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Northern California Town Uses Goats to Prevent Catastrophic Wildfire

Just 47 miles southeast of Paradise, California sits Nevada City, a town of about 3,000 people which has seen wildfires destroy communities all around it. Now, the town’s officials are trying to prevent wildfires in the area by clearing out wildfire inducing brush with herds of goats.

The town in the middle of the Sierra Nevada has launched a “Goat Fund Me” campaign in order to raise $30,000 to bring goats into the area to clean up the city-owned properties. So far, the campaign has netted $6,500.

“Why not do something — and as soon as we can?” Vice Mayor Reinette Senum told the Los Angeles Times. “If we’re not proactive, if we don’t help ourselves, no one else is going to step up.”

Nevada City, California

City officials are projecting that goat grazing on an acre of land will cost approximately $500 to $1,500. It will take approximately 200 goats to eat the built up brush on 450 acres on the city’s land.

The town’s goat campaign is a new wrinkle in Northern California where communities are desperately trying to avoid the devastation of wildfires that have been so prominent in recent years. The nearby town of Paradise was completely decimated by a wildfire in November, while hundreds of thousands of acres burned in both Shasta and Lake Counties this summer.

It’s clear that cleaning up the forest floors of NorCal has become top priority for many communities. Will goats be our saving grace? Only time will tell the effectiveness of the “Goat Fund Me” campaign.

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