August 3, 2022
Ecological land management and preventing fires with goats
La Plata county is working with local goat farmers to help mitigate noxious weeds in Bodo Park.
By Sarah Flower
DuranGoats is a small newly established goat farm located in Breen. Jonathan Bartley is co-owner of the farm and they've been regular vendors at the Durango farmers market this year. They're talking to locals about the importance of an eco-friendly approach to managing lands and mitigating wildfires all by using goats.
One of Bartley's visitors at the booth was building maintenance team leader for La Plata County, Frank Van Sherpenseel. Van Sherpenseel has several buildings that could use the goats hunger for noxious weeds. The county is starting small and has contracted with DurangGoats for weed mitigation and fertilization of the grounds at the La Plata County Detention Center in Bodo Park.
Nearly a dozen goats arrived at the grounds last week and Van Sherpenseel is hopeful that there could be a greater opportunity to use the goats in the future
Bartley is explaining all of the weeds in the detention center field that the goats will be feeding on in the coming days. The county says the benefits of having the goats include increased water retention, increased competition against the weeds, better soil health and a more pleasant healthy looking area. For Bartley having the goats around brings a more traditional approach back to farming.
The goats at the detention center will be under control at all times and locked in by panels or free ranging in the secured courtyard areas. According to the county, a horse trailer will be left at the facility to house the goats in the evenings. Since starting DuranGoats it's just a few months ago, Bartley has seen an increase in demand for using goats as mitigation, and is working on growing his company to fit those needs.
Reporting for KSUT Tribal Radio. I'm Sarah Flower
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