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The GOATs of Trail Conservation? Nearly 150 Poison Ivy Eating Goats Given Mission To Save the Trails

Combatting overgrown trails and invasive plants just got a whole lot cuter.

The Trail Conservancy in Austin, TX, announced they’re bringing in goats to help cut down on weeds and poison ivy in the area. The organization oversees trails in Central Texas and says this is the most eco-friendly way to manage the trails for several reasons, including:

  • Burns and machines reduce the air quality. Goats do not.
  • Burns can spread to unintended areas. A fence controls goats.
  • Machines can compact the soil. Goats don’t.
  • Humans can get poison ivy rashes. Goats can’t.

Nearly 150 goats will be part of the process for three to four weeks, and surprisingly each animal has its own name.

The Trail Conservancy is contracting the goats through a company called Rent A Ruminant, which has worked in other cities and states around the country, including Illinois and Washington State.

While the animals look cute, officials ask hikers not to pet them while working because there’s a good chance they’re covered in oils from the poison ivy plants.


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