Victoria's cattle grazing trial in the Alpine National Park will face an assessment under the federal environment laws, scuppering any chance of cattle grazing the park this summer.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has deemed the project a ''controlled action'', meaning that first it will need an assessment by his department, and then his approval. The trial, which the state government says is necessary to see if grazing reduces bushfire risk, would see 60 head of cattle released into the Wonnangatta Valley for three summers.

A larger trial was blocked by the federal government in 2012 under national environment law for the threat grazing posed to the natural and heritage values of the region.

Tom Arup