The culture of the Sueve is intrinsically linked to the pastoral livelihoods ofthe people who live on and around the range.
Due to the relatively benign climate of the Sueve - when compared to other mountainous areas nearby - it is more suited to year-round grazing. Which farmer has a right to graze their animals, and where, has evolved over the centuries, but is overseen by the "Administrative Councilof the Pastoral Community of the Sueve" (Junta Administrativa de la Mancommunidad del Puerto de El Sueve). Based in the village ofCofiño, from where the council's president is always elected, the council is formed of 40 spokespeople, one from each of the villages surrounding the range. Decisions are taken regarding grazing issues such as pasture maintenance. The council was first mentioned in a document dated 1729.
The emblematic animal of the Sueve is the Asturcon pony, and one of the most important days of the year is the third Saturday in August, when the Asturcon Fiesta takes place. Celebrated in the pastures of Espineres in the south-west of the range, the main event of the fiesta is the branding of the ponies, to show ownership. The Asturcones roam the Sueve in a semi-wild state, not bound by fences, but they are allowned by local farmers, who can sell the ponies for meat in the sameway as they sell cows and goats.
In the twentieth century, areas of public land on the Sueve were plantedwith non-indigenous trees (eucalyptus and pine), reducing their grazing value (cattle will not graze beneath pines) and bringing local farmers into dispute with regional politicians. Farmers see this as undermining their livelihoods and eroding their rights, and politicians at the time saw forestry as a source of income from otherwise "unproductive" land.
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