Government Spending

Let the Goat Be The Hero

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The fine folks behind the 1947project blog (chronicling the dark and fascinating nooks of Los Angeles history) raise their voices for cheap and charming civic improvements as LA's Griffith Park burns: use goats for brush removal to keep future fires from being so devastating. (They insist that a similar plan has done wonders for Berkeley.)

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  1. As any old-timey cartoon clearly shows, goats only eat tin cans.

  2. I got a Forbidden error off the goat link. (Fully up-to-date Firefox.)

    Shucks, I wanted to read about goats.

  3. They used goats to clear hillsides for developments in South San Francisco. Worked wonders. (except for the traffic delays from rubberneckers who had apparently never seen a goat before.)

  4. Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell.

  5. Goats, if I recall correctly, are also responsible for at least some of the desertification in the Middle East. So I’m not so sure this has been that well thought-through.

  6. They did this when I lived in the Bay Area. It works well, but the last thing a herd of goats is is “charming.”

  7. Government contracted goats are the only reason that certain Southern states haven’t been overrun and strangled with kudzu. (Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing.) As you drive through the countryside, it’s common to see herds of goats beside the highway peacefully keeping the creeping vine at bay. They’re inexpensive, non-polluting and much more pleasant to be around than a bunch of convicts armed with shovels and shears.

    The goats obviously took to heart the piece of advice about making a successful career by doing what you like best.

  8. I got a Forbidden error off the goat link. (Fully up-to-date Firefox.)

    You must think in Russian.

  9. Goats, if I recall correctly, are also responsible for at least some of the desertification in the Middle East.

    That’s easy to prevent. Just let loose some wolves in the L.A. foothills. What could go wrong.

  10. Insert goatse joke here.

  11. Goats, if I recall correctly, are also responsible for at least some of the desertification in the Middle East.

    Pretty sure this theory has been bypassed. The desertification of the Middle East arose from the same cause as the icification of Greenland – climate change.

    I know! Climate change before SUVs overran the land! Imagine that.

  12. use goats for brush removal to keep future fires from being so devastating. (They insist that a similar plan has done wonders for Berkeley.)

    Those aren’t goats! Those shaggy, bearded creatures are, in fact, hippies.

  13. I am the goat of hell fire, and I bring you …

  14. Timothy,
    Yes but, sheep serve in heaven, goats rule in hell.

  15. Goats, if I recall correctly, are also responsible for at least some of the desertification in the Middle East. So I’m not so sure this has been that well thought-through.

    So? LA has been a desert for generations.

  16. Stevo OWNS THIS THREAD.

  17. I thought I heard this discussed for SoCal after the last round of fires.

    I don’t know about goats but FSU Ag dept has a flock of sheep they move all over Tallahassee and Leon County to keep kudzu at bay. They apparently love the stuff.

  18. RC Dean: Link? I’m a grad student in Middle Eastern Studies and the theory is alive and well in the History Department.

  19. This would work great until the coyotes ate all the goats. Griffith Park is a coyote fiesta. I hope most of them escaped the flames.

    I have seen goats clearing hillsides above the Pasadena Freeway. I’ve been hearing positive stories the last year or two about their brush-clearing benefits. Can’t say as I recall any serious downside, either. I can’t imagine that desertification or overgrazing would be such a problem with monitored, controlled, privately owned Rent-A-Goats.

  20. de stijl,

    “Do you know who this man Gant is? He can land on an ice floe and take off again!”

    Better Vietnam flashback scenes? Firefox or Blue Thunder? (Please keep in mind Caligula was in Blue Thunder.

  21. jb:

    try this:

    http://www.bu.edu/africa/envr/topic9.html

    Basically, I think current science is that human activities/overgrazing can contribute at the margins to desertification, but the fundamental drivers are climactic.

    You couldn’t turn Alabama into a desert no matter how many goats you turned loose there, because it just gets too much damned rain.

    For a variety of reasons, the academic emphasis tends to be on how human activities affect/accelerate natural desertification processes, but of course deserts existed (and grew and shrunk) long before we got up on our hind legs.

  22. SugarFree,

    Firefox’s flashbacks were pretty awesome, but Blue Thunder was awesomer. Not necessarily because of the flashbacks, mind you, but because Sgt. Hulka was in it.

  23. Oh, thank you, Great Urkobold!

    I will be accepting tribute maidens from the rest of you until 5:30 p.m. Central time.

  24. Can’t say as I recall any serious downside, either

    In my old town, the goats turned what was once a nice place to lay around, drink a beer and watch the sunset into basically a big pile of goat shit.

  25. de stijl,

    You have never been more right in your whole life.

  26. How were those tribute maidens, Stevo?

    Did you get any of these?

  27. I’ve hiked all over GP, and as I saw it burning last night I didn’t shed a tear. First, there’s nowhere there that’s “overgrown”, unless your point of reference is a lawn. Second, there are parts of the hills in the park where they’ve installed irrigation systems; why? Third, fires are nature’s way of brush management.

    That said, man starting fires is not part of brush management, and being an urban park just miles from Hollywood it attracts a large share of loons. I was coming down one rough trail with a bit of a step when I found that someone – presumably a bum – had taken advantage of the toilet-like configuration of the step. There are often guys off in the bushes. There’s a ton of gang graffiti that they refuse to do anything about. The “rangers” are cops and not real rangers. They’re also a**holes who are allowed to MTB there, something forbidden to the rest of us. While most of the people are OK, I ran into gangsters with dogs and tats on a trail once.

    No goats please.

  28. While I’m on the topic, one of the goals of L.A.’s leaders appears to be to try to suck as much money out of the park as possible. They’ve blocked off the road leading to the observatory and closed the latter to only paying access. They’re also trying to further “improve” the park in order to get even more money out of it, as taken to the next level here by The Friends. Obviously, “improving” it even more would only make it more necessary to avoid such fires and perhaps they’d end up paving over the whole thing.

  29. Oddly enough, shortly after I posted the last comment, The Friends weighed in on the fire.

  30. I can’t imagine that desertification or overgrazing would be such a problem with monitored, controlled, privately owned Rent-A-Goats.

    And they’re a lot more politically correct than a landscaping crew of illegals.

    The “Friends of Griffith Park” link reminds me why we moved out of CA back in 1960.

    Even so-called “bums” have to live somewhere, and he and all the dozens of other homeless living in various encampments in the park should have long ago been resettled to apartments in neighborhoods more to their liking elsewhere in the city. He was also apparently smoking, which is once again a public disease with a public cure. Not once has Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoken out against this practice, nor has he moved to help smokers recover from their addictions.

    Flaming Liberal of the Year nomination there.

  31. Urkobold:

    I guess I was thinking less of Ion Maidens, and more in terms of ironing maidens.

  32. And they wouldn’t let her show her navel?
    ?Ay caramba!

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