Goat herd to begin grazing firebreaks in Salinas Riverbed next week
–The City of Paso Robles will begin grazing the primary firebreaks within the Salinas River on Monday, May 3. The city’s vegetation management plan identifies grazing as an approved method to reduce hazardous fuels. Hazardous fuel reduction minimizes the risk of a devastating wildfire. The city has chosen grazing to maintain firebreaks because of its effectiveness and low environmental impacts. The size and complexity of the project will require 300-500 goats per day.
The Salinas River corridor occupies approximately 478 acres and stretches more than three miles from north to south, separating the city’s east and west sides. Priorities will be to reestablish primary firebreaks within the Salinas River corridor to aid firefighters during suppression efforts and reduce the continuous spread of fire into the community. Over 140 acres of vegetation have been treated to date and planning continues for the treatment of additional areas.
Grazing will be administered by The Goat Girls LLC and paid for with grant funds. Grant funding is being provided by the San Luis Obispo County Community Fire Safe Council. Approximately 70 acres will be grazed this year, starting at the north end of the city, and progressing south to Larry Moore Park. The city is focusing on treating the most critical areas for fire protection first, then expanding out where possible. Grazing activities are estimated to be completed by Saturday, June 5, 2021.
Portions of the Salinas River walking path will be closed between 13th Street and Navajo as grazing progresses through the area. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the area but please be cautious of the electric fencing used to contain the animals.