Getting Your Goat
Large herds of goats and flocks of sheep are being used in woods and fields across the U.S. to reduce the risk of forest fires and protect native plants by dining on thick brush and invasive species. For example, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is using sheep to chow through kudzu, an invasive vine, in parks in Tallahassee, and the National Audubon Society in California is considering using goats to eat up exotic species on its preserves. Hudson Glimp, a professor of animal nutrition at the University of Nevada in Reno, has used sheep to cull thick forest brush and diminish the fire danger around Carson City. He says that uncontrolled grazing can cause ecological disasters (witness much of the American West), but that managed grazing can sometimes be just the ticket.