200 goats saving Coeur d’Alene money on Tubbs Hill

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by TAYLOR VIYDO & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Updated Friday, May 16 at 6:25 PM

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- The City of Coeur d’Alene is preparing for wildfire season by using goats to reduce the threat of fires. More than 200 goats are being used to eat shrubs and bushes that pose a potential fire hazard on Tubbs Hill.

KREM 2 on Your Side found that using the goats is actually cheaper than removing all of the brush by hand.

The goats are removing shrubs called ladder fuels that can cause a wildfire to spread to trees more quickly. City workers usually removes the shrubs by hand. This year, they decided to take a more natural approach.

“We’re not running chainsaws all day and reducing the fuel that way. So I think it’s a softer impact on the site,” said Katie Kosanke with Coeur d’Alene Urban Forestry.

A federal grant is paying for the project and it is cheaper for the City to use the goats rather than people. It can be up to about $1,000 cheaper an acre.

“They love the brush and weeds. They’re happy, they like to get to eat, sleep and enjoy themselves out there. And all different places. They seem to enjoy it,” said the goat’s owner Craig Madsen.

The goats also eat seeds from the plants and could prevent future growth.

The goats will be on Tubbs Hill for three weeks. They will cover about 22 acres of the park.

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