Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Who Let the Goats Out

From the Up loader: As part of our vegetation management plan, each summer Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California hires a local company to help cut back the height of grass and brush on the hillside terrain around our buildings. Grazing goats are utilized to consume the tall grasses, broom and weeds that might otherwise, in the event of a wildland fire, spread flames up into the treasured stands of trees on our acreage. The goats nimbly swarm over steep hillsides, voraciously eating their way through about 100 acres of open space on the lab campus, removing a potential fuel load as they go.

The visiting animals are managed by a full time herder who lives on site for the entire duration of the animal's visit and carefully limits the extent of the grazing. With the help of his amazingly skilled dogs, the herder moves the 800 goats from one hillside to the next. The video clip filmed this week shows the goats crossing our entrance road as they were on their way to a new grazing area. After five or six weeks, they complete the circuit of all our perimeter open spaces, and depart, moving on to their next customer.

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