March 3, 2009 (Crest)--It may be un-"herd" of, but it is happening in Crest and it's not a baaad idea. The first ever "Running of the Goats" will take place on March 7, 2009 at the South Lane Park in Crest. This "running" will not reflect the danger as experienced in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but it will greatly reduce the dangers of wild fires in the East County. (View video of a goats-run-wild event in another community here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDJP8yMbLjQ.)
The goats are part of an integrated fuel reduction project for the Crest/El Cajon area. The introduction of 250 goats marks the beginning of a 150-acre fuel reduction project. This environmentally balanced project combines the power of man, goat and machine to appropriately reduce (not eliminate) vegetation. The fuel reduction project is paid for through a grant funded by the US Forest service and is the largest project of its kind in the state. In addition to great video and sound, see how a natural brush clearing process is combined with the latest in forestry science to create smart brush abatement and effective fire breaks.
The art of leaving the right amount of growth will actually slow a wildfire, where clear cutting could help it move faster. Goats are generally more cost effective than other means of clearing brush. Besides, would you rather hear, the roar of heavy equipment, or the pastoral bleating of a goat herd? The event is sponsored by the Crest Firesafe Council and will be held at South Lane Park in Crest at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 7th.
For more info on how goats can help reduce fire hazards in your community, please visit ELM Goats at http://www.elmgoats.com/home.html