In 2019 BC Timber Goats conducted a community based Firesmart Goat Browsing program for a rural community in the North Okanagan.
From May 2nd - October 30th we deployed, managed and herded 150 goats throughout nearly 1000 acres of UWI range land in cooperation with over 10 private land owners and range lease holders.
Goats process vegetation and debris into manure to create a nutrient rich mulch that increases soil microbiology and biomass.
Goats use bacteria in their rumen to digest fibre which is then deposited throughout the fuel mitigation zone. This increases the health, biodiversity and recovery of soil after a fuel mitigation disturbance.
The bacteria left behind in the goat's manure promotes further decomposition of fine fuels and debris long after the goats are gone.
Along with Targeted Browsing we used the goats to help clean up private landowners pruning and thinning fuel mitigation activities.
BC Timber Goats does not recommend chainsawing along side a goat herd but this video illustrates the tremendous clean up abilities of a goat herd in a fuel mitigation scenario.
The goats recover beneficial nutrients and biomass for the soil otherwise lost to the atmosphere in control burn.
Working goats along the roadside, around corners and narrow roads dramatically improves visibility of the roadway. Furthermore goat brushing activities reduces fire fuels along these vital corridors and improves roadside access in an emergency.
Watch and listen as the goat herd tramples the dry pine needles on the forest floor. The goat's kinetic action breaks down surface fuels and works them into the soil with their manure.