These goats have a job to do. They arrive every year in Colorado Springs to eat up all the weeds found at Bear Creek Regional Park. For the past 17 years, their herder, Lani Malmberg, has brought the goats from Wyoming to complete this task. According to KRDO, the “goats eat the noxious weeds, helping with weed control and fire mitigation. They also create a natural, organic fertilizer and trample it into the soil.”
Malmberg told the station, “It builds the organic matter in the soil, which makes it healthier system without any chemicals – no pesticides and no outside inputs needed. You don’t need to bring in fertilizer, you don’t need to irrigate, because they’re irrigating also, as they walk.”
The goats stay for two to three weeks, providing this service. This year, however, their task was cut short and they are leaving Colorado Springs after less than week.
Malmberg told KRDO that it’s because dog owners are refusing to keep their dogs on leashes. The problem, she said, lies in the possibility that the dogs could frighten the goats, causing them to run out on to the street and cause an accident, making Malmberg liable. Next year, she wants dogs to not be allowed in the park while the goats are there.
According to KRDO, there are no citations for dog owners who break the leash law; verbal warnings are all that’s given. The plan is to present the parks advisory board with a fine policy for those who break the leash law in the parks.