We have been talking about “everything isn’t forest”. So it’s interesting to think about other fuels management techniques and tools. Because I do think we have to keep in focus that 1) some places do have timber industry.. but they might not be able to handle the scope of all the fuels treatments needed,
2) some places don’t have timber industry and
3) some places don’t have trees, or at least, currently merchantable kinds of trees.
Here is an articles in JSFP News on Karen Voth’s work on using goats in the WUI.
Below is an excerpt:
Voth adds, “The goats protect houses, and they easily provide firefighters a safe place to fight the fires from. The goats
can help make it safer for the firefighters and for communities.”
To that end, she reports on an initial project joining goats with an at-risk community of homes nestled in the heart of fire-prone Utah. The Woodland Hills community is surrounded by oakbrush and scrub. Once Voth explained to community members the possible power
of goats to reduce fire danger, they applauded the plan. Voth
coordinated with the town council and their fire department
and soon a herd of 30 goats were heartily tending vegetation
near the homes. Community members helped build the
fencing, took care of basic goat maintenance like watering,
and learned what the vegetation would look like when the
goats were “finished” in an enclosure. That’s when they
would call Voth and her team, who would drive the three
hours to move the goats.
Here’s a link for more information, also check out her work on Cows Eat Weeds.