USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

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Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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Publications and Products

General Technical Report

Title: Using goats to control brush regrowth on fuelbreaks

Author: Green, Lisle R.; Newell, Leonard A.

Date: 1982

Source: USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-059, 13 p.

Station ID: GTR-PSW-059

Description: On fuelbreaks, herbicides have been the primary tool for controlling brush regrowth. Vegetation of low volume and low growth is maintained on these wide strips as an aid to firefighting safety. Goats are a promising alternative to herbicides, and may be the best tool available for controlling brush regrowth on fuelbreaks. They eat a wider variety of plants, and more woody plants, than other livestock. They are less selective on first-year brush regrowth, and more selective as brush is older. Goats should not be expected to control tall, mature brush. A good strategy is sufficient goats to eat all leaves from all brush species two or three times per year. Spanish goats are probably a better choice than Angoras for rough moutainous areas. Wethers have some advantages over a breeding herd, but may require more subsidy. Problems to solve when goats are acquired include road access during wet weather, fencing, herding, water and supplemental feeding, protection from predators, disease, and poison plants.

Key Words: Angora, brush control, chaparral management, diet of goats, fuelbreaks, goat losses, predators, Spanish goats, wethers

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Green, Lisle R.; Newell, Leonard A.  1982.  Using goats to control brush regrowth on fuelbreaks  USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-059, 13 p.