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July 15, 2013 - City of Boulder Using Goats to Control Noxious Weeds

Media Contacts:Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155

City of Boulder using goats to control noxious weeds

This July and August, the City of Boulder’s Parks and Recreation, Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP), and Public Works departments will employ an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to control invasive weeds on city property by grazing approximately 300 goats in natural areas and at one of the city’s water treatment facilities.

Goats have been used effectively by the city for more than a decade as a control for many different weed species.  “They can get into difficult areas and eat even prickly weeds before eating the grasses,” said Joy Master, conservation ecologist for Boulder Parks and Recreation.

The goats will be utilized at the following city-managed properties:

  • Burke II (Bobolink Trail and Old Tale Road)
  • Area III near 26th Street and Yarmouth Avenue
  • Boulder Reservoir dam faces
  • Boulder Reservoir Water Treatment Facility
  • Near the Big Bluestem Trail in southwest Boulder

Users of city parks and OSMP lands are asked to leash dogs in these areas while the goats are present in order to protect both goats and dogs, because the goats will be accompanied by a trained guard dog to protect them from predators.  Please read and follow directions on any signs posted at these sites.

The State of Colorado's Noxious Weed Act requires monitoring and control of certain plant species, and the City of Boulder complies with this state mandate by applying the four IPM techniques for weed management: mechanical, biological, cultural and chemical. The use of biological controls, such as goat grazing, is important to minimize the amount of herbicides used.

For more information, call Eric Stone at 303-564-2068, Laurie Deiter at 303-413-7648, or Joy Master at 303-413-7261.

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