Weed-eating goats arrive today | SummitDaily.com

Weed-eating goats arrive today


SUMMIT COUNTY – The goats are here Monday. Hopefully, a bunch of noxious weeds will be gone Tuesday.Starting today through Aug. 3, 500 noxious weed eating goats will descend upon the Dillon Reservoir recreation area and the Frisco Willow Preserve Open Space. They are returning to the area as part of a cooperative effort between the Town of Frisco, Denver Water and the Summit County Weed Program to combat noxious weeds. “Golden Hooves,” a grazing company out of Maybelle, is under contract to graze 500 goats in the area. Goat grazing to reduce noxious weeds was first introduced to the area in 2001 and repeated in 2002 and 2004. It was found to be a successful method for reducing the noxious weed population. The goat-grazing program is particularly focused on eliminating the weed called Canada thistle. This creeping perennial with a large root system is extremely difficult to kill. The goats graze on it, stressing the plant so that it uses more energy to re-grow. Then when the Canada thistle is pulling carbohydrates into its root system in the fall season, local weed control technicians treat the “stressed weeds” with an herbicide. The herbicide gets deep into the plant’s root system, killing it. During the upcoming goat grazing period, residents and visitors are asked to keep their dogs on a leash at all times in the grazing areas. Herding dogs will be working and will be off leash and the contractor will be using electric fencing to keep the goats on task. Officials urge caution when observing the goats.For more information call Lisa Taylor at Summit County Weed Program, call (970) 668-4218 or visit the Weed Program website at http://www.co.summit.co.us.

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