The summertime is an important time to prevent flooding for the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources
(DWR). During the hot months, crews are out clearing drainage areas of debris and grass. To accomplish some of these tasks, DWR enlists the aid of some cloven-hooved contractors to mow down potential problems in flood zone areas.
This is the seventh year DWR has contracted goats and sheep from Star Creek Land Stewards to maintain the overgrowth in basins in the unincorporated parts of Sacramento County. Nearly 600 animals graze in and around detention basins to clear the drainage systems of grass and weeds that could reduce water flow or cause blockages resulting in flooding during the rainy season.
The areas chosen for the contractor’s dining experience totals 22-acres at five different locations. Using the Three Billy Goats Gruff and their friends reduces air and noise pollution due to the fact that DWR will not need to send in human crews with loud, gas-powered mowers and heavy equipment. The animals quietly move in and start munching way. The time it takes to devour their way through a job varies depending on the acreage before them and motivation. Sure, the process is slower, but is still very effective in overgrowth removal.
If you happen to see the contractor, please do not enter the grazing area, or attempt to feed, pet or approach the animals. They are generally friendly, but we need to keep them focused on their job. An onsite herder and trained dogs accompany the dining party 24-hours a day to ensure they are cared for, kept on task and don’t wander off.