Saturday, May 17, 2014

CDA Press: Goats Help Reduce Fire Risk at Popular North Idaho Park

Posted By on Sat, May 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Clearing fire fuel from Idaho forests is a big, dirty job, often requiring chainsaw-wielding crews of workers to pick through dense undergrowth. But one crew in Coeur d'Alene was more than happy to take on the job: About 200 goats were set loose on 22 acres of the city's popular Tubbs Hill to reduce fire potential by eating excess brush.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports this morning that the goats came from Healing Hooves, a vegetation management company, and their work—about $500 per acre—is being paid for with a federal grant. A mechanical crew, meanwhile, can cost between $900-$1,500 per acre, according to the Press.

Tubbs Hill is a heavily used public space on the south side of Coeur d'Alene, with sweeping views of the city and Coeur d'Alene Lake. Odds of a human-caused fire there are higher than in other North Idaho parks, said local fire officials, and response time to the hill can be as much as 20 minutes.

The goats are expected to eat their way out of work at the rate of about an acre per day.

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