Caltrans using goats to control non-native plants on Highway 1
–Caltrans is using goats to aid in controlling weeds within a 20-acre site adjacent to Highway 1 just north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse. Instead of relying on herbicides, Caltrans is taking a more sustainable approach to revitalizing the native coastal prairie adjacent to the recent highway realignment project that was completed in 2017.
On Monday July 15, two double decker trucks unloaded about 300 animals to help remove invasive non-native weeds such as bur clover, mustard, and thistle. The animals are confined to selected grazing areas by temporary fencing which is moved every few days. These goats will graze at a rate of approximately one acre per day, for the next three weeks. This project will also help to reduce the use of herbicides.
“I am proud that our Landscape Architecture group is committed to designing sustainable and innovative solutions through collaborative teamwork.” said Caltrans District 5 Landscape Architect, Katherine Brown, who is overseeing this project as part of an intensive habitat restoration project. The goats are managed by shepherds from Living Systems Land Management a subcontractor of the Caltrans prime contractor, Empire Landscaping Inc. of Davis, CA.
Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.
For traffic updates on other state highways on the Central Coast motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at (805) 549-3318 or visit the District 5 website at: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5