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Grazing goats helping Louisville manage wildfire fuel

The city is recruiting a herd of roughly 700 goats to help manage wildland fire fuels.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — The City of Louisville is recruiting grazing goats to help manage wildland fire fuels in the North Open Space.

A herd of roughly 700 goats will conduct targeted grazing day and night in three designated areas from May 21 through May 29. 

During that time, staff will also be coordinating with volunteers to remove dead and fallen trees in the wooded areas and along ditches. Work is anticipated to conclude in June or July, and nearby residents will likely hear chainsaws and a wood chipper in use.

>Video above from 2021: Fed up with Round Up, Parker woman finds mom and son team who get rid of weeds with goats.

Visitors who come across the goats are asked to follow a few rules:

  • Keep pets on a leash and under physical control at all times. Trail closures may be necessary to protect goats if dogs are not kept on a leash.
  • Do not touch or climb on the electric fence at any time. An electric fence will contain the goats. Another non-electrified fence will be installed adjacent to the trail to keep trail users away from the live fence.
  • Do not feed or pet the goats.

There may be some temporary trail closures to move goats between grazing areas. 

The use of goats follows similar cattle grazing in the Davidson Mesa Open Space earlier this month.

"The grazing is supported by Louisville City Council and aims to reduce the presence of invasive plants, lower the intensity of potential future wildfires, and improve soil health through the deposition of organic matter," the city said in a release. "This project also provides a unique opportunity for the community to visit with the goats on Open Space."

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