Posted by Tyler Hanley, online editor of Palo Alto Online, on Jun 1, 2006 at 2:24 pm
Tyler Hanley is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Here is an excerpt from the story (published in the May 24th Palo Alto Weekly)that explains the background on this posting. The land is owned by the city and is adjacent to the sewage treatment plant (at the end of Embarcadero Rd) in the baylands.
Text of story:
Five-hundred goats and 160 sheep were trucked in from Santa Cruz and unloaded into a paddock at the city's Regional Water Quality Control Plant, where the livestock will munch on vegetation for about a month.
The animals were brought to eradicate weeds on the city's 19-acre property near the Baylands. They will graze in areas that are difficult to clear with human labor.
The animals also enable the city to avoid using toxic pesticides, which are carried into the Bay by runoff.
"We're down on chemicals these days," Phil Bobel, Palo Alto's environmental-compliance manager said. "With goats, the weeds aren't just killed; they're removed."
Living Systems Land Management, the family-owned company providing the goats and sheep, cares for the animals 24 hours a day. The animals are penned in by a moveable electric fence, which allows them to be herded to new areas.
In Palo Alto's case, the goats and sheep are used to manage invasive and non-native plants such as Italian thistle, wild oats and cheese weed — also called malvia. The cost to the city to lease the animals is approximately $740 an acre, or about $14,000, according to the city staff.