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Grazing Goats to Eradicate Invasive Plants | Environment

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Grazing Goats to Eradicate Invasive Plants
Grazing Goats to Eradicate Invasive Plants

The City of Gaithersburg provided the following info:

Eco-Goats are making their Montgomery County debut July 12th at the Izaak Walton League, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg. 

The Izaak Walton League has partnered with the City of Gaithersburg Environmental Services Division, in a new program to improve wildlife habitat without damaging local water quality.

The League’s 33-acre property is home to deer, fox, beavers, turtles, and a variety of other animals and birds. Much of this property has been overrun with invasive plants, including Japanese honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard, Autumn Olive, and Oriental Bittersweet. These plants provide no value as food or shelter for wildlife. Instead, they crowd out and kill trees, shrubs, and other plants these animals need to survive.

Eliminating invasive plants – permanently – improves wildlife habitat as well as human habitat. But traditional methods of doing this over large areas involve repeated application of chemicals that could leach into our waterways. A new program is fighting nature with nature.

Eco-Goats brings a herd of goats to large properties infested with invasive species. The goats are contained within an electric fence to tackle invasive plants one acre at a time. Goats eat the invasive plants down to the ground, and goat handlers either dig up stumps or kill them with very targeted use of an herbicide. Agencies in St. Mary’s City and Anne Arundel County and the Maryland State Highway Administration have already used this process successfully. Now Eco-Goats are coming to Gaithersburg.






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