By Ty O’Neil
The Anderson Park Trail will have a section of trail closed until the 15th while weed abatement takes place. Goats are being used to remove the weeds that have begun to interfere with paths on the south side of the park. While the use of goats will require the path to be closed, the alternative would be chemical herbicides.
This is the second use of goats on the Anderson Park Trail, and the project was funded by the Nevada Land Fund, meaning no tax dollars were used. It is not yet known if the goats will be back for a third year. This is the only project of its kind, said Andrew Brown of Washoe County, but results have been favorable, and goats may be used at other parks in the future.
Vince Thomas of Goat Grazers said that while most of the 20 plus goats being used are breeds usually intended for meat, none of these goats were headed to a dinner table. Additionally, some of the goats were given to them after their original owners were unable to keep them.
While the goats have been effective and are a green alternative to herbicides, they also act as a fun viewing activity for visitors to the park. While not everyone is happy about the trail closure, watching these goats can be a fun day in the park on its own.
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.