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Mountain-Prairie Region

 

Got Invasives? Get Goats! Bozeman Fish Technology Center Uses Domestic Goats to Target Invasive Weeds

June 11, 2014


Domestic goats at Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Credit: Eli Cureton / USFWS
Domestic goats at Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Credit: Eli Cureton / USFWS.
Domestic goats at Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Credit: Eli Cureton / USFWS
Domestic goats at Bozeman Fish Technology Center. Credit: Eli Cureton / USFWS.

Four hundred and nine goats arrived last week at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bozeman Fish Technology Center (BFTC) in Montana as part of a cooperative effort designed to control invasive weeds. BFTC staff hopes that the goats, in concert with the application of invasive-weed-eating insects, will: 1) target noxious weeds and manage brush overgrowth; 2) reduce the presence of undesirable vegetation (without using chemical herbicides); 3) promote the restoration of native plants; and 4) assist with fire protection by reducing burnable plant biomass.
Goats provide a viable alternative to mechanical or chemical control of noxious weeds for a number of reasons.  Machines often can't get to problem areas, humans hands are very labor intensive, and herbicides are dangerous to our waterways, soil, and desired vegetation – not to mention humans and wildlife. Other agencies that have used goats in a similar capacity include the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. 

Although the goats will be under the close supervision of professional herders and herding dogs, in the interest of human and animal safety, Drinking Horse Mountain Trail, and the BFTC main campus will be closed to public access  –  except for authorized groups and activities. BFTC staff anticipates that access will be closed for approximately 2 weeks.

Bozeman National Fish Hatchery was established on August 5, 1892, for the production and stocking of trout in Montana and surrounding states. Trout production ceased in 1966 when the hatchery was designated as a Fish Cultural Development Center to conduct research on developing methods for improving salmonid culture. In 1983, the facility was designated as a Fish Technology Center to conduct research and provide technical assistance on a variety of aquatic resource issues.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228

303-236-7905

303-236-3815 FAX

www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/



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Office of External Affairs
(303) 236-0345
 




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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: June 11, 2014
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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