June 19, 2013 - 11:34 AM
KAMLOOPS – A group of goats best known for their work at Kenna Cartwright Park last year have approval to continue living in Kamloops for the next three years — they're just waiting for the weeds to reach the ideal stage before getting to work in the park this summer.
City integrated pest management coordinator Karla Hoffman says a three year facility use permit was issued for the Tournament Capital Ranch site for Conrad Lindblom of Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control but exactly where and how much his goats will work over those three years is still up for negotiation.
Hoffman is very pleased by the results so far and looks forward to seeing the progress that can be made this year.
“I'm amazed. We haven't even had a full growing season, and the results so far... It's amazing.” She says of the improvements at the ranch site.
Last year the goats spent about 11 days working on about 30 hectares at Kenna Cartwright Park before spending a few weeks at a couple other locations around the province and then settling in at the Tournament Capital Ranch north of Kamloops for the winter. The goats spent the entire winter at the ranch eating and living on the grounds south of the baseball diamonds.
As with any weed treatment program it will take several years to see the anticipated results but Hoffman is pleased with the results so far and hopes to identify several other sites in the city Conrad Lindblom and his herd of goats can safely work on.
The goats will return to Kenna Cartwright later this month or early July and will resume working in the same area as last year along the east side of the park where the many south facing slopes see a concentration of invasive species. Hoffman expects the city will let the public know when and where the goats are working before they actually start.
The cost of using the goats as weed control is about $300 per hectare. The city also uses mulch and hand pulling to control weeds in other parts of the city but will also use spray when necessary.
Concerns over the composting of dead goats at the Tournament Capital Ranch site last month have not altered plans for the goats Hoffman says, adding it did not become as much of an issue as she initially expected. Lindblom is complying with regulations and will no longer be composting at the site and there do not appear to be any environmental issues. All the necessary ministries got involved as well and none seem to have a problem with how the issue was handled, she adds.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013