Goats return to Pendleton

Release Date: 

The goats are returning to Pendleton during the second week of April. Three bands will be responsible for keeping land along the river and levee clear of weeds and excess vegetation. The first band will be operating on the river intake side, the second on the levee, and the third will be on the north side of the river.

In 2012, the City of Pendleton implemented conservation grazing of the city’s levee system and right-of-way located on north side of the Umatilla River for weed and fire management purposes. Goats are ideal for weed control because their digestive systems make invasive weed seeds non-viable and they are averse to eating natural grasses unless no other food sources remain. They are rotated as the weeds and other invasive vegetation are eaten, but before they damage native species. By controlling overgrowth, the goats help restore the native vegetation which depends on periodic disturbance to grow. Additionally, the goats benefit the river walkway along the top of the levee by creating more open space for viewing the river and reducing encampments along the river system.