U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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ELKO FIELD OFFICE NO. 2007-71
FOR RELEASE: May 30, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, (775) 753-0386; mbrown@nv.blm.gov

COMMUNITY FIRE PROTECTION ENHANCED BY … GOATS

A herd of goats was used in early May to eat the vegetation on 40 acres of the green strip which protects Osino about eight miles east of Elko.
Approximately 600 goats belonging to Tom and Kurt Knudsen of Elko were used in the green strip maintenance project. The main objective of the project was to graze down the cheat grass – which is an extremely flammable fuel and causes wildfires to grow rapidly.
“This is the first time we’ve used goats in northeastern Nevada for maintaining a green strip and it was very successful,” said Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko Weed Specialist and Project Coordinator Mark Coca. “The Elko North green strip was completed in 2005. To keep any green strip effective as a fire protection tool, it must be maintained. In past years we’ve mowed the vegetation or used cows to graze it down.”
BLM Elko Fuels Specialist Tom Reid commented, “Green strips play a critical role in protecting communities. During the 2006 fire season, green strips in the Elko area were used more than once to stop the spread of wildfires. Using the goats near Osino was very effective and in some parts of the green strip they did a better job than we could have done with mechanical treatments. We’re pleased with the success of the experiment and are happy to have another method added to our tool box for protecting communities.”

-blm-


Goats eating vegetation on the Elko North Green Strip just outside of Osino, approximately 8 miles east of Elko.  Green strips are integral to protecting rural communities from wildfire in the Great Basin.  As vegetation grows in the green strips, it must be mowed or eaten so that it will not allow a wildfire to spread.

Goats eating vegetation on the Elko North Green Strip just outside of Osino, approximately 8 miles east of Elko. Green strips are integral to protecting rural communities from wildfire in the Great Basin. As vegetation grows in the green strips, it must be mowed or eaten so that it will not allow a wildfire to spread.


Before goat grazing - note the abundant cheat grass.                After goat grazing - note the homes and structures adjacent to the green strip.

Before goat grazing - note the abundant cheat grass.                                            After goat grazing - note the homes and structures adjacent to the green strip.


 
Last updated: 04-07-2008