The goats are back!
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, and now the goats are back! The City has approval from non-city owned lands also on the north side to be grazed as part of this effort.
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. Therefore, they are moved as the weeds and other invasive vegetation are eaten, but before they damage native species. Ecologically, the goats fill an important niche that was historically occupied by plains animals such as bison. By controlling overgrowth, the goats actually help restore the native vegetation which depends on periodic disturbance to grow.
The goats also 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. This year (year two of the City’s five-year levee management commitment), two bands of goats will be working on each side of the river from May - June. Check out our Facebook page and this map for updates on the goats’ locations. Goat Watch 2013 is ON!
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