Potential New Weapon to Fight Invasive Species in Douglas County

Goats Help Fight Invasive Plants in Douglas County

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Certain types of invasive weeds can cause big problems. 

But now, Douglas County is considering bringing in a herd of goats to fight a buck thorn infestation. 

They’re friendly and funny, and always playing. 

And, they like the stuff we want to get rid of. 

“They love buck thorn, Japanese knot weed, purple loose strife and black locus,” said owner of Lake Minnesuing Farm, Rebecca Loken. 

Loken and her partner, Mike Mattson have a new way to control those pesky plants. 

“If you have more of a problem in species than you do with species that you want to keep then goats are the perfect thing,” said Loken. 

It’s called Giddy Up and Go Goats.

“We are going to come in and in quarter acre plots eat all of that buck thorn,” said Loken.

They are fenced off in one area eating as much as their little goat tummies desire.

One place in need of their help is Douglas County. 

Douglas County Supervisor, David Conley, thinks it’s doable. 

“I am very interested in looking at the possibilities and see if there’s a mutual benefit,” said Conley. 

It’s a project that would be cost effective. 

“The goats would cost half as much as it would to apply for herbicides,” said Loken. 

The method is already gaining momentum in the area.

Working with my animals and having them do a good thing for the environment and for the homeowners of the public is a win-win situation,” said Loken. 

Another positive is the goats leave behind fertilizer to better the soil for native plants.

There will be another meeting July 27th to discuss cost and exact area the goats will be before a final decision.