In Perry Park, west of Larkspur, in a community that borders on Pike National Forest, 60,000 pounds of goats are daily munching their way through 72,000 pounds of fire tinder from the underbrush and ladder fuels that would contribute to the spread and severity of any potential future fire.
The goats are rented from Lani Malberg’s Goat Green of Cheyenne, Wyo., and will be munching vegetation for a two-week period along terrain too steep for human or mechanical mitigation; areas where fire can rapidly spread its destruction.
“Reaction from residents has been overwhelmingly supportive. Not only is it making the community safer, but it has a undeniable fun factor as residents go out of their way to view the hundreds of goats clearing vegetation, climbing trees to get at the sweeter foliage and occasionally head-butting to gain prized eating territory,” says Andy Morris, president of Perry Park Metro District.
An active participant in fire mitigation since 2001, Perry Park was named one of the first FireWise communities in the country in 2002.
“The goats are one of many methods used by Perry Park and its residents to reduce the potential of a severe fire. Sponsored by the local Metro District which spearheads the mitigation efforts, it includes free, twice-a-year pick ups of trees, branches and underbrush removed from their property by owners, along with annual mechanical clearing of fire-prone materials on district-owned property,” Morris says.