associated clearing of woodland.