Town launches ‘Goat Fund Me’ to curb fires

Times Colonist - - World -

NE­VADA CITY, Cal­i­for­nia — The threat of cat­a­strophic wild­fires has driven a Cal­i­for­nia town to launch a “Goat Fund Me” cam­paign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.

Ne­vada City in the Sierra Ne­vada be­gan the on­line crowd­sourc­ing cam­paign last month with the goal of rais­ing $30,000 for the project.

The cam­paign’s web­site ex­plains that be­cause it takes time to se­cure grant fund­ing, the town needs money now to hire goat ranch­ers, who are only avail­able this win­ter. The ranch­ers have rented out their herds to other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Cal­i­for­nia the rest of the year and were ex­pand­ing their herds to meet de­mand, city of­fi­cials said.

“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.”

The foothill com­mu­nity is about 75 kilo­me­tres south­east of Par­adise, which was dec­i­mated by a wild­fire in Novem­ber that killed 86 peo­ple and de­stroyed about 14,000 homes.

City of­fi­cials said book­ing a herd costs be­tween $500 to $1,500 US an acre. About 200 goats can munch on an acre of over­grown brush daily.

A goat chews on lowhang­ing fo­liage.

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