Goat Grazing Creates More Natural, Sustainable Rangeland - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Goat Grazing Creates More Natural, Sustainable Rangeland

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The Washoe Tribe is using an all-natural approach to mitigating invasive weeds on their lands.

The person behind the operations is Lani Malmberg, a professional goat herder. This self-proclaimed gypsy, who lives where she hangs her hat, is using her goats for good.

“This is 50,000 pounds that are alive, self-propelled, they do 15 things at the same time of eating, fertilizing, irrigating mulching, towing the soil,” said Malmberg.

As an alternative to herbicides and pesticides, her herd has been grazing on some of northern Nevada’s rangelands for the past two years. Herman Fillmore is a member of the tribe who lives on the land, who says the results have been nothing but positive.

“To regenerate the soil, to take care of the natural species that are here, it's been a really big benefit,” said Fillmore.

Malmberg added, "We've seeded every year we've come and built the soil with the goats and the hoof action.” “The goats eat the weeds and building this living system is very productive."

And hoping to take this productive process home with them is the Society for Range Management. This assortment of ranchers and scientists from across the country took a tour of these goat managed fields on Thursday, looking for a similar system to use for themselves.

"Knowing what tools are in the tool box for us to manage, for example, the fine fuels that helped spread the wildfires in Nevada,” said Ann Bollinger, Carson City Open Space Administrator.

In fact, a different herd of local goats go to work for that exact reason. With the ability to go where machines can't, these natural grazers have been a part of northern Nevada fire management for years.

The Washoe tribe hopes to someday have a herd of goats permanently on their lands. This would allow them to turn a profit for themselves, as well as expand on the area where they treat invasive weeds.

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